Zappos Tour – Thinking Outside the Shoe Box


Today my friend Leslie (who will later be referred to as only “Dani’s Friend”) and I had the pleasure of taking a one hour tour of the Zappos headquarters in Downtown Las Vegas. My infatuation with Zappos all started in 2012 when I was shopping for 8 pairs of matching Converse shoes for my soon-to-be-husband and his groomsmen. After ordering 8 pairs of the same shoe, I received an e-mail from Zappos stating that they normally don’t fulfill orders that large (to prevent individuals from reselling merchandise at a discounted price). After explaining that the shoes were for my upcoming wedding (in less than 3 weeks!!) they not only sent my order overnight free of charge, but they sent me the sweetest congratulatory e-mail signed “The Zappos Team (throwing rice)”. I could have cried. The rest of the day I was a different kind of happy, and oddly inspired. If a simple customer service e-mail could change the course of my day, what could I be doing to make others feel the same way I felt? How could I deliver this kind of customer service to my Real Estate clients? And so the adventure begins…

“Dani’s Friend” and I decided to start the day off with some quick (and messy) vegan tacos from Simply Pure at the Downtown Container Park. The Container Park is just one of Tony Hsieh’s many Downtown babies. Read more about the Container Park and Simply Pure here:

The food was good, and the service felt personal. It was exactly what I was expecting. The adventure was off to a good start!

After a brief panic attack while trying to find parking, we made our way into the “Lobby” to start our tour. Friendly faces, pizza boxes, and candy dispensers greeted us around every corner. The tour began with a 4 minute video that gave a brief run down of the company’s creation and core values (the video was hosted by a woman with fully tattoo’d arms nonetheless). Their ten core values can be found here:

After our short video we took a tour of the 10 story building…nothing was off limits. We lurked around Tony Hsieh’s desk, interrupted a ping-pong match or two and watched on as the “Customer Loyalty Team” assisted customers with online purchases, returns,etc. Their phone calls are not timed, they are simply recorded and graded for “personal connection”. Every employee has the authority to send flowers, cookies, or other miscellaneous gifts to a customer he/she felt a connection to. It was all very romantic.

As the tour came to an end I felt inspired (and inclined to apply for the first open position!). Since quitting an 11 year career in Real Estate and going back to a 9-5 job weren’t an option, I asked myself what I could take away from this experience and apply to my own life/career.

Here are the Zappos “value nuggets” I took to-go:
If you deliver great customer service and make it your number one priority to connect with your clients, coworkers, and people around you on a daily basis you will be rich in friends and rich in happiness. In turn, you will never be poor. If you wake up with a purpose, and make it your mission to serve those around you, the Universe will take care of you. The Universe will take very good care of you. If you are open to random, serendipitous encounters and realize their potential to change the course of your life, you will start putting yourself in life-changing positions. If you’re open to change and willing to think outside of the box then the World really is yours for the taking. And sending the occasional cookie bouquet never hurt anyone!

The only downside to the whole experience is I now feel obligated to purchase more shoes…lots of them…from Darn.

Sign up for a tour here:

Peace, Love, Properties
– Create Luck