I love MAC Cosmetics; I am interested in their brand, I have posted about them on instagram, I have truly favourite products that I will go out of my way to find, in fact, I have never deviated from using them since I begin 7 years ago. I love their products, so much that when I couldn’t get their Studio Fix Foundations in South African stores in June /July 2014 I was quite sad. Later, I was also the crazy lady who when discovering their store, while on holiday in Bermuda, was so excited to be there and
proceeded to stock up for rainy days.
So, because I use the product, I tend to know where their stores are based and visit them regularly to buy or to just browse. Well, yesterday, Friday 27th March, was one such day, on my way back from work I decided to pop in to their store at the Sandton Mall. Now this is a month-end Friday, so all the stores were quite packed, and of course so was the MAC Store.
When I came in all the makeup artists were busy with customers, and the lady at the payments counter was busy with a customer. I walked around a bit, checking out what’s new, and keeping an eye on the counter. I noticed that there was another lady waiting ahead of me.
Finally I went and stood right in front of the cashiers counter and waited for her to finish with the paying customer. 3 minutes later they were finished and she then attended to the lady I had seen ahead of me. They moved away and I continued to stand by the counter since there was no other service consultant who was not with a customer. I was very patient as I fully understood that it was a busy time. I stood there for another 5 minutes. While I was waiting, another customer joined me , waited about 3 minutes and went and looked for the cashier, who then even though she had left me standing in front of the cash desk, helped the customer who had fetched her. Again, I thought, arggg fine she did go and find her, and I’m next anyway. Just as she finished, another 2 ladies walked up to the counter, she glances at me quickly, turns to them, smiled and ask how she could help them. At this point I am thinking “Really, Lady”, so I calmly pointed out that I had been waiting for quite a while by this time. She looked at me with shock, because I assume she hadn’t seen standing in front of her all along. And said: “Do you know what you want…?”
Now I had to restrain myself very hard not to lose my temper. First, it is very unprofessional to talk to a customer that way, even if I was a new customer and needed help choosing products, it’s her job to help me make a selection and find the right MAC match – Hello that’s what retain business is about. Secondly, “Don’t pretend not to see me when I’m standing there, in front of you, the whole time. Thirdly, Why are you not bothering to ask me what I want, before you move on to some else. And, When I finally have had to remind you to serve me, you then decide to be condescending, that is unacceptable.
I then told her that I DO know what and stated the items. At which point she turned to the people who came after me and apologized very sweetly for keeping THEM waiting, the nerve!!! Anyway at this point I had lost my sense of humour I just paid for my purchases and left.
But on my walk to the Gautrain station I thought to myself, none of what happened in that store showed that the customer is valued. Now I’ve had sometimes mediocre and sometimes good service at various MAC outlets, but not downright shoddy. As a customer, my love for a product does not mean I can’t find another product to support, it means that I believed in the inherent message of your brand which say if your products are great, then an equal level of service will be given. This was not the case in the instance.
My Main issues with the whole situation are:
- I’m curious to know what exactly are the makeup artists’ in these stores measured on – people will always do best only what they are measured on.
- If the behaviour was partly caused by understaffing of that particular store, then why was there no adequate plans made? The store must be aware of high peak times, it was around 5pm on an End of the month Friday at a high end mall. I am uncertain how that could have taken them by surprise.
- The lady was busy I understand that, but there was no reason to choose to serve other people, when someone had been waiting for long, in front of you
- I found it offensive that she didn’t seem to realise that when your mistake is then politely pointed out to you, do not become condescending, this is not a conversation with your friend.It is common sense to know that you apologize first to the person whose been waiting the longest, it’s that simple.
- On what basis do they decide which customer deserve good service?
The whole experience left a sour taste in my mouth, I’m not going to waste my time going back to that particular store, but I certainly hope I’m the last customer who gets that level of shoddy service.
Have you had a similar or opposite experience at that store, would be interested to hear about it