I try to go through all my products every 4-6 months and do some cleaning–wiping down powder surfaces, dipping lipsticks into rubbing alcohol to sanitize, and tossing out anything that has changed color/scent/consistency.  I use recyclable disposable lipgloss wands for glosses from the get-go, so I don’t have to worry about those, and I use metal spatulas to get cream products out nowadays to avoid dealing with cleaning cream products!

-- Christine

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Is the customer always right?

NYX 12th Anniversary Sale + Resulting Chaos

It’s one of the hardest lessons to learn no matter what kind of business you’re in, because as long as you have clients or customers, it’s a lesson you have to learn. The customer is always right has to be an attitude held whenever you work with clients, because even when they may not be or if it isn’t even your fault, it is the company’s obligation to do what they can to smooth things over.

Over the weekend, NYX kicked off a 12-hour super sale where all products were $1.20–anywhere from 75-90% off retail prices–to celebrate their 12th anniversary and show thanks to their customers. It was expected that people would be excited, but NYX encountered server issues with late Saturday night traffic (likely people browsing in advance to create wish lists and the like) that continued into Sunday, the website just wasn’t able to cope with the surge of traffic.

I reached out to NYX this morning to get their perspective and see how they are handling things, and NYX said that the tech team has been working on their website functionality for 72 hours now, everything from new servers, adding servers, and rebuilding the site. Everyone is answering phones, and I’m sure you can imagine the kind of day NYX’s customer service representatives are having (so be kind if you call). NYX says they remain committed to working through these issues, rebuilding, and making their website stronger going forward so that this will never happen again. They believe that this learning experience will make them a better, stronger brand.

It’s easier to solve problems in hindsight than when you’re in the thick of it–because it’s like the sky is falling and you’re struggling to figure out how to hold up the pieces (trust me, we’ve had growing pains here on Temptalia, and shelling out big money didn’t fix anything for us instantly–took us weeks of working with and hiring experts). As an e-commerce business, down time means lost sales, and down time as dramatic as what NYX has experienced during a pivotal time period means not just lost sales but angry, betrayed, and hurt customers. Life is not black and white, and neither is this situation.

As a business graduate, I recognize and sympathize with NYX’s plight, but as patron of NYX and one who hit the refresh button often enough during the past day, I sympathize with customers, too. What happened to NYX’s websites may have been out of their control, but it’s not in the customers’ control either, and at the end of the day, it is NYX’s burden to shoulder. Now, we see that no fix ever resolved the issues of site connectivity, and it would have been so much better on everyone if NYX had postponed the sale until full site functionality could be restored and assured. Unfortunately, the sale continued on (and has now officially ended as of noon PST), which meant that customers continued to plug away and hope they were able to put in an order. I tried throughout the sale, as late as 2AM PST, but I couldn’t get to checkout (which seemed to be where things really bottlenecked).

NYX will be offering 50% off along with free shipping for seven days for customers who were not able to take advantage of the sale because of site functionality issues. The point many have already made is that this is not the same as the anniversary sale itself. It is a concession, and one that meets at halfway to try to appease unhappy customers. NYX stressed their apologies to me when I spoke with them as well as on their Facebook/Twitter pages.

We are extending 50% off coupon as well as free shipping. You will be able to utilize this 50% off coupon code for seven days. All of our items will be honored with this code with the exception of makeup train cases, makeup artist chairs, brush sets and makeup sets. This discount cannot be combined with any other offerings or promotions such as the NYX Professional Discount. In order to attain your code please email [email protected] with your full name and email address for your one time code offer.

At the end of the day, it’s about finding ways to restore confidence in your customer base to make the future better, even if the immediate profit loss is hard to swallow.  With so many social media channels available for customers to express themselves to their favorite brands, we are now more empowered today to do so. It is your thoughtful, rational comments and feedback that will inspire brands to make the right choices, but what is right is in the eye of the customer, which is why it can be a hard lesson to learn.

What would make things right for you? How far do you expect any brand to go to resolve something for you?