As 40 million loyal customers were exposed to a breach in security that put their sensitive card data into less than secure waters, Target is struggling to retain the trust of those customers. Offering 10% discounts on purchases, agreeing to offer free credit reporting, and offering to make sure that “customers won’t be responsible for fraudulent charges,” Target is trying to regain the trust that has fallen to the cyber-wayside. A measure of the growing divide in trust is their falling stock price, seen below.
To help manage any concerns, customer feedback and support, or changes in policy along with personal service to resolve whatever issues may come up, Target has created a dedicated website to handle the situation. President of the New York Conulting firm Brand Key, Robert Passikoff commented, “They’ve been doing everything that they can. Your going to see, at the wrong time of the year, people who are moving to other alternatives until some level of comfort comes back.” This particular Target customer will monitor her card and maybe get a new one- cyber fraud is complicated and annoying but can be devastating and is not worth the risk. So onwards to more paperwork and red tape. While I personally know other Target customers, I doubt that anyone there would go so far as to cancel their red card, though several people will seek to be reissued a new card with numbers that haven’t been compromised. Certainly there will always be some people whose trust in the company is completely lost- and for Target, that will be felt as a truly material loss.
Target noted that the security breach in their red cards occurred between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15. The retailer has “identified and resolved” the issue, but will certainly take a hit as this offense occurred in the peak spending period of their loyal customers. Their last earnings report lagged, and today’s share price fell .3 percent. It remains to be seen whether or not the Minnesota headquartered giant can make a over come this calamity.
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