Zappos Case Study
In the year 1998, a young man named Nick Swinmurn went to a shopping mall in San Francisco to buy a pair of shoes. He was disappointed that he was not able to find the particular size, color and style that he wanted. …
This prompted him to create an online retail site specializing in footwear which grew to give rise to Zappos.com (Frances, Robin and Laura, 2011). From its inception Zappos value proposition has been to create and deliver to each customer a WOW experience. They are able to achieve this by simply empowering their workforce to deliver a shopping experience that is irresistible. They provide unrivalled customer service and free fast shipping , while at the same time offering almost one thousand two hundred and fifty brands and two million eighty hundred thousand products. As a result of this strategy they have a fanatical customer loyalty with up to 75% being repeat customers (Zappos, 2011).
Zappos ability to create and capture value emanates from their nearly obsessive passion to create customer satisfaction and good customer relationships. In fact customer’s loyalty is of such great importance to Zappos that it is their primary goal to be the best customer experience and customer service company. They have a culture that runs deep down and that is customer-focused (Scribd, 2012). In order to create and capture value, Zappos directly invests huge amount of money into customer service. They will only hire employees who are customer-oriented who are able to fit into their culture of optimal employee satisfaction. Even after employing people who are customer-oriented, they further train these individuals thoroughly the art of creating customer loyalty. Zappos approach to creating and capturing value is customer centric. They make use of such strategies as offering free delivery for products purchased, they even allow for free returns when a customer is not happy with the product and they also have a 365 day return together with periodical service upgrades. As a result, 75% of their sales emanate from current customers and still have a tremendous rate of growth despite the poor economy (Sam Houston State University, 2011). Zappos have also developed a service culture which is built around ten core principles which stipulate that every new employee has to take four weeks of customer training on loyalty. Their employees are committed to their work and build life long relationships with customers. They make use of social sites for networking and making contact with customers and in the process obtaining invaluable customer feedback and criticism (Sam Houston State University, 2011). The growth and success at Zappos is also attributable to a good corporate culture. The culture at Zappos promotes and encourages employees to be themselves. The employee culture at Zappos is focused on good customer service and is of one mind. They care that the customer is happy with the product that he or she chooses to buy. This culture of customer satisfaction is entrenched deep into the beliefs of the employees, their interactions with customers and their hiring protocols. During the hiring process, there are two sets of interviews that are done. One set of interviews is done by the hiring manager together with her or his team. During this stage they check for the basics like relevant experience, and technical ability of the job applicants. The second set of the interview involves the HR department who perform the interview for the sole purpose assessing for culture fitness. They examine whether the individuals would easily fit into their culture (Fast Company, 2012). Zappos culture is built around ten core values. These values include: Deliver WOW through good service, drive and embrace change, creating a little weirdness and fun, humility by employees, be determined and passionate, do more with a little, being creative, ...
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