The Power of Social Media: Why I Love Zappos

Zappos Tour

One afternoon I decided that I wanted a new pair of sneakers. So, I logged into my Zappos account and ordered some. Later on that day, to my surprise, they had upgraded my shipping to overnight for free! I was so excited that I had to tweet about it. The next thing I knew, I was responded to via @Zappos_Service thanking me for my loyalty to their brand and an exclusive offer to join Zappos VIP. Now I get free overnight shipping with every purchase. How cool is that?!

The bottom line is that most members of Gen Y love Zappos for a couple reasons. The first is that we love to shop online. In a survey conducted between 2004 and 2008, the Pew Research Center it was found that “Generation Y is the most likely to be engaged in all the various activities — communication, entertainment, e-commerce and entertainment-seeking”. In fact, 71% of active Gen Y Internet users buy products online.

The second reason Gen Y loves Zappos is because they can effectively communicate with their customers. In another TNGG article I agreed with one marketing guru that channels are much more important to Millennials than actual brands. In the case of Zappos, we love not only the channel, but the brand as well. Having a company online makes them easily accessible considering the fact that we spend so much time online. However, their ability to utilize these channels in different ways is what makes Gen Y love their brand.

Zappos is the poster child for effective communication with customers. Nothing is forced and they’re truly genuine. You get the sense that they’re always there for you. Not only does their CEO personally tweet on a regular basis, but their customer service account is active as well and always prepared for questions. They’re easily one of the top customer service accounts on Twitter.

At the end of the day, Zappos is a company fueled by customer service. Their television advertising shows adorable puppets acting out Zappos customer service calls, and you know the consumer will always end up happy. Doesn’t everyone (not just Gen Y) want friendly and reliable company representatives?

http://www.youtube.com/v/UJOpWDR8MZ0&hl=en_US&fs=1

Millennials do want customer service, we just want it in different ways. Older generations prefer more much personal forms of service. Millennials want service as fast as possible and in the easiest and most accessible methods, like social networking. Zappos has met this demand with their online customer service efforts.

Zappos isn’t just preaching their ideas of customer service. They’re actually practicing them. CEO Tony Hseih wrote a book about “using happiness as a framework can produce profits, passion, and purpose both in business and in life”. Knowing that everyone in the company, even the CEO, genuinely believes in the same business principles is comforting.

Without a doubt, Zappos is a perfect example of a company that has leveraged social media in a positive way, for both the company and its customers. And it’s easy to see that Millennials have taken notice. Whether it’s through their website, Facebook, Twitter or advertising, Zappos truly is Power By Service.

Image credit: Robert Scoble via Flickr

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