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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Introduction Contd...

Zappos was founded in 1999, at a time when there were few online shoe retailers. The company grew over the years, mainly by offering several customer-friendly services that other online shoe retailers did not provide such as free shipping and a generous return policy. Some of these services were offered at a considerable cost to the company. Moreover, Zappos ensured that customer service was ingrained in the company's culture.

Strategic business decisions at the company, including the decisions to shift both its headquarters and warehouse to other locations, were always taken keeping in mind the objective of customer service.

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HR activities like hiring, firing, and performance evaluation were also carried out with a view to enhance its customer service.

Zappos urged its customer service reps to be friendly and helpful to customers, even going to the extent of advising them to direct customers to competitors' websites if a particular product was not available with the company.

Zappos claimed that it put in as much effort into customer service as other companies put into marketing. According to the company, it got most of its customers through word of mouth marketing, and its employees, who offered superior customer service, were the people most capable of creating a positive buzz about the company. Zappos even used media like blogs and social networking sites like Twitter to reach out to customers...

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