NCOF 2008 Conference

Yesterday, I had the privilege to give the luncheon keynote at the National Conference on Operations and Fulfillment (NCOF) held in Orlando, FL. The audience mostly runs call center, distribution, and fulfillment operations for a wide range of companies, some small, some large, and some very large. My talk was about “Delivering the WOW Customer Experience” and I basically amended (ripped off) Tony’s “Top Ten Lessons” presentation. Given the audience, I presented more metrics and gave more examples and stories relating to the operations and fulfillment side of Zappos. The core message was still about the importance of company culture and the impact of customer service. There were a number of questions during the Q&A and then a number of people came up after the presentation to thank me for giving them so much insight into the inner workings of Zappos. What was good to hear was how many organizations were learning similar lessons or facing similar issues, no matter how large they are or how long they have been in existence.

In business, we are judged by our ability to delivering great long-term results. What we sometimes forget is that great long-term results are delivered by engaged employees. That is why at Zappos, we spend so much time, energy, and resources to continuously improve our company culture and keep our employees engaged.

For a copy of the presentation, please email: culturebook “at” zappos.com, or me directly: alfred “at” zappos.com.

P.S. I began my talk with something fun and a little weird. Right before my talk, over the PA system the conference organizers were nice enough to gently remind everyone to “please silence all cell phones and pagers”. When I got to the podium, I told the audience that they should feel free to turn their cell phones back on because what their customers have to say is far more important than what I have to say. I was serious, but everyone laughed. That helped lighten the mood.

SXSW 2008 Presentation - Top 10 Lessons Learned in E-Commerce

I gave a presentation at SXSW earlier today titled “Top 10 Lessons Learned in E-Commerce.” The powerpoint of the presentation is here:

I had set up an account on Twitter (username: zappos), and I had used the track feature (“track zappos”). It was interesting seeing the comments about the presentation afterwards for people that were twittering and using the word “zappos”. Most of the comments were positive (people seemed to enjoy hearing about the Zappos philosophy on company culture), but there were also a couple of negative comments, including one twitterer that said he left the room early.

Speaking of which, someone just sent me this link from Valleywag that said Jeff Bezos (CEO and founder of Amazon.com) was in the room.

Seeing all the Twitter comments about Zappos during the presentation, I thought for future presentations, it might be interesting to display all the Twitter comments in real-time, even asking audience members to vote on which topics to talk more about… It would be a way to make future presentations relevant to what each audience actually wants to hear.