The American Camp Association (ACA) Camp West, the Western Regional Camp Conference is April 1-4, 2009 in Las Vegas. CampWest is unique and different from other camp conferences. This conference offers practical and guided education. On Friday, April 3, 2009 from 9-4pm the Camp West Experienced Director Day, Sponsored by Markel Insurance, will have a team from Zappos speaking in the morning. Christa Foley, Recruiting Manager & Brandis Paden, Recruiting Supervisor, and Liz Gregersen, Administrative Assistant at Zappos.com will be sharing what they have learned about hiring, recruiting, and training staff as well as how to develop and cultivate a culture around customer service.
1. Deliver WOW Through Service
2. Embrace and Drive Change
3. Create Fun and A Little Weirdness
4. Be Adventurous, Creative, and Open-Minded
5. Pursue Growth and Learning
6. Build Open and Honest Relationships With Communication
7. Build a Positive Team and Family Spirit
8. Do More With Less
9. Be Passionate and Determined
10. Be Humble
Zappos reinforces these core values with its operating practices: no call time measurement, which encourages reps to focus on call quality rather than call volume; no sales-based performance goals; inventorying all product, so you never have to worry about delays or stock levels with drop-shippers. There are 5 weeks of culture and customer service training for all, which includes a “culture book”, and interviews/performance reviews are 50% based on core values and culture fit.
Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos, lives this Zappos culture. At a recent conference in Austin Texas, I met Tony as he was filming a segment for Brian Brushwood’s Videos for Scam School. Tony is very unassuming and humble (core value), wickedly smart, and very giving of his time. His keynote at SXSW Interactive 2009 Delivering Happiness far exceeded my expectations. There is also a great graphical representation of the Tony Hsieh’s talk by Sunni Brown – a complete work of art. You can see video from Tony Hsieh’s SXSWi keynoteand the slides at Greg Cangialosi’s blog The Trend Junkie.
There is a lot for summer camp directors to learn from what Zappos has accomplished. The challenge for summer camps is to take elements of what Zappos is doing and condense the period of time it take to implement and execute. Camps would love to have 5 weeks of culture and customer service training but for some of us, that is the entire summer program. At summer camp we have to be creative in how we translate successes from corporate business into the summer camp model. Zappos also provides training for all their staff on how to use twitter. They have been a leader in using social networks to promote their brand and culture. Summer Camps need to spend more time talking with their staff about how social networks fit within the camp policies and expectations. No one is educating the young teen and college crowd about managing their professional and personal life within a social network.
Hope to see you at Camp West in April where we will continue these discussions.