AMA Boston: Delivering Happiness

September 29, 2010  |   Business,Marketing   |   Jameson  |   0 Comment
AMA Boston: Delivering Happiness

This week I joined some of the CommCreative interactive team at the AMA Boston event “Delivering Happiness with Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh.”

Boston was the latest stop on his cross country book tour sharing his story. Tony went from running one company that was heavily focused on short-term profits to one that is heavily focused on the best customer service and customer experience. He sold the former because he hated getting up every day and going to work. The latter is experiencing record revenue and has spawned a separate company, consulting businesses on the best ways to adopt their philosophies.

At Zappos, Tony developed a set of core values that became more than just something written on a plaque in the lobby. It became something deeply rooted in the company’s culture to the point that they are willing to¬†fire employees based on not adhering to the core values, independent of their job performance.

Tony’s focus on building a company culture rooted in not only delivering happiness to customers, but to employees, is rooted in the idea that a company’s brand is merely a lagging indicator of its internal culture. The best branding strategists in the world could develop a messaging platform that would resonate with target customers, but if it didn’t make itself apparent when a customer visited the website or picked up the phone to talk with a customer service representative, it would be all for naught.

Customer service shouldn’t be a department. It should be your entire company.

The most refreshing part of Tony’s presentation was the night and day comparison between the two company’s that he ran. He also wasn’t afraid to admit the laundry list of mistakes he made when running the first company.

Because of the lessons he learned from the mistakes he made, he was able to build a foundation for Zappos that would drive the company through the recession all while making record profits. When you have a company culture and a passionate customer base that markets your company for you, you don’t have to worry about shifting strategies to keep afloat in tough economic times.

The one question that was stuck in my mind as I left the event was, “How do you measure happiness?” Sure, my clients can tell me that they are happy with the experience that CommCreative provides, but how do I know if I can be making them happier? Do I have a realistic impression of my threshold for delivering happiness?

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