Zappos is well-respected in the business community for its corporate culture. CEO Tony Hsieh worked hard for that culture, employing some novel and unique business practices.
One simple thing he did: make it mandatory for all employees to spend time in customer service.
Tony wanted to build the most customer-friendly company in the world. And to do that, he rightly decided that everything begins and ends with customer service.
In order to truly drive that message home, to make Zappos a customer-first company, every employee takes customer service calls as part of their training after getting hired. It doesn’t matter if you are in marketing, or sales, or IT. You spend some time in customer service.
You might think that a little bit silly. You might think that would never work in your company. You might think a better way to get good at customer service is to focus on putting the right people on the phones with customers.
But there are real benefits to spending time in customer service.
1. It makes you appreciate how difficult the job really is. Then maybe we can all stop treating customer service is a necessary evil.
2. It’s the best way to truly understand the customer, by spending time listening to them talk and tell you what they expect from your products or services.
3. It opens your eyes to the reality of your company’s offerings, including any potential flaws or opportunities for improvement.
4. When approached with the right mindset, it can be extremely rewarding to turn a customer’s negative experience into a positive one.
Everyone at the company, especially marketers and managers, should spend more time in customer service.