Good customer service/bad customer service

30.9.09

The good... Lush

I love visiting the Lush store in Leeds. The last time I visited was a couple of weeks ago, and there was a chap handing out free samples outside the store. I got my hands on a little pot of moisturiser which I was really pleased about.

Once inside I fancied having a browse and didn't really need any help. I was approached almost immediately and promptly left alone when I said I was just having a browse.

I fancied trying out one of the facial soap bars and decided I did need some help after all! I looked around and there were at least 3 free people so I asked the nearest lady to help me.

She was so helpful and informative. She asked me lots of questions about my skin and then advised me on the best product. She had tried this particular product herself and told me what she thought of it, and she knew nearly every single ingredient off by heart and what each ingredient could do for my skin. I was very impressed.

I said I wasn't sure how my skin would react so she offered to give me a small slice of the soap to try for free. That way I could purchase it if it worked well for me.

She told me to pop back in and let them know how it worked for me.

I didn't buy anything but I was still made to feel like a valued customer and I left feeling very happy with my 2 samples, which of course I would purchase if I liked them.

The bad... MAC

I visited the MAC counter in Harvey Nichols in Leeds a couple of days ago as I wanted to pick out a couple of lipsticks to put on my Christmas list.

I tried a couple out on my hand and decided I really really liked one of the colours on my hand.. but I couldn't remember the name of the lipstick!

I spent the next 10 minutes swatching every single lipstick again that I thought it could be but none matched. I should point out by this point not one single person had approached me to ask if I needed help or even to say 'hi'.

I tried to catch someones eye but no, they were either with a customer or wandering about trying to look busy.

I decided to have another go at trying to figure it out for myself, as I really wanted this lipstick and I had convinced myself I was going to buy it there and then. All I needed was a member of staff to help me!

I had one last go at standing by the lipstick stand and looking at every staff member to indicate that I needed some help.

Nope.. nothing..

So I left, empty handed.

This isn't the first time I have tried to buy something at MAC and not been given the time of day.

This is the reason why I only own one MAC item.

What are your experiences with both of these brands?

xxx

46 comments:

  1. I agree on both accounts. Lush are lovely and helpful, MAC just seem to think customers are an inconvienence! I always buy MAC online now and just swatch in the store. x

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  2. I always avoid mac in harvey nichols because I find them too annoying always trying to help and pressure me into buying something! x

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  3. @jo - to be honest i feel like not buying anything from them full stop! :( xx

    @hele - you're lucky, i would rather they did that to me! lol. xx

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  4. I always seem to have the same experience as you. Tbh I think from now on unless I get good service at a mac store I am going to not purchase. Instead I will buy online and send an email to them recording the bad service. Virtually every beauty blogger I speak to has mentioned the consistantly poor customer service. It is appalling that we actually now 'expect' bad service!! Anyone else get as fed-up with it as me? I mean I'm not poor, but I choose where I spend my hard-earnt money - why should I 'invest' it in products with crappy assistants?

    Amy x

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  5. @fordgredial - i agree. i have plenty of hard earned cash that i want to spend on products, but yet they don't seem bothered in helping me! therefore i will take my money elsewhere! xx

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  6. I don't like the MAC counter in Harvey Nics- I just find it so hard to get their attention! It's a real effort to actually buy something which is a bit ridic!

    Do love Lush though! I went in the other day and this guy was showing me all of kinds of products. I ended up soaking my hands in a bowl of water with a bath bomb in it! They're always so lovely and friendly in there. xxx

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  7. @daisy - i'm glad you agree and it's not just me! i think a lot of my family and friends will be receiving Lush goodies this Christmas :) xx

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  8. You are absolutely right - I have had the exact same trouble at Mac in Leeds, I thought it was me and I just wasn't trendy/pretty/cool enough to attract their attention! And likewise I also have had excellent customer service in Lush - I find the scent a bit overpowering of the store so only went in for the first time 6 months or so ago and was so pleasantly suprised - the products make for such fab gifts!


    (Hello btw! I'm normally a lurker and have a little read every now and again but wanted to comment because I've had such simillar experiences!)

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  9. hi bridget! you should comment more often, i like hearing from fellow Leeds people! :)

    thank you for reading/'lurking'!

    xxxx

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  10. I used to work at Lush, and we were always VERY well trained in the main ingredients in all the products and their benefits etc and I always felt very proud to be offering such good customer sevice because I HATE being treated badly by employees anywhere. Which is the reason I only own two MAC items, haha. Well, I own three technically but one was a pigment sample that I bought online!
    xo

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  11. I got a job at my local lush, although I've not started yet. I agree the staff are so lovely and I hope I can be as helpful too! And I half agree about MAC. A few times I've went and the girls have been so lovely and helpful and others they are so ignorant. Puts you off buying :( x

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  12. I have had the exact same experience at mac! Snooty, gossiping.. making obvious comments to each other about the customers. FOUL! Only the harrods and harvey nicks ones are nice in london. Kings road.. oh my god id rather shoot myself in the foot than go in there!!

    Lush people are so lovely.. i wish they trained the MAC ones!!

    xoxo

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  13. I have always had great experiences with both.. but Lush staff are incredibly friendly and helpful.
    I befriended a MAC MA in my local store cos I go there so much (lol the shame) so I guess that's why I only see the good these days..

    xox

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  14. Its funny that you mention mac in Harvey Nichols in Leeds..because everytime i have visited there...the exact same thing has happened to me. They need more staff in there, they always seem to be way too busy to help you...its so annoying..is there anywhere else in Leeds that stock's mac? haha xxx

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  15. I've only been in Lush a few times although I've yet to buy anything from there but each time the sale assistants have been really helpful when I needed help but won't follow me around the store and pressure me to buy stuff which I really like.

    With MAC I've had mixed experiences. I find that the staff in the stores are very helpful, even if they are busy, whereas in Selfridges I generally get ignored. Their online customer service is fab though x

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  16. I love lush. I always feel valued and welcome- plus the products are naturally good. I can't rave enough about the value for money too. It just feels like you are part of the lush family as soon as you walk in.

    Mac I always feel a bit of a 'misfit' in.

    Shame.

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  17. my local mac girls are lurrrvely but i know what you mean about harvey nichols.
    they have that snooty look about them. xxxx

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  18. @leanne - i can tell they invest a lot of time in their staff. what a great concept to have! xx

    @missashley - i hope your job there goes well! i would love to work there. xx

    @tali - gosh how rude! i think if i heard someone talking about me i would have to open a can of whoop ass on them!!! xx

    @lydia - ah you're one of the lucky ones! xx

    @zoella - nope! :S think i will do without and stand my ground! lol. xx

    @peoniesandwaterlillies - i would probably order online if i needed to so i'm glad to hear the service is good. xx

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  19. I haven't tried Lush, unfortunately, though I'd love to!
    I've had good and bad experiences at MAC...thanks to all the fantastic reviews and swatches I find online, most of the time I go to stores with more information, and get what I need without help. But I know exactly what you feel about salespeople that talk behind your back, or pretend to do something else, it's so horrible! I mean, it's your job, you're supposed to sell, and by being a bitch, you're not going anywhere...

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  20. you are so right!
    everytime i go to lush i am approached and treated so well.
    but when i go to mac they purposely ignore you. or at least they seem like they do; because even if im the only one there, not even a HELLO?! ugh.
    but i DO LOVE LUSH ;)

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  21. I LOVE Lush customer service. i think it was the customer service in the Covent Garden one that made my bf love it. The guy was so nice and helpful.
    I've generally had good experiences in MAC stores. I've never been approached in one, but the girls have always been with other customers so I've just waited my turn. I've been served twice by the same girl in Edinburgh Harvey Knicks and both times she was LOVELY. Picked out some great items for me and nothing seemed like too much trouble.
    I remember the service being really poor the first time I bought MAC, in Gatwick though, so I guess it depends on where you go!
    xxx

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  22. Everytime I go into Lush I get asked if im ok and if I need any help. Most of the time i'll say i'm fine and they will leave me alone. This is what I love about the staff in Lush - unlike a lot of other shops they wont repeatedly ask me but they will still make me feel valued.
    xx

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  23. Im really glad you did this post I was in both stores on Saturday, Lush as usually couldnt be anymore helpful, I had 2 different girls showing me different products that would be suitable for my skin type, they really know how to look after their customers thats why I always go back as for Mac OMG I was in the shop for about 10 mins swatching different blushers Lipsticks & Paint Pots & not once was I asked did I need any help, at one stage I had to ask the assitant to move so I could look at a stand!!! there were 2 things that I knew I had to get so when I went to the counter to ask for them I stood as did one other girl & nobody came near us they were all too busy doing nothing & at that stage I walked out! I find this with many of the MAC stores so thats why I normally order on line, the only Mac store that I like going to is the one in The Met Quarter in Liverpool I go over to Liverpool 4 or 5 times a year & Mac is nearly always my first stop they are always sooo helpful which makes such a difference dont ya think??

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  24. I hate going into MAC unless I know exactly what I want.

    The one in House of Fraser near me is absolutely lovely, the staff are just lovely and SO helpful, but the one in Westfield London are just awful.

    I was in there the other week and no one would help me so I was cheeky and went through the drawers to pick out exactly what I wanted and they got so rude with me, so I just said to them "well I know what I want, and I've actually asked for a bit of help and you're clearly too busy talking away about it so I do apologise for going through the drawers but there isn't actually a sign that says I can't".

    You can go through the drawers in Boots so what's the difference??

    Ahhhhh

    I find the staff in the Lush store on Regent Street (is it regent street I can't remember) are rather pushy and won't always leave you alone when you say "I'm fine thanks" but then they do an all right job of helping you as they follow you around.

    Rosie xx xx

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  25. I've worked in the customer service field for a good few years now. When I was at College and Uni I did shop work. I think due to this I expect more from all areas of customer service and am not backwards at coming forwards when the service is poor.

    I love LUSH. I've never had a bad experience with them. Even when popping into one of their stores in the US they were just as super helpful and informed. I think the company must do some amazing training on both sides of the pond.

    MAC on the other hand I have had two extremes, either there is no one around or they won't leave me alone. I try to go in when it's super quiet but in places like Lush I never have to "time" it. Says a lot.

    Great post.

    http://eliza-mclellan.blogspot.com/

    Ex

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  26. I don't like the MAC girls in the mall near my house too
    last time when I went to get something
    they didn't give me a bag
    the sales girl who was helping me just walked away after giving me the receipt
    so i was like' um....can I get a bag?" cuz i really don't want to just throw all the makeup in my bag
    then this girl told me "ok...hold down a sec"....so i waited and she went helping someone else after she done with this lady
    so i asked a third girl for a bag and finally got one after standing there for 15 min cuz everyone just told me to wait and walked away
    i know it was a busy day but i shouldn't have need to wait that long just for a bag

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  27. Wow that really sucks about MAC. I've only ever had exceptional customer service at the ones near my house. Maybe go to a different one (if there's one in your area) They sound so snotty there!

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  28. Lush are always lovely - I met one of my best friends when he was working there, wearing a face pack and a sombrero! Their entire company is based on being 'nice' and they're doing well out of it, so there's no reason why they shouldn't carry on! I can't talk about Mac though, since I've never been there.

    http://dreamingspiresandoldcartyres.blogspot.com

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  29. I was in MAC in Harrods in Jan this year and i almost swatched every single product and not one person came to help me. I got so fed up i also left without buying anything even though i knew this would be my last chance to go into a MAC store for a while... Its so strange how shocking the service of some MAC stores are. The one we have back in SA is fab and the girls and boys that work there are super nice! I actually did a post on that a while ago :)

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  30. I totally agree!!

    I only own a few Mac items and they've all been bought off eBay.

    I've tried going in to my local Mac and not once have I been approached, not even eye contact!!

    Its not good enough when there's so much choice and you really need help. I was looking for a certain lipstick I had heard about once and I spent hours looking for it. Not one member of staff offered to help and not all of them were with customers, shocking!!
    x x

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  31. I live just outside Leeds and have had near identical experiences at both stores. The Mac counter in Leeds is awful (not keen on Trafford centre either) if I tried to buy my Mac from there I would probably leave empty handed most times. The Mac counter in debenhams in Meadowhall (Sheffield) was excellent its much bigger than leeds and I was prob asked by 3 staff members if I needed help but wasn't pestered when I said I didn't. Admittedly I haven't tried this counter on a weekend but in my experience it was poles apart from leeds . I don't even attempt to go to the Leeds one now and just wait til i go to Meadowhall.

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  32. I love the LUSH in Leeds, they're always really nice, and i have the same feeling for the MAC counter in Harvey Nichols. They've never seemed very warm to their customers there! xox

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  33. ahh i totally agree! having just moved to leeds i thought would visit the lush store as i had heard it was also a spa. at home the staff are helpful but its nothing like the one in leeds! i spent so long chatting to one of the sales assistants about the different products and the spa treatment. i have never felt so welcomed in a shop, and furthermore they knew the majority of their customers names off by heart!
    i havn't gone to the MAC counter yet, but now i'm already wary! at home they're dead helpful! :s x

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  34. I completely agree! I popped into lush yesterday and they are without doubt the friendliest down to earth staff. I got so many products tried on me (I left smelling lovely!) and the guy helping me out, knew everything in what he was demonstrating and asked lots of questions. I went into mac once and they treated me like I shouldn't have been there, so I wouldn't go into a mac store now :(

    Louise x

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  35. I've had the same kind of experience in both places. Lush is amazing, well the one in Oxford is. They help you and even if your there with your friends they still try to talk to you as well and ask what kind of skin you have. They are also awesome about giving samples and letting you try things out.

    Mac on the other hand is not so helpful. They're rude and the women that work there seem as though they hate their lives as well as their jobs.

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  36. Well, from my greek MAC experience, it depends on how professional the makeup artists are...
    They 're usually slow though, in general, you have to wait a good 5-10 mins, even if you already know from before what you want...

    However there's a chick on my usual MAC counter, that's super friendly, she lets me go through face charts, we talk about upcoming collections etc! And then, there's another that forgets what I told her after 15 seconds!!! Lol!


    xxxx

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  37. I've never had a positive experience with mac, the leeds counter is my closest really and i always end up queuing up just to ask a question...

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  38. UGH I hate MAC people! I am annoyed just reading this 'cause it brings me back to when I went and was really up for getting bundles of stuff but the girls were such snoooty bitches and didn't give me the time of day! Sorry but why do they look at us like we're idiots when their the ones that probably have about 2 braincells between them. Lol, MAC RAGE. Anyway, stick to buying on line and going to nice places like Lush from now on! :) xx

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  39. i stan for lush. I love lush, they are AMAZING!!! I used to work there and its an amazing fun enviroment

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  40. It's funny I have had both fantastic and apalling service at Mac, it's either one extreme or another. Marva at Mac in Selfridges London is lovely if you get to speak to her.

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  41. Wow you guys really seem to agree! I am so glad.

    I have passed my feedback on to MAC :) Hopefully they will buck their ideas up and realise their staff can't treat customers like crap.

    xxxxx

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  42. I haven't tried anything from LUSH yet, but I can say the same for MAC. And I thought it only happened here in the Philippines! Tsk, they should really improve their customer service. I hope something comes out of your complaint to MAC. =)

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  43. Lol I can't believe MAC people are the same everywhere!In Greece they do the same although I spotted a few nice people and I go straight to them.
    My first and only time at Lush was AMAZING, the person who helped me was extremely nice, he gave me a full tour of the shop, putting a million things on me(masks, creams, he used 2 bath bombs to show me how it works).

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  44. I have only been in Lush a couple of times, but the service has always been great in there.

    As for M.A.C, my experiences have never been bad... My nearest M.A.C is in Leicester, and I have to say they are all lovely in there. Always very helpful and smiley. I have been in the freestanding store in Birmingham too, and the girl that served me in their was equally as lovely. :) xxx

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  45. I completely agree on both, I love the service in Lush and often leave buying more than I went in for and happy!

    I've only visited a MAC counter twice, and on both occasions I was ignored whilst they carried on their own personal conversations. When I finally got the attention of one of them she gave a brief attempt at customer service whilst chewing gum. Hate that!

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  46. I think it really depends on each store. There are two lushes I go and the one in the mall I always have problems with..the people working there give me so much attitude and I find myself when leaving smaller than ever. However the one downtown the people are so so nice and I always get pleasent service. As for M.A.C I have never had a bad experience. I only go to one m.a.c store though and I get help everytime I go. They are so nice to me and I leave feeling great. Haha sorry to ramble I'm just trying to say that it really depends on each store. I'm sorry the people at that m.a.c are dumb...but dont let them ruin m.a.c for you. It is by far the best make up brand out there! ♥ ♥

    xx
    Sarah

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