Amazon.com: Customer Service Champion


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Please note:

This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

Case Details:

Price:

Case Code : MKTG243 For delivery in electronic format: Rs. 400;
For delivery through courier (within India): Rs. 400 + Rs. 25 for Shipping & Handling Charges

Themes

Customer Service / Customer Experience
Case Length : 25 Pages
Period : 2008-2009
Pub Date : 2010
Teaching Note : Not Available
Organization : Amazon.com, Inc.
Industry : Online Retail Industry
Countries : USA, Global

Abstract:

The case discusses the customer service at Amazon.com, Inc. (Amazon), a US-based e-tailer. Amazon evolved from being just an online bookstore into one of the largest e-commerce platforms in the world where customers could find and discover anything they wanted to buy online in a more convenient way. Customer service, loyalty, and customer retention were the three important aspects of Amazon's service culture. Experts were of the opinion that over the years, the customer base of Amazon had increased significantly due to its high levels of customer service. In addition to consumer customers, Amazon offered marketing and promotional services for third-party retailers and web services for developers. It allowed third party vendors to sell their products on its website.

The case outlines the customer-centric philosophies of Amazon and discusses the various customer programs undertaken by Amazon. The case discusses the importance of customer experience at Amazon and describes the focus of the company on three aspects - price, selection, and convenience. Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, invested heavily in building advanced technological infrastructure to serve his customers. He spent huge sums of money on customer service programs, even though this affected the operating margins of the company. The case points out certain issues related to Amazon's customer service. The case concludes by discussing how Amazon had weathered the recession and performed better than other online retailers and also discusses how Amazon's acquisition of Zappos would affect the customer service of both the companies in the future.

Issues:

Understand the importance of customer service, particularly in the online retail industry.

Understand various concepts in customer service and customer relationship management.

Study the customer-centric philosophies of Amazon, the systems and processes, and how these have contributed to the success of the company.

Analyze the factors that contributed to a strong customer service culture at Amazon and how some of the negative aspects associated with its customer service can be improved upon.

Explore strategies that Amazon can adopt in the future to attract more customers

Contents:

  Page No.
Introduction 1
Background Note 2
Customer Service at Amazon 6
Results 12
The Other View 14
Outlook 16
Exhibits 18

Keywords:

Customer service, Customer experience, Customer loyalty, Customer satisfaction, Customer-centricity, Customer service culture, Customer feedback, Customer retention, Customer perception, Competitive advantage, Core competency, Online retail, e-commerce, Amazon

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