Monday, October 17, 2011

Customer Service = Brand Loyalty

I need to get off the topic of beauty for a moment and just talk about retail and customer service in general. This past weekend I went shopping at what I think to be a pretty fair sized mall in my area, and had the worst customer service experiences of my life. Simply due to the fact that EVERY store I went into I wasn't treated to my expectations.

I don't expect much. But a little customer service goes a long way. I'm more likely to spend $100 at a place with great customer service, than $2 at a place with shitty service.

Lets start with where I began. I walked into the mall through The Bay. The country's oldest shop, right? I see signs for Lancome's Gift with Purchase. I LOVE G with P. I'll buy whatever the minimum is just to get the free stuff. It's really worth it. Most of my favorite eyeshadow palettes were G with P. I look around at the counter, trying to remember what products Michelle Phan has used in a video I liked, since she's a Lancome spokes person. I found a mascara. PERFECT! They're about $40 and the G with P is for a purchase of $38 or more.

So I stand there, and wait... and wait... and wait... and after about 10 minutes I leave. That's crazy. The one girl wasn't even doing anything. Whatever, I didn't need $40 mascara anyway. I'll wait for Lauder's G with P, I like Lauder more anyway. Why? Because I always get good service with them! They're the first brand I ever worked with, their people are friendly in every location I've gone to, and once I was even offered a job at the counter in Edmonton.

Fine I move one. I get lunch, and the people at A&W seem to be nice. I get eye contact, a "thank you", and a smile. That's all I ask for. The food court is seriously the only place I got good customer service? Wow. That shows that money isn't an issue for good service. I can bet the counter girls at the bay were making more money than the middle aged woman who served me teen burger.

I moved onto H&M, hot damn I can fit into their clothes, I must have lost a few pounds, hi-5 for me! haha. Not one person looked at me in that store.


I went to Suzy Shier, they have the cutest sweater dresses right now, and I was trying to get one off those annoying high racks, you know the ones that face out, rather than sideways. I'm struggling and look for a sales girl, and see the two of them playing cards behind the cash desk. ARE YOU SERIOUS! I worked in a clothing store briefly and that's unacceptable! I could have walked out with hundreds of dollars in clothing and I honestly don't think they would have noticed. I finally got the one girl to help me and while she was getting the dress down I hear the other girl, in a snarky tone, say "I'm ringing through a customer. You'll have to get the other girl to help you". That's when the girl who's helping me rolled her eyes and walked over to the customer asking for help. SERIOUSLY?! Roll your eyes? I'm sorry we bother you so much, now can I get a change room? no? you're walking away. alright then...

It went on like that for all the other stores. Another clothing store I, again, tried to get a garment off a really high rack and failed, but I just left with it hanging by the price tag instead. I wasn't that interested anyway. But should someone have helped me I would have spent $40 on that dress I didn't need. So far the mall is out $80 of my disposable income.

I went to Aldo. Oh Aldo.  You always treat me like shit, but your shoes are cute. I'm the only one in the store. The sales girl says "hi", great start! Then walks away. Um..... I'm looking for something specific... maybe ask. All I want is a sales person to go "Hi! Are you looking for anything particular today?" Then I can say no, just looking or yes... blah blah blah.

It goes on like that for about 7 more stores, until I finally leave empty handed and get to Wal-Mart. The main reason I came. I don't expect much from Wal Mart, but when I went to the cashier I didn't get any eye contact. I had a coupon and I smiled and tried to make small talk, but she just ignored me. Not 1 word was said to me by that girl. Not even my total. Pathetic.

In 2009 I probably spent THOUSANDS of dollars at Ricki's in Edmonton City Centre. Why? Because the clothes are cute and the staff is AMAZING. I sent quite a few emails to the head office expressing my love for that location. When I wanted to get a part time job, that was the first place I went. If I get great service I'll let someone know. All those girls ever did was smile, and ask me how I was doing, let me know of the sales going on in the store, and where the new stuff was. I wasn't a big hauler, I wouldn't spend more than $150 in one go, but they still treated me well. That's all I ask for. And because of that experience my loyalty is with them. I could get twice the amount of clothes at Suzy Shier, but I probably won't go back.

So if you work in retail and are reading this, please if you don't love your job, fake it or find a new one. Treat all the customers, fat or skinny, rich or poor, like you would want to be treated. You'll gain loyal customers that way. Even though you may not own the store, you just work there, the more customers you get the more you'll get to work, therefor the more money you'll make. Take ownership of what you do.


  1. I already mentioned how I hate when places like MAC or Sephora give me crappy service when I'm intending to drop a lot of money.

    The other places I hate that do it to me are plus size stores. I always get the "you don't belong in here" look when I go into one because I'm barely big enough to fit into plus size, but if they have small enough sizes, I can. So for some reason the sales people ignore me.

  2. I hate plus sized stores. Sorry I'm your extra small penningtons. I'll try to eat more next time I visit.. lol