20 February 2011

Beauty Sales Assistants - 10 commandments to stand by

Having just read a post on http://beautybloggingblonde.blogspot.com/2010/11/boots-dior-bourjois-poor-show.html#comments about the less than satisfactory service received at the hands of Sales Assistants, I began to recall some experiences of my own.

As someone who spent many years in sales, I noticed that often those with the money to spend are the customers who are not dressed to the nines. I mean, think about it.... You're a multimillionaire; do you really need to impress a sales assistant? Is dropping a huge amount of money really a special occasion for you any longer? I think not. Treat everyone with respect and you'd be surprised who is going to be a loyal customer, you never know in advance who they are.

 As a customer, I'm sure I'm no exception when I say that I usually know what I want for basics (foundation, powder etc.). I research, I read reviews and I consider what I require therefore, I am prepared to pay before visiting the makeup counters. I like to think I don't waste SAs' time and I like to consider myself informed, while still being open to learning from a knowledgeable SA. However, here what I consider should be 10 commandments for SAs:

1.      Please do not pounce on me the moment I enter your shop/ area, I like a moment to take it all in.

2.       Do not stare at me while I use testers to see the colours. That is why they are there after all.

3.       Do not adopt a manic, semi deranged smile upon enquiring if I would like help, you could very well scare me away.

4.       Do not hover, particularly after I have advised I am just looking for now. What I really mean is that you are invading my personal space and making me feel uncomfortable, leave me alone and I will be ready to purchase within 5 minutes. Continue to hover and I will leave in order to purchase my items somewhere else. Yes, even if it's more expensive, I value my space.

5.      Do not walk away looking offended or proceed to pretend to dust the very counter I am testing at.

6.      Do not play ‘hide and seek’ with customers. Make yourself visible (this means at the counter, not on top of me) and I will come find you as soon as I have finished testing.

7.      Be knowledgeable NOT a know it all. Please do not assume that by asking a question I somehow know less than nothing about your products. I can read you know. In addition, please answer the question I actually asked and do not go off on one.

8.       Be polite. If you are polite, I will be polite. Yes, you may have had to deal with unpleasant customers that morning, but you are paid to do that. I am not paid to be treated badly by you, nor will I hand you my money for the privilege.

9.      As much as I love a bit of gossip, I do not need to hear what you and your friend Tracey did over the weekend. Please wait until I'm gone. Worse still, please do not proceed to have a full on conversation regarding the very products I am looking at. Yes, I know what you're up to.

10.   You can let me know you’re there by walking past, smiling and saying Good morning or Good afternoon. Let me know you'll be just over there is you like. You have made yourself available in a non aggressive manner. I will come to you once I am ready.

 Treat me well, bearing the above points in mind and I will be very loyal. I will go out of my way to come back and repeat a positive experience. I may go so far as to allow my impulse buys to become more frequent, if I trust you.

To all those SAs who provided me with a positive experience... Thank you. I know it’s not always easy and sometimes you are faced with having to deal with all sorts. I appreciate your time, expertise and professionalism. The impression you created is what has turned me into a loyal customer of your brand and for that you should be commended. A brand is only as good as its representatives.

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