With the holiday shopping season now in full swing and some companies being perhaps a bit overwhelmed by the unexpected numbers coming into their business—especially online—the dust is beginning to clear and companies can start taking an objective look at where performance shined and where it faltered. Two companies including Toys 'R' Us and Teavana are finding that they have their work cut out for them in terms of their post-Cyber Monday shopping experience, as recently discovered by looks at the companies' Facebook (News - Alert) pages.
The Facebook pages of the two companies revealed growing discontent about the service levels for Cyber Monday (News - Alert) shoppers including one woman Julie Casey who bought several toys in the Monster High line following a special promotion in which a free doll could be had with any $50 purchase. Casey bought the $50 worth of toys, but when unable to pick out the free doll she hit customer service. A near two-hour wait later, she used a speakerphone so she could continue to work while waiting and finally reached a customer service representative who eventually informed her the free dolls were out of stock. By way of apology, Toys 'R' Us offered a $10 gift card, despite the fact that the doll was worth $17. Despite this incident and those like it, Toys 'R' Us was still voted one of the top retailers for Cyber Monday by StellaService, a company that measures the quality of companies' response to customers.
Additionally, there were many complaints about Teavana's Cyber Monday service, with several shoppers finding the website actually down when they went to visit it. Teavana took to Twitter (News - Alert), saying that indeed the site was down for the count due to a greatly increased amount of traffic and that it was looking to make improvementsto be much better placed when they make another major offer for customers later this week.
While it's easy to be annoyed with responses like these, one thing is common to both companies: they had problems with their customer service and they addressed them accordingly. And even better, both companies are offering to "make it right" with their customer base. Sure, there's a bit of a value discrepancy in Toys 'R' Us' response, offering a $10 gift card in substitution for a $17 doll when a $20 gift card would have been more appropriate and Teavana's response is more a promise than an actual response, yet both companies are trying to make up for lost time and the loss of face in the market. Both companies could have ignored customers and suffered the loss of their business accordingly but it's clear that they want to keep shoppers.
Whether shoppers will accept the gestures made by Toys 'R' Us and Teavana remains to be seen, but as we are currently in the most charitable time of the year it's hard to refuse forgiveness for mistakes made, especially when there is a clear attempt to make up for those mistakes.
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Edited by Jamie Epstein