Hactivism: Home Depot Forced to Respond to Message Board

The web continually enables the masses to not only whine and complain, but actually channel a loud enough voice to force change from brands and corporations.

Consider this: after readers flooded MSN Money’s message boards with tales of lousy service, Home Depot’s new top executive says change is on the way!

Last week, MSN Money published a column by Scott Burns that focused on customer-service problems at Home Depot.

The response was overwhelming: THOUSANDS of readers posted messages on the MSN Money boards and more than 10,000 took the added steps of e-mailing editors to MSN to share their own stories of time wasted at Home Depot’s stores. Oh, and did I mention that Home Depot is in a announced a 28% decline in earning for 4Q, and same store sales are down 6.6%?

In response to message board outcry, Home Depot’s new CEO, Frank Blake, posted his own message promising change. Below is his posted promise of change:

I’m Frank Blake, the new CEO for The Home Depot. I’ve read a number of the postings on the MSN message board (unfortunately, there were a lot of them), and we’ve dispatched a dedicated task force — working directly with me — that is ready and willing to address each and every issue raised on this board. Please give us the chance.

There’s no way I can express how sorry I am for all of the stories you shared. I recognize that many of you were loyal and dedicated shoppers of The Home Depot . . . and we let you down. That’s unacceptable. Customers are our company’s lifeblood – and the sole reason we have been able to build such a successful company is because of your support. The only way we’re going to continue to be successful is by regaining your trust and confidence . . . and we will do that.
We’ve already taken steps to cure many of the ills discussed on this message board:

We will be and already are increasing our staffing in the stores.

We’re also in the early stages of launching a nationwide program to recruit and hire skilled master tradespeople to staff our stores so that our customers receive the kind of service and expertise that made The Home Depot great.
We’re investing significantly in the appearance of our stores to make them an easier and more fun place to shop.

And we’re making it clear to all our associates that nothing is more important than you, the customer. Every associate knows that his or her number one job is to make you smile and to help you solve your home improvement problem … no matter how big or how small.

But the real judge of all of these changes we’re making is you. All I ask is that you please give us the opportunity to win you back. When you enter our stores, you should receive a personal greeting. After that, you should encounter a helpful associate who will walk you to find the tools, material or service you need. If you don’t, please let us know . . . just like Scott Burns did.

A response box has been opened at wehearyou@homedepot.com

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via Consumerist