Sunday, April 7th, 2013

Temptalia Asks You


What do you look for in customer service from a beauty retailer? Share!

Temptalia's AnswerLow free shipping thresholds ($25 is ideal), no hassle returns (and preferably, free return shipping), clear policies, 1-2 day turnaround to ship the products out, and well-packed orders. Nothing is worse than receiving a package and hearing everything rattling around inside.

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14 thoughts on “What do you look for in customer service from a beauty retailer?

  1. Avatar of Jenna Jenna

    Definitely a low free shipping threshold! Especially when there’s a sale going on. (Getting a $40 product for $30 isn’t much of a deal when I have to pay $8 for shipping…)

    I also appreciate it when stores allow returns without the receipt. I sometimes buy a new item on impulse, wear it once or twice as soon as I get it and throw out the receipt because I think I’ll love it, then I never reach for it again. (Currently my dilemma with MAC’s Snob lipstick).
    And of course I sometimes just lose the receipt immediately after purchasing something because I am incredibly disorganized.

  2. JQ

    One time I didn’t receive my MAC box (I think because someone in my apartment building took it, though I can’t be sure) and when I called MAC they sent out a new box free of charge after they verified that the post office never got my signature. It was totally the post office’s fault, but they took care of it.

    That’s good customer service.

  3. Avatar of Angelina Angelina

    I love Nordstrom!!! Free shipping no matter what I buy, it’s really hard to beat that! 10%-15% off is like the tax for us Californians besides that if shipping is high I usually decide its not worth the price! I’d rather buy in store if that’s the case. Sephora isn’t that bad as long as what I’m buying is around $40 I can find something for ten to get the free shipping for orders over $50. It’s still high but I usually buy expensive stuff from sephora. I would prefer sephora to be free shipping with any $25 purchase if nordstrom can do free shipping with any purchase sephora can do $25 minimum! Sales really aren’t worth my while unless its 20% off less than that and I will pass :P

  4. Avatar of raloves ra

    More individual samplers/ testers. Free shipment, free returns. %20 is always delicious.

  5. Rhea

    As a woman of color I often find that sales reps don’t know much about what suits people who aren’t white, and they just try to push products that are barely visible on my face. Some know-how about how makeup reacts with a client’s skincare regimen would be nice too.

  6. Kelly B

    100% agree with all of Christine’s comments. Warning – info/rant
    1) I think “beauty experts” should have basic working knowledge of the products they sell. I realize large retailers have tons of brands & products. I wait for the “beauty expert” who should have a cheat sheet/program to answer VERY basic questions after I’VE DONE my own research. Your inability to provide basic help results in more returns that I won’t feel guilty about but I do feel annoyed for the time, money & effort your lack of info cost me. 2) When traveling and I get to go to a beauty counter – don’t be a snob…you are there as a sales person and just because you work at Mac doesn’t make you a makeup artist to the stars. Get over yourself & help me buy your products. I’m probably not wearing any makeup so I don’t get stains on your department store’s clothing that I try on & so I can test cosmetics for allergy and color…don’t judge me as someone who doesn’t know how to choose & apply makeup. 3) When you run promotions…honor them without me having to send you emails & call multiple times (cough Sephora cough) to get what YOU advertised. It’s hard to believe it is a system error when it has happened on numerous promotions & you don’t fix the problem until I’ve followed up 3 times. 4) Same place changed point redemption system without any notice, grrr. I paid good money to earn those points, if I want to blow points on 5 of the same 100 point item that WAS my choice…I wait long periods before finding items worth using my points and I have to spend $50 to get free shipping. “There aren’t enough deluxe samples to go around” – the best deluxe samples are frequently gone quickly anyway, don’t penalize me if companies didn’t provide you with enough deluxe samples that probably resulted in some people buying the full size product. I’ve been a decades long loyal customer, now I will shop best deal anywhere rather than know it will even out over time. Makes me sad. Sorry for rant :(

  7. Miss J

    Online:

    The site needs to be well put together. It shouldn’t be an eyesore to look at. Customers should be able to navigate and search with ease. It needs to be informative, and no information should be out of date. Shipping should be free, or the threshold for free shipping should be pretty low. No hassle returns. I also appreciate when I don’t have to pay to return something.

    In store:

    It needs to be organized and stocked. I look for SA’s that are courteous and knowledgable. Respect is a two-way street! I don’t expect an SA to know about every single product if they work at a place like Sephora or Ulta because that’s just not possible, but if you are asked a question, help your customer find the answer even if you do not have the immediate knowledge. Also, I agree with Rhea’s comment below. SA’s should know what works for different skin tones, textures, eye shapes, etc. In addition, while I think it’s perfectly alright to tell a customer that something might not work or be the best suited for them, SA’s should be careful to not go so far as to offend. I think sometimes SAs say stuff not with malice, but they say it and not realize just how bad it sounds. So many times I have heard an SA say things to a customer that comes out as saying the person is too light skinned or too dark skinned, and that that is somehow a negative thing. It may not be the intent, but the delivery in the words are poor, and it just comes across offensive. If a product might not work for someone, explain why in a polite way, and then offer to try it on them anyway or offer a sample for them to try and decide on their own. And, of course, I also look for similar things as I do online in terms of no hassle returns and ordering products if they aren’t available at a location with no extra hassle to the customer.

  8. L

    I love getting my orders quickly and love getting free shipping for a reasonable price, 25-50 dollars, depending what site, as some rack up high numbers fast. I’ve had some bad experiences, one in particular…I had a huge problem with the service I was recieving from Sephora online (Canada version). It was just before Christmas, and I had ordered a bunch of things as gifts. Not only did half of it not get sent to me, but some gift sets I recieved, looked open, the products were old and unusable, and it took over a month to get to me! Then I e-mailed about it a few times, and well, yada yada yada, no help. One item sold out and then later they were like, oh we have it now. Well, if it took a month to get here the first time, first of all, it would not make it in time for the occasion as they were supposed to be gifts, secondly, it should have been sent the first time in the first place because you had sent me one out of two! grrr. With where I live and all that jazz it probably would have cost me as much to send it back then to cut my losses and keep the junk and toss it out. There are absolutely no beauty stores, drug stores, wallmart, anything at all where I live. No place to buy beauty supplies. I live in a very isolated place. So it really gets my nerves going when I get crappy crappy service.

  9. Stacey

    Gosh- I missed this question with you working so hard on those reviews. Just one thing- “dont give me attitude”….whether I am looking, buying or asking you a question.

    Sephora needs to learn from Selfridges in the U.K. No place sells SUQQU here in the United States….online orders are not available. I had to buy an international phone card just to make an international order to London. Selfridges does not have available online orders out of their area.

    My order total 317.22 pounds which is approximately $475 U.S. dollars. Shipping charges were 56 pounds. The face brush was 168 pounds itself. Yes, ridiculously priced for a brush sight unseen. The manager and the other sales associate and the customer service center all were very helpful. I did say I was calling from over-seas. It will take 10 days for me to get the order. I hope it is in the pristine condition I am used to buying. I would get a copped attitude from people at Sephora…so my money never goes there anymore. Sephora can keep all their free samples with orders. I have no problem spending on something I like…just dont give me attitude.

  10. Avatar of Alison Alison

    Good shipping prices, prompt email responses, ease of access to answer my questions. I like people to be knowledgeable about their product, and honest(if something is being sold to people as something it isn’t – for example, an SA once told me that Touche Eclat was a very opaque concealer and once, another even suggested me a dupe that was just completely wrong – then tried to persuade me that it was absolutely perfect, despite the tester being right there in front of me!) If someone is serving me in person, I prefer them to be out of my way, but always accessible – I really don’t like feeling pressured!

    I also really like it when companies or SAs offer samples. In Australia, I find this is rare! I just like taking my time to decide, and actually try out a product – see it in different lights and see how it wears through the day. Let’s just say if I’m uncertain about a product, I’m far less likely to buy it no matter how inexpensive it is!

  11. Mariela B

    I look for many things but I specially ask on how to use the product in different ways. It’s hard to buy something that really is not going to help at all so for me that’s important. Also a good customer service is to provide samples or similar products from other brands If so. For me that hardest thing is to choose the correct foundation or concealer so It’s always nice to hear the best recommendation with no hurry.

  12. Avatar of Melissa Melissa

    I agree with everything everyone already said. I don’t mind sephora bc I have to order online & they get things to me SUPER QUICK, Ulta took forever & then when I tried to return some stuff, I made it to a store & the girl was nasty about taking it back, then I only got store credit even tho I had the receipt, I can’t use it online so ill have to drive 2 hours to a damn store… Just so inconvenient. I don’t deal with bitchy attitudes when I’m spending $ at your store. I work in customer service, I would never treat people like most of these idiot employees do. That said I have met some very nice people, especially MAC, I love their products, free fast shipping, great customer service, just wish I could get sample bc I loooove samples!

  13. Nikki

    When it comes to customer service, I expect the workers of the company to be knowledgeable about the products I’m inquiring about, and I expect them to be eager to help when asked. I also stand by retailers that stand by the products they sale. If a product is bad, I expect them to replace or exchange the product or provide me with a refund. When shopping online specifically, I prefer retailers that offer low free shipping standards, as well as companies that provide customer service representatives by phone on a regular basis (I would love for all companies to have 24 hour customer service by phone, but at the least I expect to call and reach a rep as late a 9 pm EST.)

  14. Jessica

    One of my pet peeves is when I learn about a new product and its release date and I head down to the store to check it out, but the sales person has no idea what I am talking about. They should at least be up to date on current events pertaining to what they are selling.