Earlier this month, we took an in-depth look at JCPenney’s intensive social media apology tour that aimed to win back approximately one third of its customers.
Consumers defected under Ron Johnson’s “hipper,” coupon-free JCP leadership.
May 1 the retailer released a commercial, made by Young & Rubicam, in which it admitted “it’s no secret” that things changed for the worst. JCPenney then unrolled a social media effort to ask customers’ suggestions and respond to virtually anyone that tweeted using #JCPListens, taking the hashtag quite seriously. It even brought back an axed clothing brand consumers said they missed on Facebook.
The Twitter effort has been very well recieved, and JCPenney is convinced it can change all the haters’ minds.
But today it appears that the JCPenney apology tour is coming to a close with the emergence of a “thank you” ad for all of the customers who have “come back to us.” Less than two weeks later. A voiceover says:
At J.C. Penney, we never stop being amazed by you. How you work so hard without looking like you do. How you make every dollar stretch so far and keep your family so close. So we brought back the things you like about J.C. Penney, gave you new things to explore and now, we’re happy to say, you’ve come back to us. We’re speechless, except for two little words. Thank you.
While thanking consumers is a good thing, is JCPenney speaking too soon? Positive social media reactions are one thing, but the retailer lost $4.3 billion in sales in 2012. Do positive tweets translate to bodies in the brick and mortar stores?
The Q1 earnings results will go public May 16, but the company’s preliminary release states that it’s anticipating a 16.4% decrease from this time last year. However, JCPenney notes, “The Company noted that results for the quarter also reflect its prior pricing and marketing strategies, which are being changed under new leadership.”
Although JCPenney has cooled it on promoting #JCPListens — the company hasn’t tweeted it from its main stream since May 3 — it is still using the same strategy from earlier this month of addressing customers’ concerns.
For example, more than 2,000 people have liked JCPenney’s Facebook “thank you” post in an hour:
But the retailer was quick to address a critical customer’s concerns.
The apologies are over, and now it’s time to rebuild.
Here’s the “thank you” ad:
JCPenney sales have gone up, but Wall Street analysts credit the company’s promotions…not the ad.
Do you think that JCPenney is jumping the gun by thanking its customers now?
SEE ALSO: Here’s a breakdown of how JCPenney is running its social media apology tour >