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Zapponian Spotlight: Stephanie H.

At Zappos, we like to make sure that Customer Loyalty Team has someone they can turn to if they need some additional information. This is called the Resource Department. We also like to make sure the Resource Department (“RDesk” for short) has someone they can turn to if they need additional information. This role is called the quartermaster. They are like the Resource Department’s resource department! They have even more Inception-like qualities.

One such quartermaster is the indefatigable Stephanie H. The H stands for “hunka burnin’ love”. Ok, that’s not actually true. The H is a closely guarded Zappos secret. I sat down with Stephanie to see what other secrets she might have…

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First question is a challenge. If you answer it, you receive one point. Then at the end of the interview, we’ll see who has the most points.

SH: Wait, so I’m competing against you, and you know the answers to everything? 

No, I don’t know the answers to everything. If you feel like you have any challenges you wish to issue during the interview, you are free to do so. You should know that gives me opportunities to pass you in point. Ok, are you ready?

SH: Yes.

Ok, that is one point for you since you got that one right. Now for question two. Can you describe for me what quartermasters do. But your answer must be an acrostic that spells the word “pirate”!

SH: Ok, so P- I help “please” the team. If they have questions, I help answer them. Or if they need anything like tissues because their nose is running --

Or they’re crying.

SH: Or they’re crying. I‘m there to wipe their tears. And their nose. Ok, the letter I. Can I just make the “I” me? I’m quartermaster so “I”. R is “run around and dance”. A is --

(At this point, a Zappos Insights tour group from Taiwan joins us in the UFO meeting room…)

SH: A for “all kinds of stuff”. T for “telephone”, I answer that. E for “excitement”…

(the Taiwanese tour group applauds here)

What question have you always wanted to be asked in an interview and why?

 

SH: Whether I’m hungry or not, because my answers will have a lot to do with whether I’m hungry or not--or grumpy. But if I’ve had food, I’m a happier person.

Wow. If you ever get interviewed again, I hope someone asks you that question.

Anyway, next question. So, you notice there’s this pad and pen in front of you. To a layman, it might seem more logical for the pad to be in front of me. But I assure you this is not an error. For your next question, you must explain what Zappos culture means to you. But while you answer, you must close your eyes and draw a rabbit.

SH: Umm, ok.  [draws bunny] To me, the Zappos culture means that I can go to work, and I can have a fun time. I still get my work done, but I can dance around in between calls, and I can sing and express myself. 

Keep answering until the bunny is done! You ran out of answer before you ran out of bunny!

SH: Is that cheating? Oh no! And yeah that’s it!

Stephanie puts the pen down. I hold up the drawing of the bunny.

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Stephanie's rabbit & a real rabbit for reference.

The tour group “oohs” and “ahhs”.

If you could be any kind of shoe, what would you be?

SH: I would be an Alexander McQueen heel because I can’t afford one.

That is the end! Thanks so much Stephanie for taking the time to do this Zapponian Spotlight interview!

Oh, and those tourists? Some say that they are still in the Zappos UFO to this very day, whispering things that you can’t understand. ‘Til next time!

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Zappos Makes FORTUNE 100 Best Companies to Work For ® List!

Zappos.com is thrilled to have made the FORTUNE 100 Best Companies to Work For ® list for the 6th year in a row! 

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Thank you FORTUNE for recognizing Zappos alongside the best workplaces in the country. 

We're thankful and humbled by our employees who work every day to make this recognition a possibility and we look forward to maintaining this standard employment throughout the year.  

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In honor of our 38th place on the top 100 list, we're starting the day right here in DTLV, with donuts of course! 

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Zappos Baggage Claim Game!

At Zappos.com, we love to create unexpected stories that surprise and delight people going about their everyday activities.

On the busiest travel day of the year, the day before Thanksgiving, we decided to bring some of that special, unexpected surprise to travelers in Houston, TX.

We wrapped a baggage belt with prizes, and turned the baggage claim area - one of the most dreaded places for travelers - into a game show.
Introducing the Zappos Baggage Claim Game. #TravelHappy!

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Zapponian Spotlight: Paul W.

create fun and a little weirdness, zapponian spotlight, zappos customer loyalty team, zappos employee spotlight, zappos employees, ZCLTDeep within the pit of midnight inside the Zappos Campus, ancient stalking figures turn the wheels of the insomniac giant. This team of nighttime warriors almost singlehandedly uphold the Zappos promise to be available 24 hours a day, sacrificing sunlight and access to any business closing at 5 pm. One such figure is Zapponian Paul W. Once believed to be a legend in the vein of Bigfoot, Paul was recently confirmed manifest by a passing Zapponian raiding the Bistro off regular business hours for a midnight snack.

A proud member of the fabulous Zappendales, Paul Walker's e-mail skills are so magnanimous that he makes answering a phone call look like live chatting a tweet. But how can this figure of Olympian online correspondence cope with the tedium of a world that doesn't understand his art? Often, he copes by dressing up all lady-like. Today, we take a long hard look into the abyss to determine the man, the myth, the motorcyclist. (Paul only agreed to speak with us if this interview was clothing optional…) 

This first question comes with a challenge. There are five words you are not allowed to use in your answer. The five words are "dance, sing", "gyrate", "guitar", and "showgirl". 

PW: So you can say them, but I cannot. 

 

Right, I can say them. You can't point to me and say "Say this one". That would be cheating. The question is "What do you do in the Zappendales?"

PW: I am the lead singer--

 

(BUZZ) You can't say "singer". 

PW: You see, I didn't see "singer" [on the list] just "sing" and that threw me off! 

 

You can't say "singer". You can't say variations of the words: "singer", "dancer", etc.

PW: Gyration? 

 

No.

PW: Ok, I am the "baws" (spelled B-A-W-S) of Zappendales. Just so we're clear on that. I make the decisions and what I say goes. When it does not, I throw a tantrum in my trailer, because that is what we celebrities do.

 

What is the greatest foe that Captain Anomaly (your secret alter ego) has ever faced and what did Captain Anomaly (who you don't want anyone to know is you) do about it, Captain Anomaly?

PW: Doctor Normality. In the eyes of the public, I would like to say I vanquished him through providing excellent customer service. He likes to keep things toned down; he likes to mess with people. He likes to delay their shipments. And I like to go above and beyond, stop him, do what I can to WOW our customers and keep him at bay.

And when that doesn't work, I found his address through our friends in order verification, and I set him on fire. He won't be delaying shipments any time soon!

 

What do the letters Z, A, P, P, O, and S mean to you?

PW: Misspelled "Zappendales". 

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This next question is for the ladies.

PW: Well, I have the figure of a malnourished twelve-year-old-girl, so I think I can still answer this one. 

 

Uh, I mean this question is for their benefit. 

PW: Oh, oh! Right. Of course! Of course.

 

Z: If you could be any shoe, what would you be and why?

PW: [Slams his shoe on the table] I would be a Vibram® Five Finger®. I am wearing the KSOs. You can actually get those on Zappos.com! Free one business day shipping and returns. 365- day return policy! I don't know if you knew that…

 

Z: Final question, I just want your opinion on something.

PW: Definitely shave it. 

 

Z: Uh... not that. I often entertain my team with my spot-on impression of you. I wanted to get your opinion on it. [Does an absolutely perfect Paul Walker impression]

PW: Do you mind if I give you a little bit of feedback? I'm not going to sugarcoat it. I hope that's ok with you. I just like to give it straight…to give all the truth and just plow it straight on. Is that going to be all right?

There were too many clothes, alright? That's not my style. There was not enough pelvic gyration…I can say gyration now, right? That was just for that first question?...and you didn't express any of my amazing talents or skills: my dance moves, my convincing brow to lure the ladies in, so those are my recommendations.

-----------

There you have it! After speaking to Paul, I learned what a quick wit and comedic mastermind he is! I can see why he is such a popular member of the Zappos family. Thanks so much, Paul!

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Content Has No Limits!

Content’s fall 2013 Olympics last week at the beautiful Springs Preserve.  Following tradition, the department was divided into six teams distinguished by color.  Each team came up with their name and was encouraged to show team spirit by representing their color.  Competing this year were The Hornets, Chicks with Tricks, Blue Steel, Purple Haze, Orange is the New Black, and The Lone Pink Rangers.

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The fun-filled event started off with four Minute-to-Win-It games: Suck It Up, Cookie Face, Speed Eraser, and the hilarious Junk in the Trunk.  The latter involved contestants shaking ping pong balls out of empty tissue boxes that were tied around their rears.  Up next was an intense round of trivia with questions from five different categories.  Isn’t it funny how people are always convinced that their buzzers don’t work?  The competition wrapped up with a photo scavenger hunt.  Teams were given clues to various attractions throughout the Springs Preserve and a time limit to find as many of those as possible. 

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The day wound down with socializing over a delicious catered meal, including sandwiches & wraps, pasta salad, potato salad, chips, cookies, and assorted beverages.  Small prizes were awarded for Best Team Name (Blue Steel) and Best Use of Team Color (Chicks with Tricks).  Fabulous prizes will be awarded to 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place overall winning teams at Content’s next department meeting October 1st.  Until then, the judges are keeping those scores under wraps.  Although, they may or may not be accepting bribes…

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@Zappos_Service Answers Your Most Pressing Questions---Right Now!

Did you know that you can tweet Zappos Customer Service anytime, any day of the week and they’ll respond in minutes? If you not, let me introduce you to “@Zappos_Service” -- your exclusive resource for getting questions answered…right now.

When it comes to providing exceptional customer service, Zappos has long been recognized as an innovator (CEO Tony Hsieh literally wrote a book on the topic).

So, it makes sense that they lead the pack when it comes to serving customers on social media. They respond literally 100 percent of the time when customers send them questions on Twitter, far superior to the 14 percent response rate my company reported in a recent social customer service study. Zappos doesn’t just respond either. They start conversations and they scour the Twitterverse for opportunities to surprise and delight Zappos customers in need.

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For example, this customer that was having trouble finding a pair of sneakers he liked. Luckily, the @Zappos_Service team was there to the rescue.

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Recently, I had a chance to catch up with @Zappos_Service crew to find out exactly how they provide exceptional customer service in the social media context. Here’s what they had to say:

Does the @Zappos_Service team literally respond 24/7?

ZS: Just like our contact center, we are manning the @Zappos_Service twitter account 24/7. Our graveyard team takes care of responses in the wee hours of the morning. So we’re here to help, whether it’s a 3 a.m. fashion emergency, or a lunchtime shopping break.

Do you respond to questions that mention Zappos, regardless of whether they use the full @Zappos_Service handle?

ZS: We respond to anyone that mentions Zappos (and a few misspelled variations just in case, as well), as long as their account is public so that we can see the tweet. It can be a question about an order, a comment on an item they found on the site, a news article with our name mentioned, or even if they are just bored and want to have conversation!

What other tactics do you use to keep the experience awesome for your Twitter-azzi?

ZS: We try to showcase our team’s personalities, so we encourage back and forth between them and our Twitter friends about anything at all. Creating Fun & a Little Weirdness is Core Value #3, and we get a lot of opportunity to do this on Twitter. The team normally introduces themselves at the start of their block of time working Twitter, and will try to engage folks somehow. This could be anything from asking who’s excited about football starting to asking opinions on the greatest Prince song of all time.

Give @Zappos_Service a ring--they’re here to help day or night, rain or shine!

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Trading Places: "West Coast Meets Southern Style"

This internship has gone by so fast! I can’t believe I only have a couple weeks left with the other interns! One of my favorite components of the internship has been the mentor program. A group of three to four interns are assigned to a single mentor, who operates not as a manager or direct report, but as someone to go to with questions about work, Zappos culture, or any other concerns. The mentor also acts as a guide for the intern culture project.

My mentor Thomas has met with me and his other interns weekly to create personal weekly goals, and discuss any concerns with the internship. Although I have never been one to regularly set and update personal goals, I have found that doing so has helped me see my progress.

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One of my favorite bonding moments with Thomas happened a couple weeks ago. He and I were talking about men’s style after grabbing some beverages from the ZCafé. Off the cuff, I commented that I thought his style was very “West Coast.” He took offense, and we spent the rest of the day going around asking random Zapponians whether or not he dressed in a “West Coast” fashion.

I myself am from the South, and I consider my style to be rather preppy. So we came up with the idea to switch styles for a day. I would dress like him, and he would dress like me. I didn’t have a lot of West-Coast attire in my wardrobe, so Thomas let me borrow some of his clothes, and I went out and bought the rest. The next day, Thomas dressed as preppy as possible, while I tried to go for the most stereotypical West-Coast outfit. We proceeded to go around the office (once again) and figure out who impersonated the other’s style better. I think it’s pretty clear who won. Hint: it’s the guy wearing the hat and Dickies shorts!

--Raphael Fix

Market Research Analyst Intern

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Exploring Natural Wonders Around Las Vegas

One of the best parts about interning at Zappos has to be living in Las Vegas. Prior to coming here this summer, I had visited Las Vegas countless times; however, like most tourists, my experience with the city was solely confined to The Strip. Don’t get me wrong, I still find The Strip to be a really fun and lively place to be. But since living here, I have definitely expanded my horizons, and took the chance to really explore the city and its surroundings on the weekends.

Las Vegas is surrounded by a natural playground. The city is within a few hours of multiple major national parks (Zion, Bryce Canyon, and the Grand Canyon), and has amazing hiking trails in its backyard. My roommates and I have had a lot of fun going on hikes on the weekends.

Our first hike was to Red Rock Canyon, located 45 minutes from Henderson, near the city of Summerlin. I, along with my roommates, Misty and Patrice, and fellow interns Josh and Kevin, hiked through the Calico Tanks trail. The hike was a new, fun experience for me because it was full of a lot of “firsts:” Foremost, it was my first time hiking through a desert in the crazy desert heat; it was also my first time seeing wild cactus, and the other native species in the area; and it was the first time that I had ever seen such colossal red rocks. The hike itself was a perfect mix of adventure and  challenge. Let’s just say that somehow we ended up venturing off the trail, and ended our hike because we came to face a giant rock wall. Regardless, this hike was a lot of fun, and a great way to become closer to my fellow interns!

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This past weekend we went a little farther from Las Vegas, and went hiking at Zion National Park. This hike was hands down my favorite hike ever! Zion is a 2.5 hour drive from Las Vegas, so it was perfect for a day trip. Misty, Patrice and I planned to hike The Narrows, so we rented some aqua gear from the Zion Adventure Company. We got to wear some stylish aqua socks and shoes, and use a walking stick that became our savior through the slippery hike. This hike was really cool because we ventured through two miles of water that, at times, came up to our ribs! The best part about the hike was being able to swim whenever we got too hot! Fortunately, this time we did not get lost, and we made it to the Wall Street junction where we took a lot of fun pictures.

Going hiking on the weekends has been some of the most amazing things that I have done since being here. Aside from hiking, there are numerous things to do when you have spare time. Las Vegas really has something for everyone, and I have enjoyed exploring many of the natural activities that the city has to offer this summer!

 

--Danielle Yun

Non-Trade Purchasing Intern