I thought about how easily we are all brainwash by our society and culture to stop thinking and just assume by default that more money equals more success and more happiness, when ultimately happiness is really just about enjoying life.
The problem with the way we usually view happiness is that we need to give ourselves permission to be happy — we think that we have to do and have things before we can be happy, but we also keep moving the goal post farther after every step of progress. (More on that from positive positive psychologist Shawn Anchor.) Money is the most powerful of all these because it represents so many things — beauty, freedom, love, luxury — and yet, no matter how much money we have, we can make it seem worthless by just thinking of another, longer number.
Delivering Happiness inspired much of my own work in customer service, as far as mindset to the team and customers. It was our job to consider not just what customers said but also what they felt and what they didn’t see. I worked with the team to develop their curiosity and empathy, rather than just technical abilities. Zappos’ philosophy of customer care is summed up quite easily:
Our philosophy has been to take most of the money we would have spend on paid advertising and invest it into customer service and the customer experience instead, letting our customers do the marketing for us through word of mouth. This creates a WOW experience, which our customers remember for a very long time and tell their friends and family about.
The specific WOW, the specific details of what people would share by word of mouth, varies by company and customer, of course. It’s important to note that Zappos wanted to serve their customers but they also wanted to create a day-to-day that they personally enjoyed.
It was about building a lifestyle that was about delivering happiness to everyone, including ourselves.