Monthly Archives: July 2010

Gap Falls WAY Short on Customer Svc

Yesterday, my wife and daughter went shopping at a major retail outlet center in northern New Jersey, an hour away from our home. They found themselves in a Gap store, and proceeded to purchase several items. My wife discovered this morning that the cashier left one of those anti-theft, plastic jaws of death attached to a pair of pants.

So, my wife calls the store this morning, to request that the store send her a return envelope with the postage pre-paid. She would send back the pants in that envelope, so they could remove the tag and return the pants to her. The Store Manager refused to do so. She told my wife that she needs to pay to have the merchandise shipped back to the Gap, then the Gap would either mail the pants back to her (one assumes sans security tag) or they would credit our account.

My wife tells the Manager that since the Gap employee failed to remove the tag, the store should mail us the necessary envelope with the return postage paid by them, to return the item. After refusing to accommodate her request, they tell my wife she should call Gap’s Corporate HQ if she wished to file a complaint. Of course, the store manager doesn’t have the Gap’s corporate HQ contact details (it’s GAP, 2 Folsom Street, San Francisco, CA, tel. # 650.952.4400.

My wife calls Gap’s Corporate Headquarters, only to be “greetd” by an automated response system. After spending an hour on hold, she FINALLY gets a live representative, who tells her she needs to transafer my wife to another “service” rep. Before my wife can object, she is transferred and of course gets hung up on.

Way to go, Gap! Congratulations on reaching the highest levels of American corporate service, held by such customer care-driven organizations as Dell, Verizon, Sears, and your local cable company.

Job Search Secrets Recruiters Don’t Want You to Know.

Having been a recruiter and now running my own career coaching business, I have come to realize there are many cold hard truths that the recruiting industry and Human Resources professionals do NOT want you to know about the processes they employ to recruit candidates to fill vacancies in their organizations. In order to be able to deal with the potentially damaging psychological impact of conducting a job search, here are a few cold-hard truths you MUST embrace:

1. The ACTUAL unemployment rate in the United States is 15-20%, and one in four workers can now be categorized as contract professionals.

2. Summer work and seasonal employment that was ideal for High School and college students are being served by professionals in their twenties, thirties, and forties.

3. We DON’T want you to reply. Since so many job seekers are out of work, companies that post ads for positions they are looking to fill get overwhelmed with thousands of responses. So, they cannot confirm receipt of your resume if you apply for a job, or simply filter your resume out of their database and never respond to you EVEN IF YOU ARE QUALIFIED FOR THE POSITION. A Majority of the time when yo7u call to confirm receipt of the resume and cover letter you sent through the company’s official candidate process, they have no record of you.

4. The 3 top job sites (CareerBuilder, Monster, and Yahoo! Hot Jobs) account for no more than 6-7% of all positions. In the BEST of times no more than 10-15% of all positions were advertised. Now it’s MUCH less.

5. Most positions are already pre-qualified for internal hire fills but the company HAS to post the position for a period of time in order to remain in compliance with hiring guidelines established by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Human Resources have almost no intention of looking outside the organization for qualified talent.

6. Recruiters are generally NOT interested in the job seeker but focus their efforts on serving the clients who pay them to find candidates to fill their positions. Thus, Recruiters are not concerned about the needs of the candidate and are not interested in ensuring the candidates’ values and belief systems match those of the hiring organization. There is ZERO monetary incentive thus motivation for them to care about the candidates they place.

7. The Human Resources Department often refuses to respond to inquiries from job seeker candidates that apply for positions the company advertised as a general business practice.

8. Companies know it is illegal to hire unpaid interns for extended work arrangements but do so any way, in order to get FREE work out of contract employees.

9. Recruiters who claim they are placing your information in their candidate database for future consideration hardly ever do so. They receive so many resumes from qualified candidates that in this employer market they can discard information from highly qualified job seekers.

10. Many companies refuse to terminate the employment of abusive managers but simply rotate them around the company. Thus, if you get hired and report to an abusive Manager then file a claim, you yourself may get terminated for potentially bringing bad press to the organization.

11. In the job market of today, most companies think very little of employees. Workers are seen as disposable assets. HR thus creates cold and impersonal terms to de-humanize employees by referring to layoffs as downsizing, right-sizing, re-engineering, outsourcing, off-shoring, and now…RIF – reduction in workforce instead of admitting they are discarding their non-valued assets.

12. The fallacious assumption of JOB SECURITY. We live in the 21st century contract workplace. Americans change jobs 8-9 times, on average. There is ZERO loyalty in the employee-employer contract.

13. If not blatantly unethical, many GREY areas exist in recruiting that HR professions turn a blind eye to, in oreder to recruit top talent.

Great Websites For Entrepreneurs
Smart Entrepreneur –
Entrepreneur Week:

Signs You STINK at Customer Care

If you are guilty of the following THOUGHTLESS acts, then there is a VERY real likelihood that you are awful at customer service:

You walk through a door and let it close without looking back.

You push through a door you can’t see through in a rough hard motion, not thinking there might be someone on the other side.

You don’t call people back or respond to emails in a timely fashion esp. when you know it is going to be an unpleasant conversation.

You tell people you “promise” to do something and often don’t follow through.

You say “give me,” “I want,” or “let me have” whenever you place an order.

You slow down at a stop sign but don’t come to a complete stop then go through.

You drive through an intersection where pedestrians are waiting without stopping to let them cross.

You hand items to people without making eye contact to make sure they are holding the item firmly or talk to others while you are doing something for someone while they wait for you.

You text while you are walking or driving.

You get on an elevator and let it close without looking to see if someone else is getting on behind you.

You never give up your seat to the elderly, children, or the physically challenged.

You speak loudly on your cell phone in crowded enclosed places.

You ask people “How are you?” and move on without waiting to hear a response.

These might seem like nothing more than questionable manners, but much of what the term “service” encompasses is delivering consistently exceptional experiences to your customers.