Friday, July 10, 2009

Why Must Everything Be Measured?

Wednesday I emailed Tony Hsieh at and asked him:
"... At Zappos do you use any metrics to justify or measure customer service and word-of-mouth success. We’ve been having a debate that this is the reason many companies don’t adopt a true “customer service” model for their business. It’s just not easy to measure, but so many companies have proven that the model is superior (ie – Disney, Ritz Carlton, Zappos, Nordstrom, Chick-fil-a, etc.). What are your thoughts? ..."

Here's the response I received Thursday:
"... We do not measure the amount of returning and new customers from our word-of-mouth model of business. You are correct that it is not easy to measure. We are more focused on creating a relationship between us and the customer. Once we do this, everything else naturally follows. I hope you didn't lose the debate with this news! ..."

Why does it work for them? How can they justify what they do without measuring it?

My answer, because it's more fun. It's more fun to give away free shipping there or back, it's more fun to "do whatever it takes" to satisfy a customer, it's more fun to actually be well trained for the job that you do, it's more fun to have a free lunch everyday, etc., etc., etc.

Create relationships, have fun, enjoy the experience. Sounds easy enough doesn't it?

If you want more, here's what Tony had to say about company culture back in January on his blog. Enjoy.
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