Miriam Gomberg

2 customer experiences – one week

I rarely have time to shop for myself and when I do, I have high expectations about what my experience should be like. Recently I had two shopping encounters that should have had similar outcomes but in reality, were wildly different.

Experience A: Michael Kors Outlet

What is missing here?

This past January I bought an adorable watch at the Michael Kors outlet in Sparks, Nevada. The associate helping me was wonderful and she helped me pick the perfect watch. I left happy, sporting my watch with the crystal bezel. Life was good!

Fast forward 6 months… one of the crystals magically fell out of the bezel. I was bummed, but didn’t consider it a big deal because I bought a watch from a good company (or so I thought).

When I went back to the store I purchased from and explained what happened, I thought they would repair or replace the damaged watch. After an associate informed me they did not guarantee the crystals and that I should have been more careful with the watch, I began to despair.The manager arrived on the scene to see what she could do (finally someone who might help).

The store manager promised to call her district manager and get back to me as to how they would take care of the situation within a few days. It has been two weeks and still no word from her. I cannot express how disappointed I am at this point. I was not asking for a refund, only that the relatively expensive piece should last more than 6 months before falling apart.

Experience B: Victoria’s Secret

As a result of recent weight I lost, I replaced some of my clothes, and other various undergarments (all too big now). Last week, I bought some bras at Victoria’s Secret in Reno and left happy. You know the story. Life is good yada yada yada.

Fast forward one day… I was wearing one of the new bras and by the end of the day, the straps continued to twist on my shoulder creating red marks and sore shoulders. Fast forward one more day… I take all 3 of the bras back to the store (1 worn/damaged, the other 2 with the tags on them). The associate smiled, took the bag and offered to show me some alternatives I might like to try.

Fast forward (again, last time I promise)…20 minutes. I leave Victoria’s Secret with 3 new garments that were evenly exchanged. No argument, no telling me that I wasn’t careful with the product, no problem! I am happy again, and life is good. Next time I need any undergarments, I will gladly go back to Victoria’s Secret.

Lesson learned: it is worth it to keep your customers happy

Why would Victoria’s Secret be more concerned with my satisfaction than Michael Kors? One would think the store with higher price-points would have better service. I have come to realize how much I spend does not correlate to better customer service.

When I go accessory shopping again where do you think I probably won’t go? Why spend the money on something that doesn’t last and the company does not stand behind? As a customer experience connoisseur, I understand every encounter I have matters.

What recent shopping experiences have you had? Is there a brand that takes better care of you than any other? Why be loyal to a brand? Share your thoughts and stories.

This entry was published on August 12, 2011 at 7:23 pm. It’s filed under Customer Focus, Personal Brand, Sales and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

2 thoughts on “2 customer experiences – one week

  1. It begins with the sales rep you meet who, sadly or fortunately represents the brand. If they are not trained properly, and made to understand the importance of customer service, it won’t matter what we buy.
    Case in point, my best friend had a particularly nasty experience in a Victoria Secret store and vowed to never go back. Recently, my sister and I went shopping and had the best time in a Michael Kors shop where the sales staff was attentive and indulgent.
    Sure the sales associates represent the brand, but, in the final analysis, they are not the brand. With a case like yours, I would suggest writing a letter to their corporate office and you’ll see faster results.. Great post. 😉

    • Elizabeth, you are right, it certainly depends on who is in front of you representing the brand. After 2 weeks of no response from the store manager, I went online and called the customer service hotline. Today, I sent the watch back to the manufacturer so they can repair the bezel. I only wish the manager would have either called the hotline while I was in the store or recommended it to me, rather than completely blowing me off.

      It is funny how your friend had the complete opposite experience to my own. C’est la vie.

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