Will Chico’s Change the Conversation? A Retail Challenge.

By February 10, 2010Social Media

I was tempted by this e-mail, offering 25 percent off a dress I’d really like to own.

chicos travelers dressI’m traveling a lot for work these days and a packable, flattering dress that goes with everything would really help extend my work wardrobe.

So I clicked through to the Web site, intending to place an order.

travelers dress 2D’oh!

Is this bait and switch?

Here are some of the issues I have with this:

travelers dress 3

If Chico’s was really listening, they would have anticipated – truly- the demand for this dress and stocked up appropriately. Further, once the item sold out, they should have stopped their e-mail campaign to promote the offer immediately. Failing that, they should have followed up with an email to everyone they promoted it to, providing an update on this high-demand product.

I took them up on the option to chat with a “Personal Service Associate.”

Chicos chatI can appreciate that the promotional e-mail and the sale extended to the entire line, but the DRESS – the DRESS is what people want, and Chico’s knew that (or so their own content claims, since they said they “listened.”) (And, incidentally, I’m not going to go chasing this dress down in stores – if I can’t get it online, I don’t want it.)

I see this as an opportunity for Chico’s to change the conversation. They are on Facebook and Twitter, presumably to serve customers better. They have the chance to make this right for customers and come out looking like a hero.

Wonder what will happen?


  • Steve Gaines says:

    Wow. In this wide open world the only thing worse than not paying attention at all, is PRETENDING TO DO SO! Which extends directly to customer service in that the only thing worse than not caring about customer service is pretending that you do.

    And while I’m at it, the only thing worse than the outsourced CSR’s who have no ability whatsoever to do anything but read scripted answers, are the companies who pretend the CSR’s are not outsourced while pretending they can help.

    So, did anyone from Chico’s on FB or Twitter hear you? Or are they just pretending to be present there?

  • Marijean says:

    Writing a follow up post now – and guess what? They’re pretending. You were right.