Zappos.com is one of America’s leading online shoe retailers which bases its whole company direction on providing the best customer service through delivering happiness to customers. Their company structure is committed to this belief, a discipline that forces Zappos to make tough decisions that result in detrimental short term consequences.
A few years ago, Zappos made a strategic decision to eliminate all marketing budgets, instead they invested their money in Customer Service. Considering that 75% of their sales come from repeat customers, this move should not have come as a surprise to the business world, but it created headlines all over the press!
CEO Tony Hsieh, proclaimed that the secret weapons used by the company to lure customers are not fancy websites or creative gimmicks, but the old fashioned telephone! Unlike other websites, Zappos actually encourages its customers to call their call centers!
Some of the unusual practices by Zappos include:
- Next day delivery for repeat customers.
- No phone scripts for telemarketers. Reps are encouraged to speak for as long as they want, on any topic at all to their customers.
- 365 days return policy, which includes free shipping.
All the above are contrary to traditional business practices because they add huge expense on the company’s overheads without guarantees. Tony’s famous saying is that when you stick to your vision, revenues will follow. By sticking their neck out in everything they do and holding true to their beliefs, Zappos have won multiple awards for customer service, hit Gross Merchandise Sales of $1billion last year, and were voted Fortune’s best company to work for in 2009.