Lab #7: Consumer Generated Media

    H&M is a fashion clothing store that prides itself on great quality for a low price. With their European style and multiple celebrity endorsements- currently being Queen B herself, Beyonce- they’ve attracted the attention of many. I view H&M as a sister store to Forever 21, just better quality with sustainability. H&M has gone global, is worn by some of the top celebrities, and has a wide variety of customers that always come back- so what could they possibly have to improve on?

Just because a company has gone global, doesn’t mean they’ve reached perfection. Is any company perfect? (Let’s not all jump to answer at once.) As I was looking through H&M’s Facebook page, I did see numerous positive comments posted by customers that “like” their Facebook page. They post pictures of new clothing items, reminders about upcoming sales, and give outfit suggestions to spice up your look- all of which seem to be a big hit with their clientele. However, I did come across a few complaints. One customer expressed the idea of expanding their size range, and another complained about a new dress they posted under $20 that wasn’t in her local H&M store. These seem typical, right? They can’t possibly make every size or have every single item they make in every single store. That’s something that customers do need to understand. However, with the internet allowing us to be online shoppers, we could assume that we should be able to do so if we don’t have a local H&M store.

 H&M Screen Shot

    Not the case. This past week, H&M posted a recent ad on their Facebook page about great “Memorial Day Fashion Finds”, starting at just $5. Included in that post, they supplied their customers with a link that directs you to a store-locator to make shopping as easy as possible for you. One customer shared her opinion about their lack of success with online shopping: they don’t have USA online shopping. She then briefly went on to point out that by lack of this, they are losing a lot of money. Another customer soon replied and agreed. Nicely enough, H&M noticed these two complaints quickly and replied: “We will have online shopping later this summer. Subscribing to our newsletter will update you on when the official date will be so you don’t want to miss out”, and also supplied a direct link to the newsletter (H&M).

Now, it’s rare that companies reach out and respond to your complaints- especially with the insane amount they receive on their social media pages- so it was great that H&M did. This is a great way that they can aim to keep customers. If these two people are customers without online shopping, it’s a sure thing that they’ll remain customers now that their complaint will soon be put to rest. However, there are probably many more complaints floating around there, that are number 912 on the list of 2,000 comments. How can they possibly keep track of them all?

In this response, it might have been beneficial to include some sort of online feedback or complaint forum as opposed to customers having to rely on the companies “slight” chance of noticing their comment. They also didn’t show much care that the customers were so upset. Yes, they ultimately fixed the problem by supplying them with information on when they will have online shopping, but with lack of interest that their customers were upset. It was almost like a generated message you get on the phone. I realize it’s Facebook, so you simply can’t get a feel for if someone is showing emotion, but it is social media. I would have included something along the lines of, “We’re so sorry (insert customers names) for the inconvenience this has been! We are happy to inform you that you will have access to online shopping by the end of the summer! To stay informed, sign up for our newsletter that will update you on the dates, along with deals and promotions! Our best, H&M.” This seems a bit over the top, but customers will feel much more appreciated and heard.

In our class text, Seitel talks about “magic words”. Since we have become so prone to voice mail, email, and generated voice recordings, it is nice when you do hear these “magic words”: We’ll take care of that for you, Consider it done, etc. Elaborating on them is key in my opinion- tell the customer what they need to hear, but also make sure it’s truthful. You’d hate to say “consider it done” if in actuality, it isn’t. I thought H&M handled this complaint well, but could have improved by showing more care and concern. After all, without customers they’d be out of business.

First image displayed is credited to About.com.

Screen shot displayed is credited to H&M’s Facebook page.

Seitel, Fraser. The Practice of Public Relations. 11th edition. New Jersey: Pearson Education, Inc., 2010. Print.

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