Your brand consists of more than your slogans and behavior: it communicates who you are as a company and what your values are. It sets you apart from your competition and helps you form relationships with your customers and your community. It’s also what you stand for, what you support and what you encourage. Defining and refining your brand will contribute to humanizing your presence and lead to relationships with the customers who make up your community.
E-commerce site Zappos has developed a unique and exceptional brand, shaping themselves as a service company that happens to sell shoes. People love Zappos for their fast and free shipping, their quality products and the convenience they offer. But that’s not all: Customers have also come to adore Zappos for their willingness to do anything to please their customers. Zappos has become the king of customer service through social media, employing a friendly, fast-responding team. Their attitude toward service and customers is the central element of their company culture.
Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh is a firm believer that your culture is his brand. The company starts building their brand through new employee onboarding. Every employee goes through four weeks of training that focuses on the vision of the company, the 10 core values of their culture and, most importantly, customer service. Each employee even spends two weeks talking on the phone with customers.
With this focus from the start, employees in every division know how to treat customers—an integral part of the company’s brand. After the first four weeks, contact center employees have an additional three weeks of training for their specific positions. This totals to seven weeks of training, just to talk to customers. These people know how to talk to people.
Members of the Customer Loyalty Team use Zappos’ Twitter and Facebook accounts to respond to customer service questions with speed and care. What’s so fun about their customer service is their attitude.
On its Twitter account, @Zappos_Service, representatives sign on and off for their time monitoring the account. Each person introduces himself and isn’t afraid to make conversation about anything—not just products and problems—during their time on the account. Some of the team members choose to run fun trivia games and ask questions to engage followers while moderating the account. This is a unique take on customer service, and it’s obvious from Twitter mentions and Facebook posts that people love what Zappos is doing.
The world has come to know Zappos as a friendly, hard-working, fun company that honestly cares about its customers. Their well-defined brand and the implementation of their values into everything they do has led to the development of a loyal community of consumers. What other brands do you love and how are they engaging on social media?
Image credit: Robert Scoble