Friday, January 15, 2010

Zappos CEO takes home Innovator of the Year award

You might be familiar with my frequent gushes about, so get ready -- here comes another one.

While attending the National Retail Federation's 99th Annual Convention & EXPO earlier this week at the Javits Center in New York City, Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh accepted NRF's
Innovator of the Year award. In addition to telling his famous drunk-dialing pizza story during his acceptance speech, Hsieh encouraged attendees to attend a free public tour of the company's Henderson, Nev.-based headquarters the next time they fly into Las Vegas. In fact, Zappos will pick you up at the airport, take you to its headquarters and then drop you back at your hotel. How's THAT for door-to-door service?

The online shoe retailer is not only known for its quirky and fun company culture -- watch this video to see for yourself -- it's also known for top-shelf customer service. And that all starts with hiring the right people. During Zappos tours, visitors can walk around the offices and talk to any employees they want. The company invests so much time and effort into carefully selecting and training staffers that it trusts everyone will represent the brand best just being themselves. I would imagine this would give visitors yet another reason to buzz about Zappos after the tour ends.

Anyway, Tony Hsieh is certainly worthy of NRF's Innovator of the Year award -- and next year's contendors already have some big shoes to fill.

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