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Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Zappos Company Culture - The Zappos Family on Nightline

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Tonight on Nightline, one giant step

The economy may be struggling but from strappy sandals to sexy

From cross trainers to crocs, this shoe store is revolutionizing how business

Gets done

From the global resources of ABC News with Terry Moran, Martin Bashi

And Cynthia Mcfadden

In New York City, this is Nightline

If you're looking for a certain pair of shoes, there's a warehouse in Kentucky

That probably has them. They've got a thousand brands in just about every

Style, size and color

Four million pairs of shoes

24 hours a day they're boxing them up and shipping them out

To shoe shoppers sitting in the comfort of home.

Good morning and thank you for calling Zappos.com

Where Elvis once was spotted in our warehouse looking for a pair of blue

Suede shoes

This is Zappos.com and what Amazon did for books

Zappos is doing for shoes. They're trying to revolutionize how business is done

And how people work. The name is an adaptation of the Spanish word for shoe

And this year, nine years after going into business

Zappos is on track to sell a billion dollarsworth of shoes

You will have these shoes on Monday by free upgrade

yeah

And they're having a party doing it. One night it was a toga party

Work hard, play hard

Is everybody having a good time? Yeah

Tour the Zappos offices and there's a cheerfulness you won't find

In the dull offices of corporate America

Hi, everybody. Thanks for coming

Every department has its own way of greeting visitors

Zappos' headquarter is in Las Vegas, where they do have office carol like almost

Any other corporation

But right there in the middle, we may have missed him

There he is. Tony Hsieh, the emperor of shoes

With no more office space than Dilbert.

One of the things that's really important for us

Actually probably the most important focus for Zappos is to make sure we have

The absolute best company culture

And part of our culture is just having a family like atmosphere

And at times it looks like one of those

Internet startups that disappeared when the bubble burst

Go! Here's the entire finance department racing

Pine wood derby cars in the office but unlike those failed startups

Last year Zappos made a five percent profit. Not bad

And in multiples how many times more than a call center worker do you make?

I don't have a calculator, but I...

My salary is $36,000 dollars a year, so...

I think someone may make more than me

Some of the people in the call center make more? Yeah

Of course, he can afford it

Just a few years after college, Hsieh sold the Internet company to Microsoft for $265 million dollars

But you wouldn't know it

How many pairs of shoes do you have?

I probably have about 10 pairs right now

But prior to Zappos, I used to have one pair that I would wear for two years until it has holes in it

And then buy the same pair again

So you are not that into shoes Im not that into shoes

What he's into is building a company where

People love to work and customer like doing business

We would just want to be about the very best customer service and the very best

Customer experience

Selling shoes over the internet would seem difficult

People wanna try them on, see the size and color. Zappos overcame that with

Free shipping, both ways. Order as many shoes as you like

You have a year, 365 days

To return what you don't want. Okay and then once we get it back in

And it can take 48 hours to process back in

But we will refund you for the $41 dollars

And if they treat the customers well

They do pretty well by the employees, too. Free food is always available in the cafeteria

So even the snacks are free

Go E5

And here we go

I'm enjoying it

But that's nothing. The company also pays 100% the medical and dental benefits

Why in this world there's such a revolutionary idea to treat your employees and your customers well?

Yeah, I think just because you don't really see the payoff right away

You see the payoff year two years sometimes three years down the line

It's a great day here at Zappos. This is Stephanie. How can I help you?

At the heart of the Zappos' revolution is the call center

Where actual human beings answer the phone. Hi, pal, how are you doing?

A lot of companies have learned that they can be rude to their customers

They can give them bad service They can even not answer the telephone

And people still have to do business with them

And right today that's because they don't really have a choice

How can I help you today? 95% of Zapposbusiness comes over the Internet

But they spend a lot of time and money

Training people to talk to customers on the phone

There's a four-week training course that every single employee

From the executives on down are required to take, even if their job don't usually require talking with customers

Ill be happy to help you with that Do you know that you know your order number?

You don't know your order number. OK, no problem

Do you have a phone number that would be on your account?

Sari Levine already works in the design department

But she was a member of the latest call center class

And just before they were hired

She and the rest were offered cash to walk away

We are actually increasing the offer to $2,000 dollars

But today is the last day

Were you gonna...The truth is...

We offer them money to quit because we really want to make sure that

People that are working at Zappos are truly passionate about the company

And this is the place that they want to be

Very few take it Are you ready to get started?

For the graduates business ceremony

And circumstance, diplomas, the Zappos pledge

I'm on a Zappos mission to live and deliver WOW

I'm on a Zappos mission to live and deliver WOW

I'm with core values and gonna start now I'm with core values and gonna start now

They actually do have a list of 10 core values

Create fun and a little weirdness

It's just a fun way of saying that we really respects and celebrate everyone's individuality

Pursue growth and learning Do a lot of people tend to get kinda stuck?

I think it's just really important for people to feel engaged

They always need to feel like they're learning and growing

I noticed immediately coming in

At a graduation ceremony people smiling and laughing and clapping and making jokes

But you were very reserved

Yeah, and that's part of what I mean. When I say, I'm not the one that is

Saying okay here's what the culture should be

Why isn't your phone center in India?

Because we don't think you're gonna be able to give

Great customer service by outsourcing it

And for us, customers...if customer service is what our brand is going to be about

Then you can't outsource that If a customer is looking for

A specific pair of shoes and we're out of stock their size, say

Everyone here is trained to look on at least three competitor web sites

And they find the shoes in stock of our competitor, direct the customer to the competitor

And thatWhat do you get out of that?

Somebody else sells the shoes Yeah, we lose that sale

What they get they think is customer loyalty

75% of their businesses is people who come back

And part of their training is exposing employees to every part of the business

Remember Sari Levine?

After finishing her training at the call center she's now shipping shoes in Kentucky

And your last number should be 3184

Part of the training program we call it KY boot camp

We got our Kentucky Fulfillment Center

And you do understand

Every single aspect of how the warehouse works

Now Zappos is branching in the things like clothing and electronics

They're not stuck on shoes

And so we'll listen to our customers and try out different suggestions

They even suggested cookware, so we're selling cookware

So you just have customers who like you so much

They just want to do business with you

Almost no matter what it is they're buying

Yeah, we have received emails from customers that have asked us to

Start an airline and you know we're not gonna do that this year

But thirty years now I wouldn't rule out as a Zappos Airlines

In that case you probably have to pay for shipping

This is Brian Rooney for Nightline in Las Vegas

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