Zappos; The Best At Delivering The WOW Experience? Maybe………………

I’ve been hearing more and more this year that I have to go to Henderson, Nevada & take the Tour of Zappos. Its supposed to be incredible, blah, blah, blah. I’d heard that if you contacted them that they would send you a copy of the Zappos Culture Book, a collection of personal written statements by the employees. In a random sampling I started to get intrigued by what they were saying about the place that they spend the bulk of their day.

I wasn’t impressed by them when it took them 6 weeks to get my Culture Book in my hands. Order lost, second one sent to wrong address,wrong zip, wrong street, wrong city, wrong state.

After each incident they would say that they were taking care of it with no results. Finally I sent them the e-mail that no one ever wants to get from me. I call it “Come to Jesus Letter Via Social Media.” I even have a template of it, just in case I forget something.

One day after my last round of e-mails with them I received the Zappos Culture Book, a signed copy of “Delivering Happiness” written by Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos and one small item, still don’t know what it is, my sons will. Some people think that you need to overwhelm your clients with semi expensive gifts at Christmas.
We go out of our way to make sure that we send to them their favorite Champagne, Scotch, etc.

There was one additional item in the package that I’m going to save. It has a retail value of less than $2 but to me it was the most valuable item that I received. 

It was a HAND WRITTEN card from someone name Rocco apologizing for the mixups. It completely wiped out the mistakes & made me a Zappos fan. It was a WOW experience. By the way it was sent from Rocco DeBenedictis who has the title of Culture Magician and it read…..

“Dear Bill, I do apologize for the long delay….If there is anything I can help you with, please let me know…..Rocco

The card meant the most to me. I am now a Zappos fan just like Tammy Mathews,  Ed Kless, Himanshu Palsule & Judy Thornell

If you’ve had a WOW experience with Zappos please share it in the comments section. 

Bienvenue vers l’Amérique, Pascal Houllion

Bienvenue vers l’Amérique, Pascal.

I hope that is the right verbiage for welcoming you to America.

For those that don’t know Sage had it Annual Conference this year at the Gaylord National Harbor. It was the first time that we had combined customers and partners together and the result has been, in this writer’s opinion, phenomenal.

What has stuck out for me is the transparency that the Sage executives have shown. They have been accessible, friendly and seemingly willing to listen to what is being said.

Our new CEO, Pascal Houllion comes from France and has been with Sage for the past 22 years. What has impressed me is his ability to “hang with the employees & partners” yet maintain that CEO image. On the bus ride back from the Museum last night, which was a fantastic evening and I hope that you all got the opportunity to try your hand at flying a jet in the simulators. I don’t think that we even came close to gunning down one enemy jet but the laughter that came from trying was worth it. 

But I digress, on the ride back we were talking about what I had been hearing from partners in terms of concerns, etc. and I also wanted to know what his priority list looked like. But he told the story of travelling with Himanshu Pasule and getting to a city where he was going to be for several days and his agenda had been filled with meetings. He kindly asked them to cancel all the meetings because what he wanted to do and has been doing since his arrival is going out and meeting partners and asking them what they needed, etc. When was the last time that we’ve had that from a CEO?

Laurie Schultz comes the closest with her Road Shows.

I want to single out another long time Sage executive, one that I got to spend some time with and that’s Himanshu Palsule. We were sitting outside the hotel and just started talking about things. I reminded him of the time that my sons came to the airport with their mother to pick me up from Insights in Orlando. He was so genuinely kind to them and was interested in what they had to say even though they were just 5 & 6 at the time. Small gestures like that go along way with me. They are the gestures of a genuinely kind person. We probably spent 45 minutes just talking about alot of different topics and I left to go to my room impressed one more time with Himanshu. So if you’re reading this at some point, Himanshu, thanks for your time that evening.

I want to point out one more Sage executive and then I’m going to head in another direction with this blog because I don’t want to feel like I’ve left anyone out. Laurie Schultz is as accessible an executive as anyone. This goes back to the Road Shows that she conducts and criss crosses the country to hear what we have to say, even when it can be a bit harsh she stands tall and doesn’t attempt to defend Sage’s position, she attempts to explain what Sage is doing, where Sage is going and the anticipated time it’s going to take to get there.

But what really showed me what type of a person she is was an email that I received from her back in April. My younger brother Tom had passed away and I wrote an open letter in the form of a blog to him and posted it. Her note was one of genuine concern and I was very touched by her small gesture of kindness.

Just an aside, please attend these Road Shows. Sage wants to know what you think and if you’re not attending these free events how can you expect any change? It’s incumbent upon us to let people know what we feel.

I could go on and on about the accesibility of the Executive Team, people like Tom Miller, (Does He Ever Stop Smiling?) Dennis Frahmann, Connie Certusi, the Events Team, you name them they have been very visible at this event and I’m sure that most partners would be happy about that.

Frankly, I don’t know how the Events Team is going to top this one but it will be fun to see and I hope that everyone comes back next year as we head to Nashville to see what we’ll do for Pascal’s 2nd Summit.