Zappos Paying Employees To Quit; Recognizing That Customer Service Isn't A Cost Center
from the fascinating dept
Of course, to do that right, it's meant treating customer service not as a "cost center," like almost all companies these days, but as an integral part of making happy, committed customers who also act as evangelists. A good company recognizes that customer service isn't a cost center at all, but the best way to build a loyal customer base and to learn from your customers as well. Of course, in order to do that, you need to have a loyal, committed customer service staff as well -- and Zappos has done some unique things there that are worth understanding. It doesn't do many of the typical call center things: no scripts, no time limits on calls and no limits on what the customer service reps can do to make customers happy. But, in a post on a Harvard Business blog, it's explained that Zappos also offers to pay each new employee $1,000 to quit, one month after they've joined. Basically, it's offering any employee who's not truly committed to the way the company does business an easy "out" after one month. Thus, those who stick around are even more committed to living up to the service ideals the company has set. It's nice to see in an era where "good customer service" seems so rare.
Apparently about 10% of folks take the money and scram. While traditional HR metrics might think this is terrible, as the cost of recruiting, hiring and training new employees is quite high, the long term benefits of having a more strongly committed staff cannot be overstated. Basically, the company has realized that a little cost upfront can help it make a lot more on the backend.