Earlier today, I posted about what I went through with ordering a vacuum cleaner from Sears.com. My first inclination was to just call the store. But I wanted to make sure that I got everything down and with as little emotion as possible. I can do that better with email than over the phone. I wasn't 100% successful with keeping my emotions out of the message, but I think I accurately conveyed the experience that I went through.
After a little bit of searching with Google, I found the email address of the CEO of Sears, Aylwin Lewis. I figured if I sent it there, the executive assistant that would handle the email would send it the right person at the store. That's not exactly what happened. Mr. Lewis did read it and took action on it.
When I came home from work, I had a message from the district manager for Sears. He called me back later in the evening and it was a very positive conversation. He apologized for what happened with Sears.com and for what I went through with the salesman. He told me that Mr. Lewis had forwarded my message to the nine regional vice-presidents. They were concerned over the melt-down at Sears.com, and they wanted to address the problem with the sales staff. They were well aware of the Sears.com melt-down, but having their own sales people bad mouth their Internet portal was something they were not aware of.
I was bit shocked by all of the attention, but I think it shows that they do care about the customer experience. From what I saw and was told, the Sears.com site was unable to handle the load from the holiday shopping. That's the easy problem to fix. Their site just didn't scale. You can fix that with more hardware or by tuning the existing hardware and/or software.
The other problem was the one that really bothered me and is why I sent out the email. That was the experience that I went through when I tried to buy a vacuum out in the appliance department. That's a harder problem to fix, but the district manager (Mark) made it clear that he was going to personally look into it. I have to give credit to Mark, and the people he works for. They did listen when I complained. And he did offer me a small gift to make up for what I went through. It wasn't necessary, but I do appreciate it. I really think they intend on fixing the problem with the salesmen.