Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Why K-Mart is failing.

I recently found an item on K-Mart's website, and wanted to purchase it in person in a store. They didn't have a link to actual store inventory, so I called a local store and asked for the right department. The guy asked for a UPC number, which the website didn't give me. I only had the "item number", whatever that means. He couldn't find the item after 10 minutes of searching.

Next, I used the website's contact form, and they had an option to "Locate Products". That sounds like what I wanted. I sent the following message: "I am looking at product 103480, "Wooden 3 shelf storage unit" online. What is the UPC barcode number of the item? Can you tell me if there are any stores near 18109 that carry that item?" Sounds pretty straightforward, right? The response I got back from K-Mart's customer service asked for my name, address, phone number, the UPC code, and quantity. Hello! If I knew the UPC code, I would have called more local K-Marts asking about the item.

Here's a clue, if you don't even read the questions your customers ask or the responses you're sending, that doesn't exactly send a good message to the customer.

I went to Target, found what I wanted, and bought it.

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