View Full Version : They handled a possible VERY bad situation so well!

04-02-2007, 02:48 AM
I'm at home for the weekend and Momma and I went to Target this afternoon to pick up some things. The store was at normal volume for a Sunday afternoon, but when we went to the front to check out, there were LONG lines and none of them seemed to be moving.

I very quickly realized that the computer systems were down and groaned inwardly because I could see this getting very bad very quickly.

However, the managers were very visible and made numerous announcements saying that the systems were down and that if we would please be patient they would get them up as soon as possible. They then came around with bags of popcorn for anyone that wanted them and said that soda and water in the snack bar was free. They were also handing out $3 off coupons to everyone in line and saying that if you didn't want to wait, that customer service would happily put your things on hold for twenty four hours so you could come back.

The systems slowly came back up and within twenty minutes, they were back on and running pretty smoothly. I was very impressed with how visible the managers were and how they took a very difficult situation ripe and ready for SCs and handled it so well I didn't see a single person lose it. Yes there were some sighs and glances at watches, but all in all, they came through right on top.

As I left the store, I asked the manager at the door for the store number and she looked panicked, but then I told her I wanted to write to corporate and tell them how well the store had handled the situation and to give a compliment to all the employees for keeping their cool and doing everything they could. She looked so greatful and, even though she didn't have to, gave both me and my Momma another coupon.

I know it's not much, but that was a huge SC-fest waiting to happen and they diffused it so well! I was very impressed and I plan to write to corporate first thing in the morning.

04-03-2007, 09:29 PM
I agree that they handled that very well. It sucks to be on the other end, having to deal with irate customers who just don't understand that you can't tell them exactly when the system is going to be back online. It happened too frequently at the bank I worked at. Typical conversation:

Me: "I can process your transaction, but the computer system is down so I cannot actually access your account information to give you your balance [look to see if a check cleared, etc....]"
SC: "Well, when WILL you be able to check for me?"
Me: "Unfortunately, I have no way of knowing that. We are working to get the system back online as quickly as possible, but I cannot give any guarantees as to when it will be available." (note...sometimes it would be off for no more than a couple minutes, other times several hours, other times it would go off and on all day sporadically)
SC: "Well, I NEED to know WHEN you will be back online! Why are refusing to at least give me an estimate?!?!?!"
Me: "Because, unfortunately, it would be impossible for me to give you an estimate. The system will most likely be back online in just a few minutes, but I can't guarantee that because although it's unlikely, we may be offline for the rest of the afternoon."
SC: "!&!(&#$(&@#%&)@#!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Why is it so hard for people to understand that when a computer system goes down suddenly, it isn't planned?! And that there's no way to know for certain when it's going to be fixed....especially when it's a huge network, and the poor cashier/teller/etc. doesn't know anything about the cause of the problem, how to fix it or how long that could take? Even the managers don't know...the best they can do is make a phone call to the help desk, let them know about the problem and wait it out. The staff at that Target handled things very well.

04-03-2007, 10:53 PM
We have the same problem at work. If our system goes down, we can take down customer info, but that's pretty much it. I can't close a case or order a part if I can't get into the system, simple as that. And normally, we don't know why its down, we just know that it is down. :( Which sucks.

I give Target mucho props for handling that so well.