In following up to my original post called "Such Thing as Customer Service in Upscale Boutiques?" which involved my sister, my niece, and my frustrations gone wild, I am ready to share what I did.
I posed a quiz to see how some of you would react to my recent dilemna: getting text messages from my sister about the bad customer service she received at a posh boutique during her weekend shopping trip with my niece. And really there was no wrong answer except doing nothing. At least, that's what I deem the wrong answer to be.
So "Andrea" got it right on the money, saying this:
"...I would probably choose E, and call the manager. I would first encourage my sister to speak up about her experience and if she didn't want to, I would probably take it upon myself to do it.I also know the importance in good customer service, and when a family member or I are not subject to that, it is unacceptable."
So that is exactly what I did. Once Sarah told me the store that did her and my niece wrong by not even greeting them or helping her (especially when they were the only ones in the store!), I took it upon myself and called. My phone call went a little something like this:
"Hello, my sister...well, wait a minute -- I need to speak to the manager (the woman replies she is the owner). Well, I'm a bit disturbed to hear that my sister and niece were just in your store checking out Ed Hardy stuff and was completely ignored by the two ladies that were working (she says that she was the one standing there, acknowledging she recalls seeing them come in, but before she knew it, they were gone, and she couldn't get a word in edgewise...). Now, let me explain something to you: I have worked in high-end retail, and good customer service starts with just saying hello. And unfortunately for your store, you won't be receiving my sister's purchase, 'cause BOY can she shop! (she says she hopes my sister comes back, but I reassure that she never would.) In addition, I am a personal shopper and work in the fashion industry, and this is very disappointing for me to hear. I will make sure that none of my clients walk in your store and I, myself, will not be visiting you anytime soon. (she then excuses herself when we're talking to greet the customers walking in...it's like gimme a break -- you're trying to show me NOW that you're all about good customer service?!) Well, I just want to bring this to your attention because it's really a shame to ignore a potentially valuable customer (and then while she tried to speak again, I hung up.).
So that's how it went down! This happened just over a month ago, and I'm still proud that I contacted the store. However, now I wish I would have gone in there to test my sister's experience out. WAS my sister a really fast shopper that day, and exaggerated to me. Or, did she barely describe the lack of friendliness in the store. Either way, I felt empowered to give her a piece of my mind.
And you got me, I don't work IN the fashion industry, I write about it. But it doesn't hurt to scare her, right?
Isabella Dee turned her experience around completely -- a popularly chic boutique in the Claremont Village. Currently, I am trying to score an interview with the owner about turning my sister's frown upside down. Wish me luck! ;)
Photo Credit: http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/showbiz/bizarre/online/article264775.ece (at least my sister left Isabella Dee as happy as Lily Allen looks! Maybe Sarah's original experience was meant to lead her to the righteous land of retail therapy in such abfabulous shop).