Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh Presents on “The Path to a Billion” | Dare Mighty Things

March 23, 2009

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Tony Hsieh, the 34 year old CEO of Zappos is giving a talk at the Underground web marketing seminar in Los Angeles. He sold LinkExchange to Microsoft for $265 million in 1998.

His speech is titled The Path to $1 Billion as they are on track to hit $1B in sales this year as a private company that started in 1999, did $8.6 million in 2000 and $32 million in 2001. They have 1,600 employees today and a 500 person call center.

Tony is emphasizing the importance of ‘above and beyond’ great customer service more or less regardless of cost. 75% of his orders are from repeat customers. He talks of ’surprise upgrades.’

Tony shared that they orient new team members with 4 weeks of customer loyalty training at their headquarters in Las Vegas plus week in Kentucky for warehouse training for every single employee. He tells the story of when a customer ordered pizza from their customer service line at 3am and the customer rep found the nearest pizza places in Santa Monica that were still open.

He encourages entrepreneurs to train great people if you want the company to scale as ‘you can’t do everything yourself.’ He provides a culture book to their team members each year. Every single team member writes a couple employee on what the culture means to them.

Their core company values are:

  1. Deliver WOW through service
  2. Embrace and drive change
  3. Create fun and little weirdness
  4. Be adventurous, creative, and open-minded
  5. Pursue growth and learning
  6. Build open and honest relationships with communication
  7. Build a positive team and family spirit
  8. Do more with less
  9. Be passionate and determined
  10. Be humble

I am wondering what their customer acquisition cost and customer lifetime value is and what their monthly CPM and CPC spend is and what networks they use to acquire customers via CPA.

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