For Zappos, What Happens In Vegas Doesn’t Stay In Vegas

Zappos is delivering happinessDue to remarkable growth in the last year, Rent It Today is in the process of exploring implementation of a call center which would support the company web site.  Steve Rice is the Rent It Today employee who is spearheading the call center feasibility study along with Rent It Today founder Jason Glass.

Glass has been an ardent student of the business model developed by Tony Hsieh and his successful online company, Zappos. So when Rice told Glass recently he was taking a trip to Las Vegas, NV, the city where Zappos is based, Glass encouraged Rice to visit Zappos headquarters to get a first hand look at their operations and take advantage of the opportunity to personally experience Zappos’ corporate culture.

Rice learned Zappos offers a structured tour of their corporate headquarters and participants have an opportunity to learn about the Zappos Family approach to customer loyalty, human resources, recruiting, training, and culture creation.  So he took them up on their offer and took the tour while he was visiting Las Vegas.


A Tour Of Zappos Corporate Headquarters

During the 60 minute tour, one of twelve conducted daily by the firm, Rice experienced the inner workings of the Zappos Family of companies, learned the history of and found out how $1 billion dollars in gross merchandise sales was achieved in less than 10 years. He also experienced how a values based organization uses strong culture to live out every day, and got to meet their designated Culture Magician, Rocco, who heads up the tour function for Zappos.

Zappos Culture gets employees engaged

The tour began with a video presentation recounting the Zappos story. The tour then visited each department, incorporating different points about what makes Zappos a unique workplace.

Among the interesting insights Rice observed was Zappos employees have access to a life coach who, though on staff, is not tied to human resources. Zappos associates are encouraged to discuss with the life coach their goals and how to achieve them, whether they are work related or not.

Another takeaway for Rice was Zappos’ focus on making a personal emotional connection with customers. Zappos call center representatives are part of the Customer Loyalty Team. Each page on the Zappos website contains the call center telephone number, which is always answered by a live person. Rice said every employee he encountered on the tour was upbeat and friendly. He related that Zappos provides a cost free company dining facility during each day, among other generous benefits.

Zappos Founder Tony Hsieh

The Core Values That Drive Zappos                    

Rice was introduced to the ten core values of Zappos. They are:

  • Deliver WOW Through Service
  • Embrace and Drive Change
  • Create Fun and A Little Weirdness
  • Be Adventurous, Creative, and Open-Minded
  • Pursue Growth and Learning
  • Build Open and Honest Relationships With Communication
  • Build a Positive Team and Family Spirit
  • Do More With Less
  • Be Passionate and Determined
  • Be Humble

At the end of the tour, Rice and his tour partners each received a complimentary copy of Hseih’s book, Delivering Happiness, and the Zappos 2011 Culture Book, a compilation of insights from Zappo’s employees. Rent It Today will be well served by Rice’s experience should the company elect to proceed with the call center implementation.

Zappos was  acquired by online powerhouse in 2009, and is in the process of constructing a new corporate headquarters. Relocation to the new headquarters is expected to take place in August. For information about booking a Zappos tour, please visit their tour information site.

About Bob Schrichte

Robert Bob Schrichte is a graduate of Ohio State University with a B.A. in Journalism and a minor in Communications. Bob’s background is in both sales and writing. He enjoys spoiling a good walk in the woods by bringing along his golf bag. Follow Bob Schrichte on Google+