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Zappos Delivering Customer Satisfaction

ZAPPOS: DELIVERING CUSTOMER SATISFACTION 8

Zappos:Delivering Customer Satisfaction

Aggressivecompetition has changed the business landscape, and companies areobliged to focus their attention on maximizing customer satisfaction,including the provision of efficient customer service. As such, thecompany’s capability to grow through effective merchandiseprovisions that attract the balanced desires of consumers is evermore in danger. Organizations are striving to achieve bigger marketshare and are resorting to approaches meant to consider the client asthe acknowledged leader. One such a company that has successfullyproven to create and implement customer service values, while at thesame time, emphasizing on ethical behavior, is Zappos. Indeed, thecompany`s mission statement and values speak volume to bothambitions. The firm seeks to enable the business and the customers tocommunicate with each other, a strategy that is reinforced by acommitment to open and complete communication with the customers, thestaff, as well as investors. A culture of honesty and a genuinedesire to quantify stakeholders’ needs has assisted Zappos toattain highest rates as the leading and preferred employer and brand.The purpose of this paper is to analyze how Zappos strives to deliveroptimum customer experience.

Zapposleadership in fostering a culture of ethicalness

Zapposhas been a customer-centric company since its inception in 1999(Zappos, n.d). The company focuses on offering the highest servicequality to their customers leading to customer satisfaction andconsequently customer retention. Zappos is renowned for its uniqueethical culture as such, it has fostered ethicalness through itstransparency and the ability to build happiness for both itsworkforce and customers. The retail chain is determined to deliverexcellent customer service which serves as an opportunity to makecustomers happy. Zappos has the capability to attract the exclusivityof endowed persons by taming a desire to welcome an enhanced way ofculture that is unceasing. The retailer`s efforts to strategizedefined plans has been remarkable, given that it employs innovative,and creative minds that work to develop new products and services.Similarly, it sought to capture the market by providing a friendlyinterface that allows customers to shop and access services over theinternet.

Transparencyis also vital in Zappos culture as employees are kept abreast withthe overall performance and are motivated to transfer informationconcerning the company through its monthly newsletters (Burkus,2015). For other companies to mimic the same culture, it is requiredthat they enhance the culture of transparency and employeesengagement within the organization. Transparency is improved by thepromotion of free and flexible communication channels. An opendiscussion tends to convey honest information which will, in turn,build a relationship of trust and transparency. Likewise, employeesare viewed as a valuable resource in any organization thus,fostering employee engagement creates an opportunity to positivelyempower each employee regardless of position hold. This makes themfeel as part and parcel of the organization which impacts theirefforts to work while exercising ethical behavior in dailyactivities.

Impactof Zappos leadership and ethical practices philosophy on itsstakeholders

Interms of their customers, Zappos management, and ethical practiceshave established a positive impact. It is evident that the clientsnot only demand to be provided with quality and a wide range ofproducts, but they also seek better service (Zappos, n.d). For thisreason, customers are willing to pay more when they are treated welland feel that they owe much to the company rather than beingperceived as the party that pays for goods and services. Zapposcustomer centric nature, which is a crucial part of their businessmodel, has allowed them to deliver as per the client requirements,and thus building brand loyalty. This has worked well for the companyand has enabled them to retain the existing customers whileattracting new ones.

Inrelation to its employees, Zappos claims that it must developeffective communication channels of openness and honesty in order tobuild the company`s reputation. The management developed a culturethat seeks to attract talented individuals and where employees enjoytheir work so as to develop outstanding services and enhance brandpower. Improving these cultures will surely make workers put an extraeffort, and the company as a whole develops to be innovative.

Ethicalchallenges that Zappos face and actions to be taken

Justlike every other company, Zappos has encountered numerous problemsrelated to business and moral issues. When these problems arise,Zappos tries to resolve them in a well-organized method. However, itsopenness culture makes its ethical matters more complicated as itattempts to handle issues while keeping its stakeholders abreast. Onechallenge involves hacking of customer information. In 2012, databasehackers got access into Zappos computer systems and stole customers`confidential data including names, email addresses, mobile phonenumbers, and credit cards` information (Baird, Gallegos, and Shelto,2012). The retail chain responded to the theft of its clients`critical and private information by distributing emails to informthem of the systems information breach. Zappos has a renowned reputefor providing optimal customer service however, customers wereunhappy by the way the company handled the situation throughdisconnecting its call centers. The second ethical challenge isassociated with the more than just shoe promotion. To createawareness that the store trades more than just shoes, the companydeveloped an advertising strategy meant to capture customers’attention. The advertisements featured models who were naked, andspecific body parts were blocked with boxes that captioned &quotmorethan shoes&quot (Baird, Gallegos, and Shelto, 2012). The promotionfaced criticisms from the public because of the sexual content.

Thethird problem is linked with staff layoffs. Zappos has a reputationfor dedicating its time and resources to its workforce. However, theretail store has encountered difficult economic downturns thatrequired hard verdicts to be made. In 2008, Sequoia Capital, aventure company that monitored investors in Zappos, had to discusschallenges influenced by the recession and its impact on portfoliofirms (Baird, Gallegos, and Shelto, 2012). It was then concluded thatZappos must cut on costs to increase profitability and yield positivecash flow. In the end, the CEO, Hsieh, made the decision to lay offsome of its employees (Baird, Gallegos, and Shelto, 2012). Toadequately address the ethical challenges presented above, in thecase of hacking, the company should be able to protect its systemsagainst the exploitations of the software vulnerabilities through theuse of website firewall on known and unknown infections. It shouldalso put emphasis on how people gain access to the internet site byleveraging best practices such as two-factor or multifactorverifications. In relation to advertising, the marketing team mustput careful consideration and planning, as such, common grounds onthe use of sexual content in a manner that does not offend peoplemust be identified. Lastly, the management must practice on dignityand justice when making decisions to lay off employees and mustclearly communicate in advance the reasons and goals for identifyingthose affected.

Theeffectiveness of Zappos core values in developing a culture ofethicalness

Zapposmanagement established values that were to govern the retail stores`daily operations as well as create the centerpiece of theorganization`s model and principles (Abdallah, 2015). The core valuesare very distinct from other companies. They seek to create a robuststructure for Zappos actions. The concepts of ethical behavior,honesty, and transparency are firmly connected. Insightful moralbehavior implies the standards of doing what is right. Reliability isconcerned with the adherence to ethical conduct and examinesmoralities and respect, while transparency is characterized by theact of being open and truthful (Burkus, 2015). The core valuesreflect the stakeholders` perspective in a manner that promotestransparency and quality service in their dealings to fosterhappiness and increased customer experience.

Analysisof the major ethical challenges that Zappos has faced

WhenZappos systems were invaded, and personal information was madeavailable to hackers, the company addressed the problem bydistributing emails to customers informing them of the informationbreach and at the same time, took the decision to disengage all callcenters as it felt that the calls would cause an overload. Thecompanies` response was in line with what many would have done. It isessential for customers to understand what is going on informingthem of the management decisions was the right thing to do.Disconnecting the calls prevented serious problems from occurring.Efficacious control models to the database should, however, beestablished. In light of the advertising campaign, the marketingdepartment should have taken necessary precaution before releasingads with sexual content to the public. In this case, it should havedeeply considered the audience and establish common grounds to ensurethat the content is not offensive to the public. In the context ofdownsizing, the management handled the situation in a courteous andgenerous manner where the CEO distributed emails to the staff membersnotifying them of the downscaling, and also addressed the reasonsbehind it. Employees need to be aware of the changes that will affectthem and the company as a whole therefore, the decision made by theexecutive officer was right and in line with business ethicalstandards.

Conclusion

Arobust customer-centric culture has provided Zappos with an organicand sustainable pathway to desired performance and results. Thesecultures cannot develop and blossom on their own. For this reason,leaders and managers who have a better understanding of thenecessities for efficient and quality customer cultures have anadvantage when it comes to designing, implementing, sustaining, andmodeling them. As Zappos continues to foster transparency and deliverhappiness to its stakeholders, it requires full support andcommitment of the company’s leadership. It is presumed thateffective leadership is an indicator for positive future prospects.

References

Abdallah,E. (2015). The Five Essentials of Customer-Centric Cultures.Knowledge Center: Article. Retrieved fromhttp://www.heidrick.com/Knowledge-Center/Article/The-five-essentials-of-customer-centric-cultures

Baird,H., Gallegos, B., and Shelto, B. (2012). Zappos: Delivering Happinessto Stakeholders

Burkus,D. (2015). A Tale of Two Cultures: Why Culture Trumps Core Values inBuilding Ethical Organizations. The Journal of Values-BasedLeadership. Retrieved fromhttp://www.valuesbasedleadershipjournal.com/issues/vol4issue1/tale_2culture.php

Zappos.(n.d). About Zappos. Retrieved fromhttp://www.zappos.com/c/about-zappos