Quest for ‘legendary service’

Los Angeles Firemen’s CU visits Zappos and Disneyland to explore new strategies

by. Karen Bankston

With the aim of matching the level of “legendary service” their core membership provides on the job, executives and directors of Los Angeles Firemen’s Credit Union visited two companies famed for their customer service.

The exploratory missions to Zappos in Las Vegas and Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif., offered inside views of two organizations with customer bases that are “extremely satisfied by their out-of-the-box methodologies,” says Mike Mastro, president/CEO of $865 million, 30,000-member Los Angeles Firemen’s CU. “Their strategies may not be directly transferable, but the thinking behind them is.”

Among the highlights of those trips are these ideas board members and managers took back to their credit union:

  • Focus on making members “wildly happy,” as many customers of the online shoe retailer Zappos describe themselves.
  • Emphasize to employees that they make the organizational culture. “Zappos creates an annual ‘culture book,’ which we found fascinating,” Mastro says. “Employees contribute ideas and thoughts about the company, what works well and what doesn’t, and then they print the book and hand it out to employees and visitors. It’s a very transparent organization.”
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