Customer Service Case Study: Zappos

Topics: Retailing, Online shopping, Customer service Pages: 5 (923 words) Published: July 5, 2014

Zappos which began as an online retailer that only sold shoes, who had a wide variety of colors, sizes, styles and brands, had become one of the online retail moguls of its time. It has expanded into selling everything from “shoes, handbags, eyewear, watches, and accessories”, (Noe, © 2013), which account for 30% of all online sales. When Zappos CEO, Tony Heish, had ideas and plans for the company he knew that he wanted a strong customer oriented company and one that had a strong and loyal company mission and value. He put his belief and everyone who joined the company’s belief into ten core values: 1. “Deliver WOW Through Service

2. Embrace and Drive Change
3. Create Fun and a Little Weirdness
4. Be Adventurous, Creative, and Open-Minded
5. Pursue Growth and Learning
6. Build Open and Honest Relationships with Communication
7. Build a Positive Team and Family Spirit
8. Do More with Less
9. Be Passionate and Determined
10. Be Humble” (Noe, © 2013)
These ten core values are what have shaped the company through their customer base and even the company’s culture and how they hire employees and treat them.
Some challenges that Zappos may face that can derail its attempt to be the best online retailer is the competition in the retail industry could be a big inhibitor to the aspirations of Zappos. The pressures of internet and online retailing have relatively low barriers for entry so this could be an added pressure for Zappos. Human resource management practices that align with its strategic objectives to be the best online retailer include strategic staffing practices, and effective training and development of their customer service employees.

I believe that training and development can influence #4, Be adventurous, creative and open-ended the most of Zappos ten core values because if someone is applying to work there, I hope they know first what the company is about and the core values are and they are a creative, adventurous open-minded person who would fit right in with the company. I think the core value that training and development can least influence would be #10, be humble. You cannot teach someone to be humble, if they don’t already have it in them; I believe it would be a hard thing to positively influence. “OK, so do you guys realize that you are spoiling me? In a world where bad customer service is the norm and NO customer service is a common occurrence, Zappos actually sends me a $15 credit toward a future order because one of the five pairs of shoes I ordered isn't really available. I knew full well that I was only going to keep one pair when I ordered all those. But, rather than guess on sizes and send something back and wait for another pair to arrive, I order multiples at once. Yes, I would have liked to have tried on that unavailable pair, but to be perfectly honest; right now I couldn't even describe those shoes! I am taking advantage of you—do you realize that? Yes, you might charge a dollar or two more than I might find the same shoes somewhere else (but not always), I'm really only paying that extra for the shoes I keep instead of paying shipping both ways everywhere else. And now. You reward me for that? I tell everyone who will listen how wonderful you are. And, your selection can't be beat anywhere else. Keep up the great work. Thanks for spoiling me. No one else does! In fact, you are making it harder on all other retailers (probably your plan all along).” ~ Diane J. │ 05/27/2014 (Tony Heish, 2014)

“So I would never respond to an automatic e-mail. I am well-educated--an attorney--and am not the weepy sentimental type and I don't even know if this response will go anywhere. But I had to tell you that your "anniversary" e-mail this morning brought back some great memories. The first time I used Zappos, if I remember correctly, was when my dad was visiting and he and my mother needed new shoes. He had health problems and it took us a couple of tries to get the right size. You sent...

Cited: (2014, JUNE 30). Retrieved from
Noe, R. (© 2013). Employee Trainee and Developmentt. In R. Noe, Employee Training & Development, 6th Edition (p. Pages: 544). McGraw-Hill Higher Education.
sh8. (n.d.). Retrieved June june, shipping and returntns, from j
Tony Heish. (2914, June 30). Retrieved from
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