call centres

Ten lessons Zappos can teach us about staff and customer retention

Founded in 1999 and acquired by Amazon in 2009, Zappos has long been admired for its attitude to staff and customers. 

This focus is all about retention of customers and staff. And it saves the company a fortune on marketing and recruitment. 

Indeed, Zappos can boast customer retention rates of 75%, while staff rates are 85%, figures not many other firms can match. 

Companies are often more focused on acquisition than retention, but Zappos has turned this on its head, looking to market itself through quality of service.

It’s worked too, with Zappos reaching $1bn in annual sales before the Amazon acquisition. 

Here are just a few lessons that can be applied to other businesses…

Why online businesses still need call centres

Driven by growing multichannel interactions with their customers, many businesses are moving away from call centres in favour of social media and virtual help centres to deal with customer complaints and queries.

The thought is that customers engaging with lower cost channels should be supported through siloed touch points and diverted away from higher cost call centres.

However, the power of the call centre shouldn’t be understated.

Why you should make it easy for customers to contact you

Customer service online is all important, and businesses should be making it easy for customers to contact them to resolve any issues.

However, some sites seem determined to prevent, or least make it difficult for you to contact them. Whether through missing or hard to find contact details, charging for customer service calls, or taking weeks to reply to emails. 

Perhaps these firms think they are saving money or easing pressure on customer service staff by doing this, but I fear they are just annoying the hell out of their customers, which is rarely a good idea.