Hard to imagine, but Gasp Clothing in Australia seems intent on not understanding or caring about customer service. If you have missed the saga up to this point, you can find out more here. In a nutshell, here’s what happened:
1. A Gasp employee is rude
2. The customer writes in to complain
3. The response back to the customer is as rude and arrogant as the initial employee was
4. It goes viral
5. The head office responds defending their position, and blames the customer
Now, it seems, the people at Gasp are confused at the general public’s response. They don’t understand why saying things like, “So if you would like to do us any favours, please do not waste our retail staff’s time, because as you have already seen, they will not tolerate it.” could possible be interpreted as a bad thing. So they decided to fight back, with a media release to further blame the customer.
Had the customer been a jerk? Possibly, we’ll never really know. Would that excuse the rudeness on the part of the employee, or the complete lack of empathy in their response to the complaint? No. There was a high road to be taken in this experience, and Gasp didn’t even consider it. And now, with their subsequent press releases, they confirm that they suffer from a horrible case of corporate narcissism that will forever prevent them from understanding what that high road was, or why it would have been a better response.
For the record, here’s how Gasp should have responded:
1. Acknowledge the customer’s complaint, and thank her for bringing it to their attention
2. Apologize for the employee’s behaviour, and reaffirm Gasp’s commitment to great customer experience.
3. Say something like, “The employee may have been well-intended – responding to what he perceived to be an attack on the quality of Gasp’s product line – but this does not excuse his words or his actions…”
4. Invite her to return again.
Gasp is missing one of the core rules of dealing with difficult customer situations: “Never argue with a customer – because even if you win – you still lose”