Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Target® responds - just 18 hours later

Ok so Target® meant what they said in their ad in the Sunday NY Times about getting back to me. I received this response from Julie at Target Guest Relations just 18 hours after sending my suggestion (see last night's post)

Dear Teri,

Thanks for letting us know how you'd like to make Target® even better!

It's exciting to hear the many ideas from guests like you and we appreciate your suggestion about having a "Give Back" day where our guests can help out others in their communities. There have been a lot of families hit hard by these tough economic times so, as part of this initiative, I'll be passing your suggestion along to our Senior Executives.

We work hard to make Target such a fun place to shop. Whether it's our merchandise, services or commitment to communities we serve, we're always looking for ways to improve your shopping experience and new ways to bring you more for less.

(800) 440-0680
Target Guest Relations

I made it red, in honor of the Target bull's eye. A couple things to note... the message back to me was personalized and they spelled my name right. Very awesome in my world. Julie actually read my request because she expressly referred to it in her reply. And the last paragraph (and likely part of the first) is a canned reply that I am certain everyone got. Oh well, they've got to get their corporate message out somehow I guess.

Cool though. The original ad with this offer to send them my thoughts was likely seen by millions in Sunday's NY Times, and they took it seriously. It makes me say it again - I can't imagine a good old fashioned department store even 10 years ago doing this. It's the age of customer control in fine form.

Score one for Target, staying true to being customer responsive, even if partially canned.
Now everyone keep your eyes open for "Give Back" day at the Target in your neighborhood.

Someone else try this and see what you get back from them.


  1. I think the fact they responded so personally is amazing, would love to know how they fared with the rest of their requests. I think I'll share this ad with my girls and see what advice they have. Believe it or not, sometimes "from the mouth of babes" is soo true!

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  3. What's more impressive to me than the response (which I'd expect to follow a template, with some "flex" built for customization) -- is the SPEED of the response itself. I'm inclined to give major props to Target regardless of the canned message.

    How much feedback will result in action? No one knows. But it's still a good outreach research tool for Target if you believe as I do -- that people who provide feedback to companies -- can represent the thoughts of as many as 2-to-10% of its customer base that doesn't have the time to engage.

    Long ago, when I worked at an investor-owned utility -- someone had a formula figured out that one letter of complaint (or letter of praise) -- represented at least 2% of its customer base. Hence if you had 10 million "captive" customers, that meant you had to weigh the possibility that written opinions represented up to 200,000 additional customers who felt the same way. And no matter how you look at it, even at 2%, 200,000 is a big number. And we moved accordingly to make corrections.

    The second next test for Target -- (but there's an cruel element of "gotcha" involved that I'm not inclined to execute) -- is to reply to Target's response with more details to see how much if its canned elements are repeated in subsequent exchanges. But for now, I say kudos to Target. - David Kusumoto (-koose!).