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As you may have seen, we recently had the privilege of sitting down for an in-depth discussion with the man who created the legendary culture at Zappos, Dr. David Vik. He provided some great insight on how to set yourself apart from your competitors, how to cut through the red tape, and why putting your customers first in your organization is so incredibly powerful.

However, if I had to give you three main takeaways from my chat with Dr. Vik, they’d have to be:

Create a Vision

It might be something as simple as “Be Nice”, but he is very adamant that creating a vision (it can even be short and simple, like seven words) is the only way to achieve memorable results. He recounted various vision statements from his past experiences, such as “delivering wow” and “delivering happiness” and illustrated how once everyone is aligned under that vision, all actions flow from the desire to achieve it. From top to bottom, employee attitudes and actions will change for the best if they are governed by a simple, overarching vision statement. His examples of how contact center employees took Zappos’ vision to heart during customer interactions to drive repeat business is a testament to that fact.

You Can’t Keep Doing Things the Way You’ve Always Done Them

Just because you’ve been handling customer sales and service the same way for a long time doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the right solution for right now. As he stresses, no matter whether you are B2B or B2C, you are selling to a human, and human expectations change. From a customer service standpoint, you must constantly be in discussion with the decision makers at your company to ensure that you are adapting your customer offerings to the current climate. Everything is in disruption, and no industry is safe from change with the advancements made by technology. As he says, “If you think you’re going to stay the way you are, good luck. You won’t be around much longer.”

Shift Your Focus

Don’t simply focus on what you sell or deliver; instead, focus on making every experience with your company a positive and memorable one. Dr. Vik used his time at Zappos as a prime example of this concept; as they were only selling commodities (brand name shoes), they could not affect the product like many other businesses can. However, they could make the customer experience as easy and effortless as possible. They strived to remove all of the friction and barriers for customers that wanted to use their service. While consumers may have had the option to buy the same products elsewhere, possibly for even cheaper, the high level of service brought them in initially and kept them there. By focusing on exceptional service as well as offering an exceptional product, you can create a cycle of customer loyalty that will sustain your business for years.

Of course, there are so many more nuggets of knowledge to be learned from Dr. Vik. These are simply three of the most memorable lessons he helped to explain during my chat with him. Adopting his wisdom will help you ensure your customers are having a positive and memorable experience.


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