Oh how we love a bad service. JOKING! But since time immemorial the most memorable service is not good customer service – it’s poor customer service. Twice to two-thirds of people will tell others about a bad experience rather than good. Bad service is easy to imagine: rudeness, indifference, a forceful approach. But what is a good service that goes over and above the pleasantries of a one-on-one encounter that the customer would expect?

Here we ask Beauty Advisors on the shopfloor why their customers would sing their praises and influence, ie: recommend them to their friends.

Hayley Harman, Revlon Myer Joondalup, WA 

My personal objective as a Beauty Advisor is to do more than just suggest products. Honesty and warmth helps me engage with the customer and ensure she is going home with products she’s going to love and use confidently. I endeavour to follow my brands’ sales pitch guidelines, but ultimately, it comes down to understanding each customer’s wants and needs.

I have experienced being a customer that feels out of her depth and intimidated by a sales person in an unfamiliar environment and it can ruin my whole day. I want each customer I come in contact with to feel like they can ask me for anything, whether it’s advice or a demonstration, and they won’t be judged or sold something that’s going to roll to the back of their drawer and be forgotten about after two uses.

Revlon is an ever-evolving brand with a broad demographic. Therefore, I need to be educated and understanding of the different wants and needs of my customers. Asking carefully worded questions and listening attentively to the answers assures my customers that I am giving her advice tailored to suit her age, skin type or any concern she has.

Aggie Korsak, La Prairie David Jones Bourke st, Melbourne, VIC

I believe it all starts with passion and the success will follow. It’s very important to build trust with my customers so they feel comfortable and at ease with me. At La Prairie we pride ourselves on diamond service with every customer interaction. This is the perfect way to connect with our customers and allows me to uncover and relate to their needs. I pride myself on ensuring I explain and demonstrate the correct use of the products for them and always recommend a home routine appropriate to their needs and concerns. It’s important to personalise the programme as you may have a customer who only wants to start with one product and another customer who loves to layer and has more concerns. 

I really believe a lot of my long standing customers know I always deliver what I promise, and I am consistent in my approach. As a beauty therapist, I am always available to do their facial, makeup, update their skincare programme and keep them informed of what is happening at La Prairie. Customers love an experience when they visit us and I see their faces light up when I pamper them with one of our Art of Perfection treatments on counter.

It is very satisfying when I have repeat business and my customers recommend me, and the brand, to their family and friends. This proves to me that I have connected and I’m doing the right thing by them. I’m very honest with every customer and never judge them or force a sale as I want to build long term relationships with them. I’m very passionate and love my customers. I feel it is important to be a true brand ambassador every day.

Mai Dang, Clarins David Jones Queens Plaza, Brisbane QLD

It’s important to me to stand out and be memorable to my customers for my thorough attentiveness to their needs. I like to welcome my customers sincerely, build a connection so that they genuinely see that I’m there for them and with that comes a trust to allow me to focus on their needs and concerns throughout the consultation. To be customer centric, sometimes you need to stop trying to help, and concentrate on listening, and truly hearing, what the customer is focusing on. That is the way that I identify their needs, giving them my full, undivided attention and personalise my service to them.

I like to recommend and demonstrate together, ensuring my client is involved with my service to the point that they feel like they have designed their own program. I make sure that I educate on application and future needs before I finalise, ensuring that all of the client’s needs are satisfied fully before completing. All of this may not sound different to what other counters do but what I offer is consistency and that is what has made my counter so successful and led me to win the National Beauty Advisor of the Year Award for Clarins for 2017.

Kim Hayes, Ramsay Pharmacy Coffs Central, Coffs Harbour NSW

Kim has 30 years’ experience including managing cosmetic counters and beauty therapy.

I have to tell you a secret…I love selling cosmetics! You have to enjoy what you do to be able to give exceptional customer service. You can always make a difference to a customers’ day by being cheerful and communicating well, understanding the way they are feeling and meeting their needs by listening with enthusiasm and understanding.

Make the customer feel special regardless of how busy you are.

Learn as much as you can about the products you are selling, knowledge is such an important tool to have for your customers, it gives you all sorts of opportunities to companion-sell and provide good advice.

Understand your customer, so you can provide the best way to meet your customers’ needs.

Get your customer excited about new products by telling them about the great benefits, allow them to feel the product, introduce the product like it is gold and finally demonstrate how to best use the product.

Make sure your grooming is impeccable, followed by your counter being clean and organised. Always try to take customers’ details so you can follow up from their last purchase or visit to your store.

Simeen Ahmadzada, Elizabeth Arden David Jones, Castlehill NSW

Every customer is unique and has different needs. I try to make my customers feel very special and valued from the first encounter.

The first impression is very important. I ensure that my counter is well presented at all times. I greet customers with a wide smile and try to serve them with class. I listen to them to understand their needs. I then present them with product information and knowledge about skincare that is personalised to suit their needs. I use samples to demonstrate the products.

During skin consultations I take good care of them and make them feel comfortable, which I believe helps me build trust and a relationship with the customer. If a customer feels frustrated or not satisfied in any way, I try to be patient so that I can understand their frustration and recommend the most appropriate products.

Once a customer leaves my counter, it doesn’t stop there for me. Customer service to me is about maintaining an ongoing relationship with the customer. I contact my customers for follow-up consultations to make sure they are happy with the products. I also invite them for a complimentary makeup session on their birthday as a special gift.

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