Friday, May 11, 2012

Great (Retail) Expectations

I recently conducted a retail face off by pitting two body parts  beauty and cosmetics brands against each other: The Face Shop and The Body Shop.

Cosmetics is not my vanity. For a not so girly-girl, buying mineral foundation and blush powder, and investing on make up brushes are a big deal to me. It's a leap 3 years in the making. Backed with just a strong resolve to finally do it, my minimum requirements were to get stuff that 1) won't give me allergies  2) won't make me look like a geisha. To be attended to properly and educated on the use of products would also be nice.

To make the long story short: I fell madly in love with The Body Shop.

To say there is real competition for a "share of heart" is to dignify my Face Shop experience. There I was, a clean blank canvas, willing to take what I'm told as gospel truth. I made for a pretty easy sale, one can say. But wow, man. I gave Face Shop a try first. The ladies there could not even be bothered for really simple questions! They were more busy putting on their own make up rather than educating customers (I wasn't the only one there) about their products! It was as if we were their morning ritual nuisance! I spent a considerable amount of time trying products on my own and just when I was about to make a purchase, there wasn't even anybody at the cash register. You guessed it, ate was applying make up, still! So before I walked away (and promised myself never to set foot on that store again) I did them a favor by saying "Nakakahiya naman sa inyo ate, bibili na nga sana ako, mukhang na-istorbo ko pa kayo." *exit frame*

Whereas, my TBS experience was the exact opposite. I can go on and on with my praises but suffice it to say that a guy-- a person who is genetically designed and socially expected to know less about make up and cosmetics than me-- gave me the lowdown on bases, powders and brushes. A. GUY. Okay, he's gay but still...

I ended up stepping out of their store +/- 5k poorer but market experience so much richer. I'm a marketer, after all, and I'm always on the lookout for the best customer experience. I can say my 'purchases' that day were a real steal. ;) The events of that morning led me write this, as shared on my Facebook account the other day---

In a market saturated by almost homogeneous choices, I'm surprised why not all brands realize that great customer experience is the one thing that would set them apart.

Customers would pay to be accommodated properly; treated with warmth and respect; and to see employees not only genuinely happy to be of service, but to know that they take pride in doing their job too. Be it the manong guard who opens the door for you, or the lady who addresses your every question about a product-- notice how a smile goes a long way! Excellent after-sales service earns major pogi points too! Employees who do their job cheerfully and efficiently are all part of the customer experience all brands across all industries should have a good aim at.

Brand people, please, make it easier for us to part with our hard-earned money. Don’t just sell products, blow us away with your umph!


  1. I also have an ugly experience with The Face Shop. They're not properly orienting their people about customer service and ethics.

  2. Hi, I came across your site and wasn’t able to get an email address to contact you about a broken link on your site. Please email me back and I would be happy to point them out to you.


    Aaron Grey

    Insurance blog