Archive for May, 2008

Great insight from the Dell’s Bob Pearson – “Today’s homepage is a Google results page” and more…

May 29th, 2008

Really good stuff to ponder…here are a few highlights from Dell’s Bob Pearson’s keynote at :China over took the US with the number of people online. Over 500k people go online for the first time everyday. Do we know their purchase habits? Do we know their searching habits? No!Today’s home page is a Google search Results page. The Traffic that matters is not about you!We have a new set of Metrics. What really matters is conversation and communities. What’s your average comment to post ratio. Where are people going? Conversation and community – how do we get better at understanding all of this?Dell just opened up the internet to all employees. Their blog is the main way to communicate along with employee with an employee idea storm. They have the facebook group – dellbook.Full article is hereWe all need to get very serious about the web and stop our teams of inserting it as an afterthought!

Should we pay our acquisition employees to quit? or telesales or college new-hires or ??

May 21st, 2008

How about a buyout offer for all acquisition personnel? say…6 months after close of the acquisition?

Just read the article below on an innovative telesales hiring practice of offering early exit bonuses to trainees. Essentially to make sure that Zappos had the right people and chemistry in their customer facing tele-reps. Like Zappas we all know that our companies may NOT for everybody.

This would give everyone coming from each acquisition a chance to buy-in or be bought out? Many people either know immediately, or find out quickly in those first months that maybe this new company is not for them.

This would help you build upon our culture, improve morale, improve customer satisfaction, increase employee retention and focus on the customer. IF nothing else we all should take a look at this practice for our telesales, new-hire on-boarding and phone support teams.

Excerpt from the article:‘Zappos has also mastered the art of telephone service—a black hole for most Internet retailers. Zappos publishes its 1-800 number on every single page of the site—and its smart and entertaining call-center employees are free to do whatever it takes to make you happy. There are no scripts, no time limits on calls, no robotic behavior, and plenty of legendary stories about Zappos and its customers.

This is a company that’s bursting with personality, to the point where a huge number of its 1,600 employees are power users of Twitter so that their friends, colleagues, and customers know what they’re up to at any moment in time. But here’s what’s really interesting. It’s a hard job, answering phones and talking to customers for hours at a time. So when Zappos hires new employees, it provides a four-week training period that immerses them in the company’s strategy, culture, and obsession with customers. People get paid their full salary during this period.After a week or so in this immersive experience, though, it’s time for what Zappos calls “The Offer.” The fast-growing company, which works hard to recruit people to join, says to its newest employees: “If you quit today, we will pay you for the amount of time you’ve worked, plus we will offer you a $1,000 bonus.” Zappos actually bribes its new employees to quit!Why? Because if you’re willing to take the company up on the offer, you obviously don’t have the sense of commitment they are looking for.

It’s hard to describe the level of energy in the Zappos culture—which means, by definition, it’s not for everybody. Zappos wants to learn if there’s a bad fit between what makes the organization tick and what makes individual employees tick—and it’s willing to pay to learn sooner rather than later. (About ten percent of new call-center employees take the money and run.)” 

Link to the full article  Related links:http://www.zappos.comhttp://discussionleader.hbsp.com/taylor/http://www.bighatmarketing.com

Best hiring practice or should I say Best “weeding-out” practice? Bribe bad ones to leave.

May 21st, 2008

I just read about a great best-practice from Zappos.   During the training process they offer a chance for trainees to “opt-out” or “cash-out” and move on.  This helps Zappos maintain a energetic culture…”some people are just not can’t be the energizer bunny on the phone all day”.

More from the article:”Why? Because if you’re willing to take the company up on the offer, you obviously don’t have the sense of commitment they are looking for. It’s hard to describe the level of energy in the Zappos culture—which means, by definition, it’s not for everybody. Zappos wants to learn if there’s a bad fit between what makes the organization tick and what makes individual employees tick—and it’s willing to pay to learn sooner rather than later. (About ten percent of new call-center employees take the money and run.)”Link to full article 

I am going to suggest this to my telesales clients and colleagues.  Simple ideas are always the best…and most overlooked!