A Customer Service Story

In the industry I work in, customer service is king. If you don’t get it right, it can do an awful lot of damage both for your customer, and for your own reputation. It tends to mean that I have little or no tolerance for crap customer service from other places. So when I encounter good, or even better, GREAT customer service, I shout about it.

Lately I’ve been foundation hunting. I have a very good one which I love for the winter, but in summer it just doesn’t have the sticking power I want.  It’s fab in cooler temperatures, but in the heat no amount of primer, powder or careful application makes any difference.  As soon as the May Day bank holiday is visible in the rear view mirror and before the signs pointing the way to Bonfire Night start to appear, my skin becomes an oily, sweaty, temperamental little madam: it is what it is.  Short of getting a plasterer in every morning to give my face a quick skim before I leave the house, there’s not a lot I can do.  There will be Oil.  But I digress.

So: I’ve been foundation hunting. I did a lot of research. A LOT. I read about very little else for about a week. (I know. I’m considering seeking help.)  Eventually, I had it down to three possibilities, and had to choose between them somehow.  So I opted for the brand I liked most in other products, and parted with my (husband’s) hard-earned cash.

Unfortunately, I got unlucky. The one I chose was as far from a good match for my skin as humanly possible. It wouldn’t blend properly, I couldn’t get it to cover evenly, it highlighted my pores in a ridiculously comical way, it went blotchy and patchy within about an hour of application, it touched off on absolutely everything, and was, overall, a complete disaster. I was, to say the least, gutted.

One of my two bosses (who is the other person I know who loves this brand as much as I do) suggested that I try returning it, so I decided to try and see what happened.

So the following lunchtime, I took it back to where I bought it.  One of the sales assistants/make up artists came to help me straight away.  She listened to the problems I’d been having and said how sorry she was.  She asked how I had been applying it, and checked that there wasn’t a problem with my technique (which there wasn’t).  Once she was happy that it wasn’t a case of user error, and once she had checked that the bottle was still basically full, she immediately agreed to refund my purchase.  She said that not all products suit all skin types, and it’s just one of those things.  She asked if there was anything else at all she could do to help, and said I shouldn’t hesitate to come back if there was.

Win.  THIS is customer service.  This is how you do it right.  Because of my experience, I am cheerfully telling my friends all about it, and I’m writing about it here.  I shall go back there absolutely without hesitation – although not when it comes to foundation!

Oh – which brand was it?

Take a bow, Charlotte Tilbury!

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