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"Customer Service at Every Stage of Growth," >> Will Young [COMMERCISM 2014]
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"Customer Service at Every Stage of Growth," >> Will Young [COMMERCISM 2014]


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  • Ask the audience – put your hand up if you have a close friend who has worked at a failed startup?I’m sure many or all the people will put their hands upThen ask them to keep their hands up if their friend’s startup failed because they invested too much in customer service. Chances are no one will keep their hand up?
  • Quickly hit on the things Zappos is well known for
  • This great service didn’t happen overnight.
  • Twitter track feature was a way they used to SMS you any tweet that had certain words in it. Tony used to have “track shoes” in the early days and then switched to just “track zappos” as shoes became overwhelming. This was before hootsuite and all these twitter CRM tools existed. Be inspired by what people are saying + and motivated by what people are saying –Tony read every email until about 2006/2007 – we were almost billion dollar company already. His secret – use pine <screenshot> Pandora example
  • Tony still uses PINE to blast through emails.
  • What is best?Depends on your business.Repeat order frequency, size of order, orders for multiple peopleMaybe VIP are the ones who tweet about you that have high follower counts
  • Anecdote- Tony set up our systems
  • No matter how big you get, never stop spending time in the call center.This picture is from Dec 2013. It’s me and Fred Mosler who has been a Zappos for almost 15 years and was our first real buyer. Every holiday season every Zappos employee works 8 hours in the call center.Some of the best CRM tools were built out of a developer working on the phones and saying “this should be better”
  • Customer service is more than answering the phonesTony personally managed the UPS relationship in the beginningHe spent lots of the early days setting up the warehouseWrote our own order management software (invented the concept of LPN)Tony wrote a lot of our CRM tool which we still use todayTony never wrote CRM software or managed a warehouse before. But he threw himself into it. He even invented a brand new concept called LPN.Obsess about the tools and process you use for your customers because they help make the experience better
  • iDoneThis is a service I use on my ZapposLabs teamWalter the CEO sends what I’m sure was an automated but personal email checking inThe timing was perfect because it was sent 2 days after signing up and I did have a questionWalter helped me with some issues I was having and I converted from trial to paidWe found out we worked across the street from each other and got coffee and became friends
  • Walter goes on to talk about how when he was trying to raise a bridge and was struggling, he reached out to his best customers (that included me) and I was one of his first investorsQuote from the article:Right off the bat, I noticed that the questions that our customers asked were different. Unlike VCs’ questions, our customers’ questions were less focused on the size of the opportunity and they were more focused on the product and the soul behind it, and that’s how we got to know each other better.Ultimately, when these folks decided to invest, I actually felt tremendously moved because I felt like we had a deep alignment and shared obsession–that made me feel as if we were really finding our tribe–not an intellectual agreement on a market opportunity based on a detached scientific analysis.- Walter Chen
  • How you publicly respond to your customers is a reflection of you as an entrepreneurHow you support your earlier supporters is a big indication of what kind of entreneur you will be- As an investor, I have checked how people support their early kickstarter backers. Above example is where they were amazing and we are investing in them
  • - Another entreneur came to us for investment and after looking at how they didn’t support their early backers on kickstarter, I wouldn’t touch them
  • Can we make instagram the easiest way to have a personal shopper
  • Service isn’t just about helping people when they complainYou can stand out and be buzz worthy by getting creative on how to help your customersIf you are going to one-up your competitors, it’s hard to sustain that on price and selection. One up each other on service
  • I have no idea. But think of your cost of acquisiton. What is the cost of retention? Keep on to the customers you have with great service. It’s cheaper than acquiring new ones.Don’t even lose sleep trying to calculate the ROI. Just do it.
  • Transcript

    • 1. @whatupwilly of @ZapposLabs 1 Standing out with service Beyond Delivering Happiness
    • 2. @whatupwilly of @ZapposLabs About Me • Will Young (@whatupwilly) – Director of @ZapposLabs – General Partner @VegasTechFund 2
    • 3. @whatupwilly of @ZapposLabs ZapposLabs 3 Exploring the future of Zappos through non-traditional retail experiments!
    • 4. @whatupwilly of @ZapposLabs VegasTechFund – We <3 eCom 4
    • 5. @whatupwilly of @ZapposLabs KNOW A FRIEND AT A FAILED STARTUP? 5
    • 6. @whatupwilly of @ZapposLabs 6 "We believe that customer service shouldn't be just a department; it should be the entire company." - Tony Hsieh, Zappos CEO
    • 7. @whatupwilly of @ZapposLabs The things you have heard already • Culture is the #1 priority (customer is not first) • Core value of “Deliver WOW through service” • 4 weeks of call center training for ALL employees • $4000 to quit at the end of training • Legendary calls and stories 7
    • 8. @whatupwilly of @ZapposLabs SO WHAT CAN YOU DO? 8
    • 9. @whatupwilly of @ZapposLabs OBSESS ABOUT LISTENING TO YOUR CUSTOMER 9
    • 10. @whatupwilly of @ZapposLabs How? • Remember Twitter “track” feature? • Guess how long Tony read every customer support email? • is stupid 10
    • 11. @whatupwilly of @ZapposLabs Tony’s “secret” weapon 11
    • 12. @whatupwilly of @ZapposLabs KNOW YOUR BEST CUSTOMERS 12
    • 13. @whatupwilly of @ZapposLabs Know how to identify your VIPs • Influencer based marketing is ok… • But, your best customers are your influencers • Learn to quickly identify them • Don’t be afraid to personally reach out 13
    • 14. @whatupwilly of @ZapposLabs 14
    • 15. @whatupwilly of @ZapposLabs NEVER STOP WORKING THE PHONES 15
    • 16. @whatupwilly of @ZapposLabs 16
    • 17. @whatupwilly of @ZapposLabs GREAT SERVICE IS THE ENTIRE EXPERIENCE 17
    • 18. @whatupwilly of @ZapposLabs 18
    • 19. @whatupwilly of @ZapposLabs STAND OUT TO INVESTORS 19
    • 20. @whatupwilly of @ZapposLabs 20
    • 21. @whatupwilly of @ZapposLabs 21
    • 22. @whatupwilly of @ZapposLabs Good! 22
    • 23. @whatupwilly of @ZapposLabs Bad 23
    • 24. @whatupwilly of @ZapposLabs GO BEYOND MARKETING AND CUSTOMER SERVICE ON SOCIAL 24
    • 25. @whatupwilly of @ZapposLabs #ootd 25 say what?
    • 26. @whatupwilly of @ZapposLabs 26
    • 27. @whatupwilly of @ZapposLabs 27
    • 28. @whatupwilly of @ZapposLabs 28
    • 29. @whatupwilly of @ZapposLabs 29
    • 30. @whatupwilly of @ZapposLabs WHAT’S THE ROI OF GOOD SERVICE? 30
    • 31. @whatupwilly of @ZapposLabs 31 What’s the ROI of your mother? - @garyvee What’s the ROI of a hug? - @tonyhsieh
    • 32. @whatupwilly of @ZapposLabs • customer-service-customer-experience/ 32
    • 33. @whatupwilly of @ZapposLabs 33 Thanks for having me! - Will Young @whatupwilly Hit me up if you want to exchange friends and family coupons! 