Have you ever had a bad experience at a store or beauty counter? I have, and it’s not pleasant.
Having worked as a retail manager, I know to never, ever judge a customer or potential customer. I got this idea when I visited a Chanel boutique when I lived in Las Vegas. I was in the military, so I didn’t have a lot of money; and I walked into the Chanel boutique in Caesar’s Palace, wearing an outfit from Express. The saleswoman came up to me with a huge smile, welcomed me, and asked if I was looking for anything in particular. I told her I wasn’t, and that as an Airman, there was no way I could possibly afford anything, that I was just curious about what they had. She had a glimmer in her eye and asked, “Well, if you won the lottery tonight, what would interest you?” She brought out various handbags, etc., for me to “try on,” and even though I was dead broke, I had a LOT of fun. Guess what? If I ever do win the lottery, I’m going right back to that same boutique, and dropping a load of cash.
Because of my experience at that Chanel boutique, my policy as a manager was to always treat everyone as if they were the most important people ever, with unlimited money. As a result, I made a lot of large sales that I would not have gotten otherwise.
I have only really ever had two negative experiences with beauty. Let me start off first by saying that I have never looked my age. At 40, I still get carded to get into the casino or to buy wine (did somebody say “wine?”). While I have no complaints about that, it is difficult sometimes to be taken seriously.
Years ago, I went into a cosmetic store here in the town where I live. The store also sold other products, such as balloons. I went in to check things out, and there was a woman telling a customer about a brow sealer. Brow sealer? I totally needed that- maybe for once my unruly brows could be tamed! I waited patiently while she provided stellar service to that customer. When the customer left, I asked about the brow sealer, and all she did was hand me a scrap of paper, tell me to write down my phone number, and she would call when they got more. That’s it. She went off and started rummaging around behind the counter. (FWIW- I don’t believe the woman working was the owner, though, because I’ve heard the owner is really nice.)
I was a bit miffed, so I went to Stage, and headed to the Lancome counter, where a girl named Tiffany was working. She was FABULOUS! I spent over $200.00 that day on Lancome products. Every time they got something new in, Tiffany would call, and more often than not, I bought the product. I never received that phone call about the brow sealer from the other store. Oh well, their loss!
My other negative experience occurred at Dillard’s in Bossier City, Louisiana, just a few years ago. I was working as a manager in Corporate America, and I made a LOT of money. Well, Jerry and I decided to spend the weekend in Shreveport/Bossier and go to a concert. The bands playing were Dokken, Winger, and the Scorpions- all rock. Jerry played in a few bands back in the eighties, and he still has long hair (which I will not let him cut).
So, anywho, I had run out of my Lancome foundation that I bought from Tiffany, and we decided to stop by Dillard’s to get more. Here we were, dressed in leather jackets, etc., for the concert. We went up to the Lancome counter, and there were two sales women kind of gossiping at a nearby counter, Estee Lauder, Clarins or something like that. They just kind of looked at us with disdain, like how dare we go to their counter.
Finally, one of them said, snidely, “Can I help you?” I told her I needed foundation; that mine had run out. She asked me what kind, and proceeded to say “That’s Lancome, this is Clarins” [or Estee Lauder, whatever], and pointed at each respective counter. Omg, this lady was a b*tch! I was so taken aback, I was like, “I know that. I wear Lancome Dual Finish.”
This sorry excuse for a “salesperson” then said something about the price, “You know that’s $39.00?” I looked her in the eye and said, “I didn’t ask,” as I handed her my card. If I hadn’t been so stunned by her behavior, I would have put her in her place. In hindsight, I should have said, “I know, it’s one of the cheapest foundations I’ve used, can’t believe I like it so much!” If I didn’t need the foundation so badly, I swear I would have walked out.
Luckily, we’ve met some awesome people at the Sephora and Ulta stores in Shreveport and Bossier City. Thanks to such great service, Jerry and I each have our own VIB Rouge and Platinum memberships. (Take that, snide lady!) And the Dior and Estee Lauder people at the Dillard’s at St. Vincent in Shreveport are super-duper (love you, Troycie and Firshelia!), so no need to go back to the other Dillard’s.
Even though we’ve found other great places to shop, logic tells me that the same women are probably no longer at the store here in town, or at that particular Dillard’s. But, because of bad experiences, we haven’t been back to those places ever since. This just goes to show that if you provide poor service, people will remember it for a long, long time. If you provide great service, they will be fiercely loyal and keep returning.
Have you ever had a bad experience at a beauty counter or store? What’s the best experience you’ve had? Scroll down to comment below!