The Heart of the Start, Part 2

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Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos, has reinvented the meaning of customer service. Instead of hiring customer service reps and training them off a script, he's made the entire company a customer service ashram. This is not fabricated servitude; Zappos employees have a genuine air of happiness that is almost cultish in its sincerity. 

People are actually pleased to work there and believe in what they're doing. For a company that just sells apparel, this is quite an accomplishment. Hsieh doesn't do this by incentivizing his employees to act caring to customers. He does it by making people happier; by making Zappos a place where people feel inspired to do good.  Which is why Hsieh's biggest priority in running a successful startup is Company Culture.

Everything at Zappos is built on the foundation of its core values around company culture. Employees are hired and fired by whether or not they are a culture fit. Instead of funding a marketing department, Hsieh makes Zappos a place that fosters positivity, meaning and purpose in his employees lives, which customers will naturally be drawn to and talk about. And any good business person knows that viral marketing is the most effective way to increase sales. Hsieh believes in the ripple effect that if employees are happy, customers will be happy, and if customers are happy, your business will profit, and much more than companies where employees just see it as a job.

Creating a company culture based on principles of happiness will organically attract all the things a startup wants: excellent customer service, branding, viral marketing and ultimately revenues. Zappos believes in this so deeply that they've created a company culture book and follow it religiously. And obviously it's working; Zappos was acquired by Amazon for $1.2 billon in November of this year.


Stay Tuned  for the Next Post On "The Frameworks of Happiness"

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This page contains a single entry by Margot Hulings published on December 16, 2009 2:09 AM.

The Heart of the Start was the previous entry in this blog.

The Heart of the Start, Part 3 is the next entry in this blog.

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