Saturday, 8 June 2013

You Give Customer Service A Bad Name

Today's hottest topic from Twitter has been customer service on make up counters, after Goss Make Up Artists YouTube video on people's worst experiences. Some of them are shocking, one ending with the customer being called 'fat' by the brand's make up 'artist' and being escorted out of the building by them. I could of honestly cried for the poor woman, all she wanted was some help and to feel fantastic and had her self confidence ruined.

As it was point out by Goss, not all counters are like this - I should know as I was a Account Manager for Estee Lauder for 3 and half years. Part of my role was to oversea that my staff did their job, that they made the customer feel like they had an experience and found the solution they were looking for. This was done in coaching sessions, observation work and open discussion. I was extremely lucky, my team were amazing and all of us not only worked incredible hard but loved what we did (One is now a published Make Up Artist in top Asian Media).

However, I did see the dark side of sales - Pushy sales people and are only there so they can get their discounted make up for their kits. I've seen the leaning on counters and the I'd rather be somewhere else attitude. I have been guilty of not feeling motivated on the days where I've been on my feet for 8 hours, one member of staff has called in sick so this means I would normally would have to work longer. It is still my job and the customer is here for my advice and help not listen to my upsets.

What advice can I offer from the other side?

If you do met someone that you connect with and like them, get their name and what hours they do. They will get a percentage of your money for what you purchase and I look at it like this - If you were in restaurant and thought that a person had gone the extra mile you would leave a tip. Don't like what they were, take your money elsewhere (no one earns commission on internet purchases).

Treat them like a real person, treat them how you would want to be treated yourself. You will not believe how many rude customers I have still carried on serving, I am still a professional but I am also a person. Kill it with kindness is still my favourite motto.

I know the biggest bug bear with everyone is samples. I have sat in regional meetings and asked until I'm blue in the face for more sampling. Times are changing - foundation sampling is now more wide spread and I now has decreased the returning of foundation (which is the biggest amount of items returned). Samples are limited, and they are there to be used as a promotional tool. At least be prepared to hand over an email address in exchange (I have an email address, just for this purpose). Ask if you want bring in a clean pot so an amount can be added in, if you have shown an interest in the product there really shouldn't be a problem (but it is at your own risk and don't expect a huge amount).

I do miss my days on counter, making a customer feel fantastic after months, years of frustration cannot be brought. It is with a heavy heart that I read people's experiences of bad customer service, it makes me want to scream that it's not like that. There is a huge percentage of us who love make up and have a huge passion for it. If you do not complain then it won't be dealt with, and don't leave it until you get home - get the manager and cause a stink, it has more impact and will embarrass them into doing something rather than dismissing an email.

Please do not let one person put you off going to counters, but don't let them get away with it easier.


  1. I love discussions about makeup counter service. It's unbelievable how many negative experiences people get with them!

    I posted about my experience at a MAC counter in March if you'd like a look since it's relevant. :)

    1. It's actually very sad to read about so many negative experiences, it shouldn't be the case. Most of the time it boils down to attitude from staff and customers alike. x

  2. I do not enjoy approaching the makeup counter, my boyfriend laughs at me because i try and find what i'm looking for before someone comes and talks to me. I know they are there to help but I always feel pressured into buying something I don't want. lol

    1. The nature of a sales floor is such that yes there is a level of pressure selling, personally I would show something that would match what you're purchasing and why I'm showing it. This still covered my obligations of link selling but you have every right to say a firm 'No'.
      We are paid to help you so please don't be put off, don't like that person - move onto another one. x


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