hd_small.gifI'm Frank Blake, the new CEO for The Home Depot. I've read a number of the postings on the MSN message board (unfortunately, there were a lot of them), and we've dispatched a dedicated task force — working directly with me — that is ready and willing to address each and every issue raised on this board. Please give us the chance.

There's no way I can express how sorry I am for all of the stories you shared. I recognize that many of you were loyal and dedicated shoppers of The Home Depot … and we let you down. That's unacceptable. Customers are our company's lifeblood — and the sole reason we have been able to build such a successful company is because of your support. The only way we're going to continue to be successful is by regaining your trust and confidence … and we will do that.

We've already taken steps to cure many of the ills discussed on this message board:
  • We will be and already are increasing our staffing in the stores.
  • We're also in the early stages of launching a nationwide program to recruit and hire skilled master tradespeople to staff our stores so that our customers receive the kind of service and expertise that made The Home Depot great.
  • We're investing significantly in the appearance of our stores to make them an easier and more fun place to shop.
  • And we're making it clear to all our associates that nothing is more important than you, the customer. Every associate knows that his or her number one job is to make you smile and to help you solve your home improvement problem … no matter how big or how small.
But the real judge of all of these changes we're making is you. All I ask is that you please give us the opportunity to win you back. When you enter our stores, you should receive a personal greeting. After that, you should encounter a helpful associate who will walk you to find the tools, material or service you need. If you don't, please let us know … just like Scott Burns did.

I'd like to thank Scott — his column about our company was insightful and revealing. You can easily tell that it struck a nerve with me. Scott, we'll do all in our power to again make The Home Depot the store you and your wife, Carolyn, once referred to as "our store." I'd also like to give my thanks to the many people who posted comments on this board. We want them. We need them … to enable us to keep getting better. We're committed to being the company that helped set the standard for customer service excellence in home improvement. Please continue to hold us accountable.

Finally, message boards of this type do not allow us to respond directly to each poster, so please give us the chance to fix the many issues discussed on this board by writing to wehearyou@homedepot.com. You have my personal assurance that every effort will be made to address your concerns.

The Home Depot was built on great customer service, and we will rebuild on that tradition — just give us the chance!


Originally posted on the MSN MoneyCentral bulletin board, response #3860.

Readers might also want to read Wall Street Journal coverage of the column, which established a record number of pageviews for any financial column on the MoneyCentral site.