Zappos: Delivering Customer Satisfaction

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Professor: James G. Ziegler, Ph.D

HRM 522, Ethics and Advocacy for HR Professionals

September 1, 2018


Beginning a business can be a gamble, you have a 50/50 chance of being successful or failing so it is important to have a clear and solid vision. Learning the facts of what it takes, now your chances of survival and outweighing the pros and cons can help a person get off on the right foot. Starting a business isn’t easy it takes commitment, starting a business requires a time commitment. The freedom of working on your own time and having your own lifestyle is there but it is often sacrificed to ensure the business’ success (Kimberlee Leonard June 28, 2018). If the business is properly ran then, one big enticement for business ownership is reaping the bigger financial rewards (Kimberlee Leonard June 28, 2018).
This customer service driven company has made a name for itself, as you read through this research paper you will soon learn that Zappos is a company that was carefully crafted is 1999, by a man named Nick Swinmurn, who had trouble finding the perfect shoe for him in their local mall. After much frustration, he decided to walk away from his career and develop an online shoe business that offered people the shoes they were looking for right at their fingertips. After almost a decade from the day the business launched they not only offered the best selection in shoe brands, styles, colors, sizes, and width the also began to offer a verity of other brands and products ultimately providing the best online service was. You will discover the manner in which Zappos leadership has fostered a healthy culture from within the company, what major impacts Zappos leadership and best practices have had on its stakeholder. You will also be exposed to the ethical challenges that Zappos face as well what effect their core values have on developing a culture of ethicalness.
A culture of ethicalness
Being able to honor and accept the principles of right and wrong that govern the conduct of a profession can be challenging but it is my belief that Zappos has done just that. Zappos bring about a business model that is unique and customer service focused. The company has tapped into something that works for their well-established business. They have discovered the power of good customer service and distinctive problem-solving, the two together make for a successful, money-making business. Offering great customer service, not only makes customers happy but it helps build your brand. I happy customer will tell others of the good service and quality products they have purchased, that is return will bring new customers who are eager to experience the same that good customer service. Zappos has taken the meaning of good customer service a step further by encouraging their people to call the company, they feel promoting more interaction with customers increases their personal connections with the organization. They have also tapped into the social media world where probably thousands of their customers rave about their experience with the company, I feel that was a smart move. Social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter can be extremely beneficial, now days everywhere people go they are posting it to their social media pages or making live videos and bring their followers into the stores with them. It is important to stay updated with society, owners who have operated in the own business for years and refuse to provide update technology and products to their customers are really losing out on the next best thing.

Refusing to stay in the know can cause a decline in customers, decrease in sales and the ultimate the end of your business. There are a few actions that I would like to suggest to other companies in order to mimic the culture Zappos has adapted to. The first being to welcome social media with open arms, in today’s works a person snaps a picture of their plate of food before that take a bite of it and post it on Facebook along with their locations for their friends to like and see. People will try on an outfit at a clothing store, post to their Instagram pages in hopes of being asked to be a model. They are using these sites to promote business for the places the shop and it cost the company’s nothing. I can’t understand why any organization wouldn’t want to tap into the social media world it is good for business. Another suggestion is to allow employees to have freer reign when it comes to working one on one with customers and problem-solving. I have been in several situation where employees at the customer service desk have said to me “I’m sorry it’s policy, I have no control” at that point you must wait for a manager only to tell your problem to someone else all over again and finally get the results you wanted in the end. Why not skip calling the manager, if a customer is upset, allow the employee to resolve the problem. If they are ethically trained and value the core values of the company that employee will make the right decision and the customer will not be left waiting while the employee is trying to find a manager to resolve a simple issue. The more steps you take to resolve an issue, the higher the risk you take of losing a customer. Zappos staff throw themselves into solving incidents, make suggestions and serve customers online as if they were shop assistants, providing the user the feeling of proximity and customized treatment normally found only to physical stores (Laia Ordonez 02/2018).

Impacts Zappos leadership and ethical practices have on its stakeholders.
Successful organizations must embrace a vision, mission, and strategy that creates long-term value and makes all relevant stakeholders happy. Zappos inventors are pleased with the leadership and ethical practices of Zappos, the company has managed to build a strong support system for a variety of programs based solely on the needs of their surrounding communities and the input of their employees. As if their best practices weren’t good enough, Zappos has been recognized for its innovative business practices. With appearances in Fortune’s “Best Companies to Work For,” Fast Company’s “50 Most Innovative Companies,” BusinessWeek’s “Top 25 Customer Service Champs,” and Ethisphere’s “World’s Most Ethical Companies.” The company continues to get recognized for its efforts in creating an environment and business model that encourages transparency and strong relationships among all stakeholders.

Ethical Challenges and Ways to Address Them
Hackers cracked int Zappos system and a lot of their customer’s information was compromised. Not only that it caused delays in the constant business of the online store as well as. The situation was addressed immediately, but I’m sure it left a lot of customers feeling unsure and probably skeptical about returning for business being that it is an online store and you will have to input all your important information back out on the web again. The challenge will tough to regain their reputation with their customers once again. This can be done by not cutting off all access to their customers. When the initial hack went down Zappos shut down all communication, I believe when a customer’s information is compromised they want to know the company is doing all the can to correct the problem and taking preventive actions to ensure this does not happen again. You can make a customer feel at ease by making your customer service experts available to the customer during these troubled times and not leaving them left in the dark.

Zappos technical challenges cause a few delays in shipment and the estimated time customers received their purchase. The situation was handled by reassuring customers that they would receive their merchandise as soon as possible. When I customers received an item after the date and time promised by the company I feel they should offer a full refund. This will 1 let the customer know that they sincerely apologize for the delay and 2 your opinion means more to the company then your money. Offering perks are okay but it still doesn’t fi the fact the customer does not have their product on time at fault of the company offering the same product at no charge will fix the problem.
Then there was the merger with Amazon, not everyone like shopping on Amazon and when Zappos decided to blend with the head honcho some of their loyal customers had questions as they should have. To remain loyal to their customers I would have recommended existing Zappos customers be a part of a loyalty program that Amazon honored for all existing Zappos customers to receive 10% off their order for a lifetime. It may not have saved all customers who felt betrayed and stopped ordering Zappos products, but if the kind offer saved one customer then it was a decision well made.

The effectiveness of the core values in relation to developing a culture of ethicalness.
Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh, sports a mohawk and lives in a trailer park of his own design, lets his weirdness flag fly. (Zappos’ Core Principle #3, in fact, is “Create Fun and A Little Weirdness.”) But the secret of Zappos’ customer service success lies elsewhere, I’d argue, in what I call Zappos’ Culture of Yes. (Micah Solomon June 19).
Zappos core values consist of:

•Embracing and accepting change.
•Create fun and a little weirdness.
•Be creative
•Taking lead without waiting for your boss to tell you to do so
•If the customer is not happy we are not satisfied
Zappos core values are unmatched, there has never been a company that I have worked for that operates in their own weirdness, think outside the box, encourage their employees to be different and still remain successful and on top. The unconventional way Tony Hsieh has decided to run his business is so profound to me his type of leadership illustrates how successful a business could be if they would stop trying to set standards that only impress an outdated group of people who refuse to open their eyes and see that the present and future has changed the way we operate our businesses now.
Analyze the major ethical challenges that Zappos has faced
Zappos has created a brand that is set apart from the rest and they have taking their customers along for the ride. Every obstacle that Zappos has faced, they have addressed immediately, never leaving their customers to wonder. In some situations, they may not have made the best decision on how to handle the obstacle they were facing, but they have also learned from their mistakes.
I do believe that Zappos untraditional way of conducting business is the reason they are so successful despite their ethical challenges. They offer their employees a relaxed atmosphere that allows their employees to offer their customer the best service it’s a win-win suctions every time no matter the issue. You can’t always control what happens, but you can control how you chose to handle the rift that follows, and Zappos seems to be doing a great job.


Daniels Fund Ethics Initiative University of New Mexico

Kimberlee Leonard; Updated June 28, 2018 Advantages ; Disadvantages of Owning Your Own company › … › Starting Your Own Company

Laia Ordoñez February 21, 2018 Successful eCommerce case: the history of Zappos .
Micah Solomon June 19, 2017 Is The Proudly-Weird Culture Of Tony Hsieh’s Zappos Also Its Customer Service Secret?