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bad-customer-service I love to draw on my experiences because they are real-life and have real meaning.  Recently, we took a family vacation to Gatlinburg, TN.  It was fabulous; the twins road go-carts, a 30-story tall ferris wheel, ate too much food and enjoyed the best nature has to offer.  We decided to do a little shopping, and we ventured through the thick crowds at a Tanger Outlet mall.  I’m a big fan of Bare Minerals products, and behold–a Bare Minerals store!  YES!!  DISCOUNTS!!!  However, I didn’t expect the discount to be on the service.

I entered to find one employee leaving for the day, one assisting a customer already, and a third applying makeup in the mirror.  The third employee turned to look at me enter the door, but did not say a word.  She continued coating on eye shadow.  After I had been in the store about a minute and she had finished her mascara application, she turned around to say, “Can I help you?”  “Yes, please, I’m in need of some blush.”  was my response.

**NOTE:  What I am about to disclose is in no way a racist comment.  The information is crucial to explaining my point.**  The employee showed me a couple of kits containing various blush colors, and proceeded to rub the mineral powders on the back of HER hand.  Not mine, hers.  If you have seen me, I am a pale natural red-head (although its faded to more of a brown-blonde shade now).  She was a dark woman, perhaps of Native American decent.  For those of you who do not wear makeup, allow me to state the obvious—the color will look different on her skin then mine!

Needless to say, I walked out without making a purchase.

Even worse, I emailed Bare Essentials, the company who sells Bare Minerals, right away to express what happened so they knew and could correct the issue…I heard crickets.

So here is a lesson in how to KILL business and lose a sale (maybe even a customer for life):

1.)  Ignore the customer.  Yes, you work in a makeup store and must wear what you sell, but come on, stop and greet me when I enter!  [Note to self:  if you have a storefront, greet customers with a smile, warmly, and immediately]

2.)  Demonstrate the product ineffectively.  It’s bad enough if you do not show or demonstrate your offerings at all, but to do it wrong…I couldn’t see how the color would look on my skin, so why would I buy it?  It’s pricey, and I’m not about to waste $25 on a color that doesn’t look good on me! [Note to self:  show customers what my products are, demonstrate how they work and let the customer participate in the demonstration]

3.)  Ignore the problem (BONUS:  maybe it will go away!).  Sorry folks, ignoring the problem won’t make it better or go away.  In fact, it makes it worse; I’m sharing my terrible customer service experience with the world via this blog post.  Over 50% of customers who received bad service tell others.  Lots of others.  [Note to self:  If a complaint comes in, handle it immediately!  Let the customer talk, then thank him/her for bringing this to your attention.  Then make it right.]

If you really want to knock off the socks of your customer, make the experience memorable.  Then he/she will talk and tell others, but in a good way!

What unique experiences do you offer your clients?  Share in the comments below!