Can Your Customer Service Pass the Pizza Test?

Can your service pass the “Pizza Test”?

Can Your Customer Service Pass the Pizza Test? – Al Getler

Tony Hsieh, CEO,, Inc spoke to a group of Harvard students last year during his Delivering Happiness Tour. The tour was to promote his book “Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion and Purpose”. I was able to secure a spot in the back of the room where he told a story that is also found in the book.

Hsieh says in the book, “Now, truth be told, I was a little hesitant to include this story because I don’t actually want everyone who reads this book to start calling Zappos and ordering pizza.”

If you know, then you know they are not in the pizza business. They began selling shoes with customer service as the core of their business model. Today they sell clothing and accessories in addition to shoes. Their service is great and their return policy is almost unbelievable.

So what do shoes and clothes have to do with pizza?

Drunk-Dial Pizza Test

To compress Hsieh’s story, he was attending a conference for Skechers and as a night of partying ended with a group in a hotel room, they were hungry for pizza. The hotel’s room service was no longer delivering pizza, so a dare was made to call Zappos.

“The Zappos rep was initially a bit confused,” Hseih recalls in the book, “She returned two minutes later, listing five of the closest places in the area that were still open and delivering pizzas at that time.”

Zappos has a culture that encourages its employees to “Ask Anything”. It is also the name of their monthly employee newsletter. It is apparent that Zappos is prepared to answer anything as a result whether the question is asked  it is from an employee or a customer.

Zappos brand is customer service. The pizza test proves they are serious about it.

Can Your Customer Service Pass the Pizza Test?

As Hsieh states, it wouldn’t be a good thing if everyone did the pizza test to Zappos. But what would happen if you tried the pizza test by calling your customer service line?

It is a tough test for most companies and might not be fair if you have note worked hard to instill a “answer anything” philosophy like Zappos.

The real test for many of us would be to call our customer service number and ask the basic questions and then stretch a little further from there. The answers will tell you where improvements need to be made immediately.

Create you own style of “pizza test”

Try it TODAY: Can Your Customer Service Pass the Pizza Test?

Many companies take surveys, hire consultants, do marketing studies and stage focus groups. These are all great methods, but you can identify improvement areas today and call your customer service number with your own pizza test.

Five minutes of your time may result in your best use of five minutes this week. Don’t be shocked if the new campaign or product you have spent months and money to launch falls by the wayside in the first two minutes of the call.

Instead of firing the manager, take a hard look at how you, the company leadership, explained that new product or campaign. You may have fallen short.

Calling your customer service line is the cheapest and easiest way to find out if your company is on track and whether the company messages you send reach the front line.

Don’t be too hard on yourself if you don’t stack up to Zappo’s pizza test. Zappos spend a lot of time, money and leadership effort to maintain their culture. Learn more by reading the book and visiting the book website HERE.

How would you company hold up to the “pizza test”? What do you think about Zappo’a “Ask Anything” policy?

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Al Getler is a newspaper, website, book and magazine publisher. He is also a comedian/ventriloquist and a speaker on leadership, customer service and personal branding.


Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.