In part one of “How to bring value to your business by delivering happiness”, we learned how small acts of kindness done for others create meaningful lasting happiness. In part two, we explore how Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos an online retail store, designs small meaningful acts to grow his business.
By focussing the design thinking of his business on customer service he created a formula for delivering consistent happy customers, employees and investors as well as delivering great financial earnings.
How does Zappos deliver happiness to customers?
At Zappos, delivering customer happiness is a three step process.
- First he meets customer expectations, by sending the right product to the customer.
- Second he meets their desires by sending the item for free.
- Lastly, he meets customers unexpressed needs, by upgrading to overnight shipping.
In the hierarchy of needs, Hsieh is working the pyramid to his customers advantage. But what about Investors and Employees, how does he keep them happy?
How does Zappos deliver happiness to employees?
With Employees he recognizes that after financial needs are met, money alone is not a good indicator of continued performance. At Zappos he introduced a reward and recognition program that enables staff to make perceived progress in short, self paced increments. By giving his staff control to progress their careers they become engaged and passionate about their work. When employees feels connected to their work, the passion for what they do grows and they feel part of something bigger than themselves which has meaning and purpose.
How does Zappos deliver happiness to investors?
For investors, Hsieh uses the term “profit” over “pleasure”. He believes that truly great companies reward investors first with transaction alignment (business operates well and makes a profit) second with relationships alignment (the investor community has confidence and rapport with the company and its stake holders) and lastly with legacy (investors realize the importance of their investment is part of the greater good). In Hsieh’s opinion meeting all these needs is what separates a great company in terms of long term financial performance from a good one.
So How can Happiness be Characterized?
Meaningfulness is key to being happy. Doing small acts for others is creates more happiness than doing something just for yourself. Happiness is a moving target that changes over time.
There are three types of happiness. The first is simple pleasure which can be short lived (I got a bonus). With engagement happiness comes from doings something you are passionate about (I was so engaged with what I was doing, time just flew by).
And lastly, when we become part of something bigger than ourselves that is truly meaningful, we engage with a higher purpose creating last happiness.