Customers voiced their frustration over email and on social media, questioning when their orders and returns would be processed.
The retailer’s inability to respond to the overnight surge in customer queries only compounded the crisis.
Speaking candidly about the issues in her YouTube vlog earlier this month, Showpo CEO Jane Lu said it was “embarrassing and disheartening” to read the negative comments from customers.
“I can’t believe that it has even come to this,” she said.
“This is the biggest rut that Showpo has been in in a long time, but I think what’s really important is how we learn from this and what we do in times of trouble…It’s important how we position ourselves and how we work to overcome it.”
According to Lu, the business put everything on hold – including a quarterly board meeting – to train up the entire staff in customer service, so they could respond to customer emails, which had doubled in volume after the crisis.
She said Showpo will also launch new technology to improve its tracking system.
The video is in keeping with Lu’s candid style of communication with Showpo customers and fellow entrepreneurs who know her as ‘The Lazy CEO’.
“I really wanted to speak directly to our customers, to talk to them on a platform they understand and relate to. We’re so fortunate to have a platform to directly talk to our customers, I felt it was important that we use it in this way,” she said in a statement.
As Lu noted in the video, businesses often share when they’re doing well, but rarely open up about failure. She said she hoped her transparency would help other business owners facing challenges.
“I felt it was critical that we created a little more transparency in the industry for both our customers and other businesses, things can really fall into a heap every now and then and I didn’t feel it was right to hide away from that. The response has been overwhelmingly positive which shows that our customers crave this transparency.”