Tuesday, April 6, 2010

A Letter to the CEO of #139 on the Fortune 500...

Well folks, after no attempts by the J.C. Penney personnel to keep this long time customer and card holder happy, I finally had it today.

I've called and called about my lost glasses and all I get is the answering machine at the J.C. Penney optical department in Mobile. I've left messages asking for the department manager to call me back about my glasses. No call backs! No nothing!

So I just finished a letter to Mr. Myron Ullman, President and CEO. It will go in tomorrow's mail and should be in Plano, Texas by Thursday or Friday. Perhaps Mr. Ullman will get the picture. If not, I'll know that the problem is company-wide and that J.C. Penney is too fixated on door busters and one day sales to care about customer lifetime value, which can be computed in dollars and cents. Just ask Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart knows its customer's value in terms of sales and profit dollars over years of buying, and teaches its employees how much bad service can cost the company.

Obviously J.C. Penney hasn't taught its employees as well as Wal-Mart. That could be why the company must have a "sale" every weekend.

Nor have the J.C. Penney employees been monitoring the web for any "bad news." If they had, they might have answered my blog quickly, like Abebooks.com did. "Abe" gets an A+ in "net savvy", and has redeemed itself on the customer service front! I will return to the Abebooks.com site for purchases in the future. Not so with J.C. Penney.

J.C. Penney, you just failed the marketing 101 midterm. I hope you do better on your final.

Marketers, keep an eye on your company's customer service and take action to protect that "customer lifetime value!" Train employees in the art of customer retention. It's as important as any of the "p's" in the marketing cycle!

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