The Gap - Part 3

This is the last part of my gap.com saga.

Yesterday, I could not help myself, I sent an email to Gap's CEO and Chief Marketing Officer to inform them of my dissatisfaction with their customer service, just to see what the response would be. By the end of the day, I received two emails from the company, both of which expressed how they wanted to right the wrong and offer me $20 off my next purchase. Here too, the company messed up.

The first email was boilerplate, plain and simple. Sorry to hear that you were dissatisfied with our customer service, here's $20 off your next purchase. The email was signed  Customer Service, with no name attached, and I loved the subject line, which read, "A Special Treat For You." Am I a dog? What about "Our Apologies To You" or something of that nature?    

The second email, which came from "Kimberly" in Customer Service, was a bit more detailed in its apology, but much the same in tone. It too offered $20 off my next purchase.

(The only reason why the second email was sent is probably because Gap realized they sent a boilerplate response the first time and thought to perhaps impress me with a more "personal" email the second time. Know something, it didn't work. I was not impressed.) 

Wow, $20 off my next purchase, how very unimaginative. What's a pair of jeans cost Gap, $10 maybe $15 a pair, I'm just guessing. The pair I bought cost me $49. Gap couldn't see its way clear to say, Mr. Marquis, for all of your trouble and inconvenience, and because we don't like to hear that our customers are disappointed with our service, the pair of jeans you bought are on us. How's that?

For an investment of $10 or $15 (i.e., the cost of the jeans), why doesn't Gap try to make me a loyal raving fan, one who will sing its praises, as opposed to speaking negatively about the company? Diapers.com and its sister companies do this better than anyone else...you have a problem with a product and sometimes the company will simply say keep the merchandise or donate it. We'll send you something else or a new one with no ifs, ands or buts. Now that's customer service. For company's like Gap, they need to realize that not all of the dollars spent are expenses, sometimes they're investments. Investments in the brand, as well as the customer.

Last point worth noting...instead of taking the time to forward and explain my email to someone in customer service (i.e., Kimberly), why didn't the CMO just take the time to pen a personal response to me and make the same offer and apology? Bewildering, isn't it? I guess he has more important things to do like run a broken customer service operation. 

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