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Post in Beauty Confidential

How to make up for being a "difficult" customer?

So there's still a ways to go before the new year begins, but I'd like to get started on my New Year's resolutions early - in particular, these two:

1. Admitting I was wrong and apologizing for things, and

2. Being more patient with people working retail or service positions.


I figure it would be worth a shot to ask the folks of BT for some help with a Sephora-related matter that involves both of these.


Last month I went into my local Sephora in the hope of getting color matched to a foundation and the store was super busy and very understaffed, plus all of the staff members I'd gotten to recognize had been replaced with new ones so I felt completely lost. Both of the SA's who helped me were really overworked, the second one who helped me also had to take on someone who had come in for a makeover and both of them were probably under a lot of pressure because they put a single foundation on me (with too strong of an undertone) and then left to go help other customers.


I'm currently living with severe anxiety, which gets worse in stressful situations, so in between trying foundations I basically stood up and left with some excuse about how I had an appointment and needed to leave; I could tell that I was probably going to have a panic attack if I stayed in there longer (it was getting even more busy somehow) and I needed to get out because I was starting to feel trapped.


The problem is, I can tell the SA's who were trying to help me that time recognized me when I went in this week to get my Rouge kit. Both of them saw me enter the store and completely avoided me, didn't even ask if I needed help with anything, one of them gave me a little glare. Smiley Sad They're probably going to be working there for a long time so I want to clear the air, since I'll probably be asking for their help with stuff. I want to apologize to them for being a bad customer but I don't know how to go about doing this in a way that's appropriate and not awkward or weird.


Any insight or assistance would be really great, thank you all in advance! <3

Re: How to make up for being a "difficult" customer?

It's unprofessional of them to glare but something you can do to ease it up a bit is walk up to one of them (I'd pick the one that you get the worst vibes off of) and say, "You know, I had to rush out the last time I was in and I have a little more time today. I was really hoping you could help me with a foundation match - do you have the time?" Basically, acknowledge that you recognize them, understand that you had a hand in the bad experience (understaffed stores are not your fault, either!,) and rectify it by allowing her to help you a time when things are less busy. 

I do not handle crowds of people well - I get paranoid, pushy, and short-tempered. As a result? I don't go to the mall between Thanksgiving and Christmas, I avoid big shopping weekends when I can (or if I do go, I go with a list and in-buy-out,) and go at times when it is less likely to be busy. Perhaps you could identify some similar coping techniques to prevent an oncoming panic attack? 

Re: How to make up for being a "difficult" customer?

I work in a restaurant, and sometimes we have really bad/rude customers. However, I remember how 2 different ladies came back the other day for lunch again, and I recognized them and was like "yes, what would you like today" with just an appearance of a smile on my face (well, it's two totally different ladies, not friends at all, happened at different times). And each of them apologized to me for the last time. One of them said something like "I'm glad to be back for your wonderful chicken, and I'm sorry for being kind of rude last time, I had such a horrible day at work, and everything was falling apart that day, but you guys brought me back to life". And I really wasn't mad at her anymore, I said " don't even worry, we all have bad days, that's' totally ok, and I'm happy you came back to our place".

So, maybe you can go back to that Sephora, ask for help one of these SA, and say something like that as well, that you're sorry if you were rude that day, you had a very hard day at work/school/ect. Trust me, people who work in CS will appreciate it a lot, and will remember you as a great customer and a great person! 

Re: How to make up for being a "difficult" customer?

We all have our moments...everyone has off times.

Try and approach the situation fresh. Be yourself and you will be fine. We cannot change what has happened in the past, but we can make the very best of our present presence!

It seems apparent by your post, you want to make resolve to the situation. So walk in, smile and ask them questions, etc. It will soon be apparent there is no reason for any distance/avoidance on all sides.




Re: How to make up for being a "difficult" customer?

I agree, we all have our moments and the fact that you realize and are experiencing remorse is wonderful in my opinion, and I commend you for posting your experience (and your willingness to hold yourself accountable) in this forum. As anxiety-provoking as it may seem, I would not avoid returning to the store. I personally would go in as though nothing happened, and approach whatever sales associates are available and request the assistance you need. Based on your description of how hectic the store was on the day you went in, I actually would not be surprised if they do not remember you from that day. Is it possible that the "glare" you observed was not directed at you, but perhaps due to something totally unrelated (e.g., that the associate was having a bad day in general, was overworked, and/or perhaps feeling frustrated that the store continues to be understaffed and thus, employee morale in general might be down)? I would try not to personalize the situation. What you might be able to do is contact Sephora Corporate Headquarters and send an e-mail letting them know you have concerns about the shopping experience you had that day. Perhaps you can let them know how much you enjoy shopping at that particular store and have concerns regarding appropriate staffing. You can also mention the names of the associates that assist you on a regular basis, and give them high marks for the positive experiences they have provided you in the past. I honestly believe the situation is only as awkward as you make it. In other words, I don't think it has to be an issue unless you choose to make it one. If you enter the store and notice it is super-busy, then perhaps you can simply leave and return at a time when it is less busy. If you go in the store and its slow, perhaps it will make you feel better to go out of your way to thank them for their excellent customer service, and assure them you will take the time to complete the survey about your shopping experience, as that constitutes their employee recognition program. No worries!

Re: How to make up for being a "difficult" customer?

I think I could be diagnosed with something, but I'm too nervous to go see a doctor about it.  :-)  But I get seriously freaked out around strangers, and it's worse if they're in my personal space.  I hate crowds.  I think I'm making progress with it, though.  My daughter's Girl Scout leader decided to step down, and now I'm the leader of the troop.  It was terrible for me at the beginning of the year with the new girls/parents.  But I've found that it's just best for me to be honest and up-front with people.  I let them know that new people freak me out, and that if I start to seem weird/nervous, it's not them, it's me.  Crowds are still bad for me, so if we go somewhere, I remind the people I'm with that if I suddenly get a weird look and excuse myself, I just need to step away and breathe/calm myself, and I'll be back shortly. 


In your situation, you could make the effort to approach them (I'd probably do one per visit, because of the stress), and say something to the effect of, "I don't know if you remember me, but you were helping me and I suddenly left.  I get a bit of anxiety, and the stress from the busy store was too much for me so I had to step away.  I hope you didn't take it personally -- you didn't do anything wrong (this is where I say, "it's not you, it's me)." 


I find that if I'm up-front about my issues, it's easier for everyone.  I've given up on trying to deny/hide and pretend things don't bother me, because it shows on my face/in my behavior anyway. 


I hope you get some advice that helps.  Good luck with the anxiety.  Take a deep breath . . . it'll be okay . . .



Re: How to make up for being a "difficult" customer?

I agree with ladymeag, maybe thank them for the time they took with you last time and ask if they would mind helping you continue to find the right shade. I don't think you need to explain anxiety or the appointment situation, keep it simple but be the one to take the first step.


I suffer bad anxiety and also get really, really worked up about things I've said or done after the fact. For instance, if I say something I think is dumb it will bother me the rest of the day or even longer. It is a hard thing to let go of, but what I have to do is remind myself that everyone is human, we all make mistakes, and on the scale of things that could go wrong that is pretty low. It's helping a little. Smiley Happy

Re: How to make up for being a "difficult" customer?

I have to admit I was also guilty of it once. When I went in the store there was a DermaDoctor rep in there who started talking to me and sell their products. She wasn't that pushy but I have no intention of trying their brands and haven't learned how to say no properly yet, so I end up coming out of it with a couple of samples I didn't want and cant get samples I DO want since theres a limit in store, not to mention wasted time. The next time I went a different brand rep was there, but as soon as I heard he's from Dermadoctor I just interrupted with a "no!" And walked away. My voice is kind of loud and it was a  quiet store so it must've been awkward for him since he haven't done anything yet. It bothered me for weeks, but after that I decided to always act politely and understanding even if the service is not what I wanted. If I really didnt like it I'll mention it in the survey instead of being rude in the store.


I would say dont dwell on it but casually mention it. For example, ask for their help with something and say something like "gosh I was having such a terrible day last time, sorry if I was rude and thanks for helping me today. What was ur name again? I wanna make sure I get it right to give you a shout out on the feedback survey. Thanks!"

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