Extending the Customer Experience – the Zappos Story

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by: Matt Rhodes

Zappos is a well-known social media case study. The Las Vegas shoe retailer was founded in 1999 selling shoes online. In ten years it has expanded to include other products like handbags and sunglasses, and it has grown to be a $1 billion per year business. Very impressive statistics, a good              Image via CrunchBase             business model and a really good example of using social media.

For Zappos customer service has always been a critical part of the brand, indeed early on they made the deliberate decision to divert their marketing budget to customer service. They allowed customers to do things like try and return products for up to a year, only list stock that’s in their warehouse, encourage customers to call them about nearly everything, and they invest in ’surprise’ free overnight shipping for most customers. Customer service comes first, with the aim to acquire customers through word of mouth and retain existing customers through good service. And for them this approach seems to have worked. It is also one that fits well with a strong social media strategy.

So Required Reading for Easter at FreshNetworks is this presentation by Brian Kalma at Zappos, showing how they have used social media and the benefits they have received. It’s great to see how these micro-interactions and the emphasis on customer service have had real word of mouth benefits for the brand. And then how this has translated into customers and loyalty. For me it is also great to see how they have worked internally to engage staff and involve them in making this process work – getting 440 staff to be customer facing and engaging with customers on a daily basis.

A great presentation and a great chance to learn from what Zappos have done.

View more presentations from Brian Kalma.

Some more reading

Original Post: http://blog.freshnetworks.com/2009/04/extending-the-customer-experience-the-zappos-story/