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Focus Question: Beauty Insider



BeautyTalkers! We want to hear from you:


What can Store Employees do to make you feel appreciated and valued as a Beauty Insider while you are shopping in store?


Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Re: Focus Question: Beauty Insider

I think employees need more general awareness of all of Sephora's promotions, perks, brands, services, etc etc.


They should be aware that Not All Sephoras Are Created Equal, and be ready to give customers options.


For instance, if a sales associate in Northern NJ notices a customer buying a lot of Make Up For Ever, they might mention that there is an extended Make Up For Ever boutique in the SoHo NYC store where the customer can shop an extended range of products and take makeup lessons from MUFE trained and certified artists.  Maybe that customer will not be interested, but maybe they will make the trip and learn something new.  Sephora has MANY perks, but I feel like we often know more about them than some of the employees.


I think more emphasis should be placed on the Sephora helping Communities program, and more attention should be drawn to it.

Re: Focus Question: Beauty Insider

Thank you so much for this post, honestly i think that all employees should have a general knowledge of the makeup, brands and at least some skincare and fragrances that sephora carries, instead of the knowledge of working retail.


my nearest sephora has employee's who i call and ask about certain products and they tell me (very rudely) that they have no idea what i'm talking about, and to come in the store and thats the reason i called in the first place. 


also, i think maybe some in store samples would be nice. 

Re: Focus Question: Beauty Insider

I'd had a lot of false promises.  People who tell me they can't find an item but won't help me find it elsewhere (or instock in another store locally).  Or tell me that they will be unpacking some boxes this evening in the back but don't have an inventory list but would call me if the items I wanted were there (as I did not want to make a long haul to come back to that store unless they were in stock)... and never got a call!


I realize best efforts, but lots of times I feel like they get my hopes up.  I ask for things, but no one seems willing to find me something else related to what I'm looking for if they are out of it, answer tends to be "sorry!" and then they leave me behind and off to the next customer (as If they feel they can't satisfy me or it's a waste of their time to try to accommodate the out-of-stock product and find something similar).

Re: Focus Question: Beauty Insider

YES! I was interested in buying Naked3 and THREE TIMES I went to my local store they were out of stock. Each time an associate told me "we'll be getting more in next week" but no one offered to call, and the one time I got an exact day from someone I showed back up and surprise- they didn't get any in, or even have a shipment come in that day!


I wish Sephora had the personalization that department store counters have- I bought a Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer ONCE from Macys and the girl who works there called me about sales and specials for like a year after. And when I dropped by she remembered me! I know that the dept. store clerks probably work on commission, but it would be nice to get that level of service at a store I spend so much of my money at.

Re: Focus Question: Beauty Insider

Stop giving me attitude! Some employees are just rude and need to work on their customer service.


If I'm talking to you make me feel like I matter. Don't look around the store and act like a jerk. Don't act like you have better things to do.


If I want a sample, I should get a sample.  I have sensitive skin and prefer trying new skin care via sample.  If it works I'll be back to buy the full size.


If I want to see a product I should be able to see it. It takes forever to get new products on the floor in Canada.  So if the product is already released on-line and it's in the back room because you guys didn't get the new display I should be able to see it if I request it. I have 2 stores in my city.  One refused to do this for me... the other one was super happy to help.  They brought out the colors I wanted to see and made testers for me. This resulted in a few purchases.

Re: Focus Question: Beauty Insider

Like everyone else has said: samples! I much prefer to shop in person than ordering stuff online, but I always feel like I'm missing out or not getting the best deal for my money because the free samples are only given out online. Also, there are frequently online deals but you can't get them if you go to the store. I would love if the SAs at checkout would give a free deluxe sample to Rouge members too. We are probably a much better bet than most for getting a return on investment with those.


Also, I always feel guilty requesting a sample of anything. I would love if more SAs would ask if I wanted them to make a sample. I've only had that happen a few times and it was always wonderful. (As a side note, please encourage SAs to give decent sized samples, especially with skincare. The eye cream sample I got yesterday was pitifully small, I'll probably need to get a second sample to test it's effectiveness.)

Re: Focus Question: Beauty Insider


Re: Focus Question: Beauty Insider

Oh - another thing: Returns.


I don't buy in store very often because of lack of samples at check out, and negative attitude/lack of good product information available from SAs (I research online instead - yay BT). 


But even more, I don't buy in store because I am VERY sensitive/tons of allergies (and I'm also just very picky), and I may need to return.  I almost always have my reciept, box, product is barely used, etc.  --


In store I get the worst attitude, snippy comments, dirty looks.  Never been refused or anything, never had a problem per se with a return (all well within policy and I probably only made 3-4 returns in store last year).


Most recently I got the SILENT TREATMENT.  The cashier literally would not speak to me, answer my question about the store credit I received, etc.  I was so shocked and insulted, I just left (still wish I would have followed up with manager).


Since then, I haven't purchased in store at all.

Re: Focus Question: Beauty Insider

If I could heart this post a million times, I would. The last time I made a return in-store (like you, everything was in perfect condition, in their boxes, and I had my receipts) and the SA INSTANTLY went from smiling and friendly to stone-faced. She was clearly annoyed about the return.


I very very strongly suspect that this is the result of a Sephora headquarters policy of some sort. That SA was clearly capable of being friendly and helpful, but it was like I slapped her across the face when I said I had some returns to make. 


And god forbid, I should have returns from more than one order. 

Re: Focus Question: Beauty Insider

Oh gosh yes, this is my experience, too.


I agree that whatever policies are in place that make them really rude about returns in store should be examined -- Sephora should not incentivize this behavior in SA's through corporate policies.

Re: Focus Question: Beauty Insider

i get the same reaction also when I make a return!  The SA (usually the same one for some reason) suddenly turns very serious and doesnt talk to me and avoids eye contact!

Re: Focus Question: Beauty Insider

lol YES - phew I'm kinda glad it's not just me!!!!!!

Re: Focus Question: Beauty Insider

Being able to use codes instore and I would have more events for Beauty Insiders. I know that some stores have classes and events but none of mine do in the entire state. 

Re: Focus Question: Beauty Insider

Agree, I used to live in an area where the Sephora near me had a lot of BI/VIB events held (singers, whatever) but have moved a bit away from that and don't get any more event notifications to stores nearby.

Re: Focus Question: Beauty Insider

It would be nice to not get brushed off because of age...  My husband and I are 50+, and we find that no one even asks us if we need help, and when we do ask for help, no one wants to spend more than 30 seconds with us.  My husband and I are always courteous and kind to all employees (at any and every store that we do business with), so we are a bit miffed that we get ignored the majority of the time.  Also, ditto what everyone else says about getting samples.  It practically takes an act of Congress to get a sample in-store.

Re: Focus Question: Beauty Insider

Had a terrible thought- We have all been complaining that the 3 free samples and availability of deluxe samples online are what drives us to shop there over the brick and mortar stores. It would be ironic if Sephora decided to stop giving out online samples to make shopping more like in store! Smiley Sad

Re: Focus Question: Beauty Insider

Then I would only order from nordstrom Smiley Happy

Re: Focus Question: Beauty Insider

I would love, love, LOVE to not be ignored/minimally helped because I'm not wearing foundation that day. I was bare faced in order to try out the Color IQ system, but the SAs treated me much more flippantly than when I was all dressed up.


Also, it would be nice if the SAs at checkout weren't so snippy when answering questions, deflecting constantly, and then telling me they can't help me. 


And the samples thing. I think that's been throughly covered.


(Can you tell I never shop in-store?)

Re: Focus Question: Beauty Insider

There are four big reasons why I shop almost entirely online.  In order of importance to me:


1. Online I can use a code to get a deluxe freebie. Sometimes a freebie set. Sometimes I'm actually mostly ordering because of the freebie. I can't get them in-store.


2. The nearest store is about an hour away. Nothing to fix there (except me moving. ... Or you could build a store in Ocala, FL! Smiley Wink  )


3. I never know how I'm going to be treated. Occasionally I get really nice, friendly, but not too in-your-face staff. Sometimes I get aloof staff. Sometimes I get ignorant staff. Sometimes I get staff that act like I'm being a bother. Sometimes I get staff that act like they'd rather be doing anything but talking to me.


4. The selection in-store is pretty limited. I guess there isn't a huge amount to be done there, though.

Re: Focus Question: Beauty Insider

This week has brought to light a stark contrast in my experience at Sephora versus Nordstrom.  I haven't been to Nordstrom since moving from Oregon as the places I've lived since didn't have them.  But this week, I did a lot of shopping.


I went to four Sephoras this week, and I also went to Nordstrom's.


The first Sephora I went to, the SA was affable and trying to be helpful but not terribly knowledgeable about product specifics.


The second Sephora, the SA was, also, trying to be helpful but didn't understand what I was looking for.  Instead of saying so (it was obvious) she told me that Sephora doesn't carry the item (meteorites!).


The third store, I walked in with rainboots, cuffed jeans, messenger bag and dirty hands (chain on my bike popped, had to fix it on the way there). Couldn't get a single person to talk to me.


Fourth store, SA asked if I needed help, I said I was just looking. Manager followed me around telling me about each item I picked up because, clearly, I had no idea what I was doing.  Then she was extremely rude when it came to the exchange I was making.


Nordstrom, by contrast, was like walking into a hug.  I got excellent service, dozens of sample (some to share with my mom), an invitation to an event, and a card with a name and email address.  The service was attentive but not pushy, gracious and good-humored.  Also, I think they realize that samples and personal touches are what makes any customer a loyal customer.  If you start working with an SA, they will always contact you when the latest products come in, or let you know when they are running low on your favorite, or when something out of stock comes back in.    They also know that samples keep returns of full-size items to a minimum.


I know the structure is different, but Sephora could take a lesson from Nordstrom in the way they handle their guests and build relationships.  Having 'concierge services' in each store available exclusively to VIB and Rouge (with Rouge having more perks) might be a place to start.  Oh, and samples.

Re: Focus Question: Beauty Insider

Everything she said! Smiley Happy  ^^^^


Plus, most department stores have an area where one can sit down.  My husband does not care how much time I spend in Nordstrom, Bloomie's, Neiman's, etc,  because they all have comfortable chairs where he can relax for an hour or so while I browse the makeup counters.  He can't stand being in a Sephora store for more than 15-20 minutes because he has no where to sit and get away from the madness, which means I spend far less money in the store.

7 Replies