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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.

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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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@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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Zapponian Spotlight: Beth M.

Today's Zapponian Spotlight, Beth M., is a ZCLT rep on the graveyard team. So, if you happen to call our customer service lines at night, you just might get Beth helping you on the other line!

We decided to get to know Beth a little bit by asking her a couple of questions:

  zapponian spotlight, zappos customer loyalty team, Zappos customer service, Zappos Family,zappos graveyard team, zappos hq,ZCLT, What brought you to Las Vegas?

B: I was living in Portland, OR and had just lost a job of 8 years. I came here to visit my mom at Thanksgiving, shortly after my Dad had passed away. By the time I left, I decided that there was nothing holding me in Portland, and job opportunities were probably better in Vegas. Plus, I was a little worried about my mom being alone, and I wanted to live closer to her. I moved here in January of 2009, and got hit with the lucky stick by Zappos in August.  Surprisingly, I love it here. I grew up in So Cal, and came here a lot on weekends, but never imagined I'd live here!

What is your favorite musician or band?  

B: I love classic rock, like Santana, the Stones and Eric Clapton. I also love Kid Rock!

What 3 words describe your personality?

B: Silly, off-the-wall, and happy.

What do you like to do for fun?  

B: I'm a home body a lot of the time! I like hanging out with friends, going out to eat, gambling.  I love to garden, too, but all I have is gravel now so everything is in pots.

Working the Graveyard shift means I sleep most of the day, and I'm working when most people are out having fun, like on the weekends.

I really look forward to Zappos events like the awesome picnic we just had because I get a chance to reconnect with my Zappos Family!

What is your favorite core value and why? 

B: #3 - Create Fun and a Little Weirdness!  Anyone who knows me understands why. LOL 

What is your most embarrasing moment?  

B: Actually, not too much embarrasses me. However, I went to a Harvest Festival in Oregon with a friend who was visiting from L.A. There was one of those sling-shot things where you launched a pumpkin and there was a target to hit wayyyy off in the distance.  I was pulling it back really hard for a good launch, when my friend thought it would be a good idea to pull ME back (to help). The minute she pulled me, my feet slipped and I was flat on my back in a pool of mud. When I finally got up, there was a line of people who watched it happen. I was horrified! I had to finish the day walking around with the entire backside of me covered in mud!

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Holiday Helpers!

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Like Santa's little helpers, but better!

Our number one core value here in the Zappos Family is “Deliver WOW through service”. Delivering excellent customer service is really at the core of everything we do. That’s why our long-standing tradition of Holiday Helpers is still going strong.

Every holiday season, when our call volumes reach their highest levels of the year, every Zappos employee from every department is asked to jump on the phones for a few hours to help out our ZCLT team.

So, if you call our customer service number during the holiday season, there’s a chance you could get our CEO Tony Hsieh on the line! We all look forward to helping your holiday shopping experience be the best one yet.

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Zapponian Spotlight: Rose R.

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This week's Zapponian Spotlight, Rose R., is a ZCLT rep on the graveyard team. So if you happen to call our customer service lines at night, you just might get Rose helping you on the other line!

We decided to get to know Rose a little bit by asking her a couple of questions:

If you could be a mixed drink what drink would you be and why?

 R: Strawberry Daiquiri, because it is fruity and sweet.  I was once told that describes my personality!

If you had a plane ticket to go anywhere in the world where would you go?

R: To Paris and Italy.

Tell us an embarrassing moment you can remember.

R: I went to a party to watch my son DJ and he stopped the music to introduced me to the about 800 people in the audience!

So, your son is a DJ and you are his manager? what is the best part about working with your son?

R: I have been managing his career since he was 15 years old and enjoy working as his manager. I get the opportunity to meet celebrities and I enjoy the VIP treatment when I’m at his events!

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Customer Service Week Recap

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Clockwise: Holly from ZCLT smiles for the camera, Steven AKA Superman, Zappos Hero marshmallow pops (yum!), Rob, Director of ZCLT, fights ghosts with the Stay Puft marshmallow man!

To say thanks our wonderful Zappos Customer Loyalty Team (ZCLT), the Zappos family has been celebrating Customer Service Week all week long. Our wonderful PEACE team planned tons of fun events throughout the week, including a photo booth, hero parades, goodie giveaways, cash cube, free lunch day, root beer float day, and more!

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ZCLT Stories: "The 8-Hour Call"

Today is the first day of Customer Service Week, and we thought, what better way to kick it off than with the first ever ZCLT Stories!

We have a saying here in the Zappos Family that goes: “Zappos is a service company that just happens to sell… (you name it!)” . Part of that dedication to our customer service is illustrated in large part by our wonderful ZCLT family (Zappos Customer Loyalty Team). That’s why we decided to honor them by creating ZCLT Stories-a video series to share some pretty incredible stories that happen day after day in our customer loyalty floor.

This first edition of ZCLT Stories was inspired by one of the longest customer call times on record. (Did we mention that our ZCLT reps don’t have maximum call times or scripts?)

ZCLT rep Pua shares her story of the phone call that went down in Zappos history!

Special thanks to: Pua M., Vanessa L. (as Pua), Pat W. (as the customer), and to Chris AKA “Gonzo” for filming and editing the video.

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Zapponian Spotlight: Chris L.

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This week’s Zapponian Spotlight is on Chris L. from our ZCLT team. Chris is a karaoke connoisseur and a die-hard Oregon Ducks fan (as you’ll find out in his answers below!)

He’s also the captain of the unofficial Zappos kickball team and enjoys dressing in a Gumby costume if the need comes up. Read on to learn more about Chris!

Pick 3 words to describe your personal style.

C: Oregon Ducks” and “Zappos”. 80% of my wardrobe consists of Oregon Ducks gear, or Zappos shirts.  I refuse to shop for myself.  Therefore about all I own comes from either the shirts that we receive here, or Oregon Ducks gear.  I’m a huge Ducks fan, so if anyone feels compelled to get me a gift, it’s usually related to that.  I get a lot of comments when I wear anything else, because people are thrown off.

Who is your favorite musician or band?

C: If I had to choose a band, I would have to go with Foreigner.  If you listen to their greatest hits album, it’s amazing.  There is not one song that doesn’t capture your heart.  I had much less success with my purchase of the Hootie and the Blowfish greatest hits.  It reminded me that they only had about 4 true hits, though I did love them.

Name 3 things you never leave home without?

C: Pants, swag, and a smile

If you could have dinner with one famous person, who would it be?

C: Phil Knight.  He is affectionately known as “Uncle Phil” to anyone that attends the University of Oregon. He’s the founder of Nike and a simply awesome individual.

What’s the weirdest thing to ever happen to you?

C: I’m sure I’ve had stranger things happen to me, but at the moment I can only think of one example.  Multiple times I’ve had complete strangers ask to take a photo with me.  Once at a grocery store on vacation in Hawaii, I was asked by a couple of teenage girls.  Once again while I was working in this tiny sports shop by some visitors from overseas that I hadn’t even been assisting.  I’m not sure who they thought I was that warranted a photo, but I took them anyway.  I didn’t ask questions.  I feel bad for them.  I take terrible photos.  I “Chandler Bing” it on every photo.  I am simply incapable of taking good photos!
*Chris, we think you take excellent photos, as illustrated by the photos above!

What’s your favorite part about working at Zappos?

C: The people.  It’s hard to find more genuine, fun-loving people than you find here at Zappos.   It honestly is like coming to see family each day.  <insert misty eyes here>