Just How Important is Culture?

Tony Hsieh is the former CEO of iconic online retailer, Zappos. How he grew an online company from $1.6M to over $1.1B by focusing on excellent customer service is captured in his insightful book, Delivering Happiness.

Zappos’ call center staff (referred to as the Customer Loyalty Team) don’t follow mindless scripts, aren’t held accountable for average call times and don’t insult customers with transparent efforts to upsell. What is expected is that they establish a PEC or personal emotional connection with each customer.

So what was the core principle that allowed Hsieh to achieve this? That culture is the number one priority.

‘We’ve actually passed on smart, talented people that could have had an immediate impact on our top or bottom line because they don’t fit in with the company culture.’

Culture drives everything. What does your culture need to look like to win? Would you pass on hiring talent that could immediately impact your financials? Who in your organization does not fit the culture and what is that costing you?

Your thoughts?


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