What Any Catalog Success Reader Should Learn From Zappos.com
10. Be wary of so-called “experts.” “We’ve dealt with a lot of consultants in almost every area of the business on customer service,” Hsieh said. “We found that we spent a lot of money, and at the end of the day, we should’ve just trusted ourselves more. These experts know a little about a lot of companies, but nobody knows their companies better than our own. That’s not to say there aren’t good consultants; just that it’s very rare. Ninety percent are a big waste of money.”
Upon completing his presentation, one of the first questions Hsieh got was about how Zappos can afford free overnight shipping. He said that the company started out like most dot-coms in the late 1990s with expensive heavy media advertising.
“We started with ground delivery,” Hsieh said. “But we later decided to put more money toward customer experience than marketing. What we would’ve spent on marketing, that money goes into our free overnight shipping. We don’t just recklessly go out of our way to lose money; we spend our money as much as it makes sense. It’s another form of marketing, because we’re relying on that customer for word-of-mouth.”