Zappos.Com: Focus on Customer Service

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Case Details:

Case Code : MKTG207
Case Length : 17 Pages
Period : 1999-2009
Pub Date : 2009
Teaching Note :Not Available
Organization :, Inc.
Industry : Internet Retail, Shoes.
Countries : USA, Global

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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Background Note

1n 1999, Nick Swinmurn (Swinmurn), who was working as a webmaster for Silicon Graphics , was disappointed and frustrated when he could not find a pair of Vans shoes in the style, color, and size that he was looking for, while out shopping at a mall in San Francisco...

The Importance of Customer Service

According to Swinmurn and Hsieh, the Zappos website was originally conceived as a site that offered a large selection of shoes in terms of brands, styles, colors, sizes, and widths. However, they discovered soon enough that providing a large selection was not easy, as most shoe manufacturers were reluctant to work with a small company that sold shoes online, due in part to concerns about the effect of such an association on their brand image...

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Culture and HR Policies

According to Hsieh, the best way to offer a better customer experience was by investing in developing a company culture with an almost fanatical emphasis on customer service. He observed that 'Zappos was a service company that just happens to sell shoes.'...

The Use of Twitter

Zappos also connected with its customers through social media like blogs and social networking sites. It was also one of the first companies in the US to use social media extensively for this purpose...

Order Fulfillment

In 2002, Hsieh shifted Zappos's order fulfillment operations from a 30,000-square foot warehouse in California to a 280,000-square foot warehouse in Kentucky. In addition to increasing the space available, the shift was done to ensure faster delivery...

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