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Zappos com 2009 Clothing Customer Service and Company Culture Case Solution

Solution Id Length Case Author Case Publisher
2574 1747 Words (7 Pages) Frances X. Frei, Robin J. Ely, Laura Winig Harvard Business School : 610015
This solution includes: A Word File A Word File

Zappos.com, an online retailer of shoes, clothing, handbag, and accessories has been in the American market since 1999. The company has been able to win a large customer base by focusing on 3 important C’s; Clothing, Culture, and Customer Service. The case study mentions how Zappos won the confidence of its customers by offering a high-quality customer experience whether it is a pre, during, or post-shopping experience. Through its inclusive company culture, it not only gained support from its employees but also from people outside the organization. As a result of its strong, leading member footing in the market, Amazon- a $19 billion multinational retailer is interested in merging the two power companies in the retailer market. As a result of its downfall in 2009, the company considered Amazon's offer because this merger proved to be beneficial for Zappos in terms of providing security, bailment from being in debt, resources for Research and Development, etc. 

Following questions are answered in this case study solution

  1. What makes Zappos.com’s customer service so special?

  2. What organizational choices help Zappos deliver superior service?

  3. What is the role of culture at Zappos?

  4. How did Zappos reconstruct the online shoe retailing?

  5. How does Zappos make money?

Case Analysis for Zappos com 2009 Clothing Customer Service and Company Culture Case Solution

1. What makes Zappos.com’s customer service so special?

One of the reasons why Zappos maintained a competitive advantage in the online retail sector is due to its commendable customer service. In order to “wow” the customers, Zappos’ culture encouraged the employees to treat the customers like family members. The relationship between the call center representatives (CLT) members and the customers was not merely professional, rather it was more personal. One of the leading values Zappos strongly abided to was related to how its team made sure the concerns of the customers were listened to and that the customers do not in any way feel that they are being rushed. The case study mentions how one CLT member made a record of a call that lasted for 5 hours and 20 minutes with a woman who was interested in MBT anti-shoes. Now instead of ending the call with a displeased customer, the CLT member invested time to help the woman find shoes that would be perfect to walk on uneven ground. 

The CLT members also used to send "thank you" notes to the customers which used to be in thousands every month. This shows how Zappos was so committed to maintaining personal relationships with its customers and truly cared about them. In addition to this, a bouquet of flowers or boxes of candy was occasionally sent in order to show sympathy or to celebrate. As a result, Zappos was able to provide excellent customer service when it remembered its customers in happiness as well as in difficult times. 

Zappos also encouraged its employees to provide feedback on their experience of shopping through Zappos. The feedback used to be in form of letters, blogs, video testimonials, etc. which would help Zappos to improve its service if the management was at fault. This is how Zappos remained committed to taking care of its customers diligently. 

2. What organizational choices help Zappos deliver superior service?

Zappos is a non-hierarchal organization that encouraged its workers to be happy and make others happy through the service they were providing. This sense of unity proved to be beneficial for Zappos since it has easily incorporated into the minds and hearts of its employees that building a close relationship with the customers is the gateway to success. It is passionate and determined to provide high value to its customers. It believes greatly in positivity and team spirit which means that the employees are seen as family members who are close and connected to one another like a unit. The unity inside the organization helps Zappos to provide superior service. 

Zappos also peruse growth and learning. Even though it has been in business for several years, it still believes in the concept of learning something new every day. It encourages customers to write their feedback in terms of blogs and video testimonials so they can improve their service if needed. This cultural value based on humility is what sets it apart and provides great value to its customers.

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