Best Buy CEO shows us how not to apologize

I had a pretty terrible experience with Best Buy this Christmas; I ordered an XBOX 360 on their website for in-store pickup and never got it. Many other folks had this problem. The reason was that their “Order Online” button was completely disconnected from their in-store inventory management. In other words, they had no business telling me that I could buy a certain product online, for in-store pickup, because they had no idea if the product would actually be available in store.

I would have been okay if they just disabled in-store pickup for their Black Friday deals, but this was just stupid. The problem was so widespread that forbes.com picked up on it.

Best Buy CEO Brian Dunn apologized in his blog two days ago. Not a bad effort although they should have also emailed me directly; they would have gotten bonus points if they went further and sent me a token gift card for my trouble.

Unfortunately, the CEO then overstepped and defended the company’s strategy and lackluster execution in the post. It felt like a half-hearted effort to boost morale and talk up the stock. Something appropriate for an internal email, but not a post to the world. It made the rest of the post seem insincere.

As Peter Drucker said, “a business exists to create a customer,” not to please Wall Street or your employees.

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