There is nothing more horrific to me than Black Friday. I would rather spend the day in the park with my kids than fight the masses for the holy grail of deals. Now Cyber-Monday I thought I could handle as well.
Last night I attempted to purchase some toys from ToysRUs.com. The inventory was rapidly changing in front of my eyes, only certain items were available for in-store pickup, etc. When I actually placed my order, the “find the store nearest you” feature was dead in the ajax waters of no return. In short they were getting slammed! Good for them. Bad for me.
So an announcement quickly appeared on their home page that they were extending their deals to Tuesday. A really solid business move on their part and good indicator that they can react well to crisis. I logged on today and when I went to purchase an item one item (that was on sale that was supposed to be in-stock) was not available. It was pulled off my order and my discount evaporated through the ether.
So I placed a phone call to customer service and the representative was able to make sure that when the order was in-stock I would get the discounted price. A notice to all merchants: as Gary Vaynerchuk warned us all at the Internet Summit #ISum11 that service and engagement with your customers is what will allow you to survive.
All it took was awareness of their own performance issues, empathy and a little Christmas Spirit.
Helpful tips for ToysRUs:
- Get rid of the phone maze, I want to talk to someone
- Real time inventory is a must now for a chain your size
- Give customer service reps the power to make things right and you will keep customers who had tough on-line experiences