Tony Hsieh, the former CEO of Zappos, believed that ensuring customer engagement was the best way to increase sales and make a business successful. And he had it exactly right. Find out how Hsieh created the ultimate customer service experience and how you can implement his tactics to make your own business amazing.

So what?: 

In your drive to increase consumer loyalty and retention, use advice from Tony Hsieh to capture customer engagement. Aside from engaging customers it will lead to increased product sales and heighten your company’s reputation and profitability. This helps you make a lasting impression and leads to a sense of fulfillment.

Tony Hsieh had a simple plan. Increase consumer happiness and you will have loyal, engaged customers. This leads to a successful business and one that has products flying off the shelf. As a manager, you can incorporate some of his ideas and make your job easier and more profitable. Let’s delve into how you can do this.

Make Your Contact Information Available Everywhere

No one likes to search for information to get in touch with a company. To solve this common customer frustration, Zappos puts its customer service phone number on every page of its website. This tells customers that the company puts customer happiness first, not the ruthless efficiency of driving customers to a contact form or chatbot. The message: “We are always here for you.”

Zappos also uses its phone number prominently in advertising campaigns: an ad on Google, on the side of a bus, or displayed on a taxi. Zappos even puts its phone number on the side of company vehicles. Where other companies try to cut costs by hiding the phone number and directing people online, Zappos takes the opposite approach — and so can you.

Employ Helpful, Friendly Customer Service Reps

Customers calling Zappos discover a warm, friendly person on the other end of the line. (Probably different from the last time you called a customer service number.)

Interactions between service reps and customers in the Zappos world often include topics such as birthdays, weddings, and other details about customer’s lives. These phone calls can take longer, but they result in more deeply engaged customers. For instance, a bride’s family member may need new shoes for the event, but may end up getting shoes for all the bridesmaids.

Some customer service reps even take the opportunity to send a handwritten thank-you note after their interaction with the customer. In one call, the customer representative helped the client find good spots to buy pizza. Your service reps can also go the extra mile, and your company can reap the rewards of customer engagement.

Customer Service representatives.

Use Your Own Website … As a Customer

Now that we’ve discussed some ways Zappos makes sure customers are satisfied, check to see if your service measures up. Start by searching your website for a customer service number. If it takes more than a few clicks, move it front and center. Then give the number a call.

Are your customer service reps friendly and knowledgeable? Do they go the extra mile? If a customer asks about a comparison between one product and another, do they take time to look? Are they working from a prepared script? Or, worse yet, do they end up in an endless automated phone tree?

Don’t Use a Phone Tree

Customers loathe phone trees and automated answering attendant systems. Instead, use live human beings to answer the phones and quickly redirect the call when needed. You’ll increase customer happiness tenfold and help promote a company culture that revolves around helping others.

Provide a 24-Hour Call Center for Customers

Customers feel frustrated when they call a company about a billing problem or return and discover the customer service line is closed down until the next day. People live busy lives and don’t need the frustration.

Zappos offers quick help every day of the week to assist their customers: so should you. Don’t try to go against the grain of a 24-hour society, or your customer numbers will decrease.

Make Your Company a Place of Happiness That Celebrates People

Zappos creates a happy place where people celebrate each other. For example, on their Twitter page, they have incentives such as their “Those Who Can Do…Teach” contest, which invites people to nominate their teacher to win products. This type of customer engagement holds true in their easy-to-search website and penchant for customer satisfaction.

Zappos is all about pleasing the customer. Why? Because they understand that word of mouth and repeat customers are what helps their company grow and prosper, and happiness is the key to success.

Take a Look at Your Return Policy

The return policy for Zappos is an incredible 365 days. Considering most companies offer free returns for 15 to 30 days and some for as long as 90 days, having an entire year to return a purchase is a stress reliever for some people.

However, some companies would face a financial loss by providing a one-year return period. For instance, some products are more timely than others, and some rely on popular trends that might be gone in 365 days. So, defining the conditions to suit your business is necessary. It is crucial that you establish a way to provide ample return time while avoiding a warehouse full of broken, used, or unusable items.

Woman laying on the floor holding a credit card and tablet.

Create a Place of Happiness for Customers and Employees

Tony Hsieh believed in happiness as a way to grow a business and be successful. Employees at Zappos feel enthusiastic about their jobs, and that carries forward into the way they approach both each other and their customers. The happiness concept changes the way people think about their jobs and the way management approaches employees and customers. Take this advice from one of the greatest entrepreneurs, and you’ll see a difference.

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