Zappos Customer Loyalty Team Harvard Case Solution & Analysis

Zappos Customer Loyalty Team Case Study Solution


Zappos is an online shoes retailer that started its business in the year 1999. Later on the company had expanded its business to include the beauty products, clothing and even the housewares within its leading e-commerce website. This case emphasizes on the customer service department of Zappos Company and initially the business focused only on the drop ship method. Later on the company also increased the variety of the products. The company had also created a bricks and mortar storefront to expand the business and increase the sales of the business.

The management of the company had taken an innovative approach to earn their required return on investment. They had emphasized on customer service and the employee training programs to gain greater dividends. The company had also started to create value for its customers through its free shipping policies and providing them enough flexibility to keep the items for a calendar year before returning them for a full refund. This meant that their products were never out of stock.

Zappos Customer Loyalty Team Harvard Case Solution & Analysis

The customer loyalty team worked hard to achieve this and they tried to develop a personal connection with their customers. They created the WOW experience for the customers and communicated with them in an informal, memorable and unconventional way so that the long term connection was created with the customers. The company had developed 10 core values by taking input from all the employees of the company. The culture book and the core values all determined the path for making the decisions and building open and honest relationships with communication. The leadership team invested huge time and effort to develop the human resource at Zappos.

It was in the year 2008, after 10 years of beginning of the company, when the sales of the company had reached to $ 1 billion gross. When the founder of the company began to sell its shoes online, the company became the leading online merchant in the world and started to grow quickly and profitably. Further, the company had also extended the range of its product offerings in order to provide its customers different products along with enthusiasm from the employees to provide outclass service. In this report, we determine the scheduling issues of shifts faced by the CLT members, analyzing them and making recommendations to the management.

Problem Diagnosis

A new calendar was prepared by the management of Zappos at the start of each month and this was based on the projected incoming calls and the internal growth forecasts of the company. All the employees working under the CLT had to bid for the time slots however, all those employees that had more experience and had a long history of working for the company were given priority in selecting their time slots for the shifts they wanted to work in.

However, not all the employees agreed that this was the most appropriate basis for allocating the time slots or the shifts to the CLT workers. There were around 500 workers working within the customer loyalty team and they provided exceptionally high level of customer service at Zappos. All the employees in the younger tribe needed to first abide by the 10 core values and continue to be humble and wait for their turn. However, all the employees were not satisfied with this approach which is the primary problem in this case.

Case Analysis

Before analyzing the staffing and other related issues, we discuss the strategy and competitive dimensions of Zappos.

Zappos Strategy and its Competitive Dimensions (Question 1)

The business model of Zappos works through online customer retailing services and providing a wide range of the products to the customers however, the core strategy on the basis of which the current business model of the company has become a huge success is the customer service of the company. The management of the company wins its customers through customer service that has created a strong WOW philosophy and embedded it with the current culture of the company.

There are several competitive dimensions on the basis of which the company competes with all the other online retailers in the market. The company has always maintained its sales growth rate on the long term basis at a certain output level. Therefore, the competitive advantages of Zappos have always been sustainable. The corporate culture of the company is nurtured and developed by its management. Zappos had a very strong corporate culture. The values of the business and the culture have a strong influence on all the aspects of the business, including the company’s supply chain. Training of the employees and the hiring of the right candidates were the main elements that were important in growing and maintaining the current culture at Zappos. Other competitive dimensions include the customer service training and employee development programs that are discussed in the next section of the report................

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