Saturday Question: Excellent Customer Service

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Portia

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Hello Fellow Fumies,

I have had an idea. Well, actually I’m copying an idea from Olfactoria’s Travels. Once a week there used to be a Question. Everyone would chime in with an answer, chat with other responders and it would be a generally fun events each week. Taking sides never meant taking offence and everyone kept it respectful and light.

I’d like to carry on that tradition, maybe you’ll see it on the weekend or chime in through the week. Hopefully you will come back and see if anyone has responded to your comment and you can reply to them.

If we get over 200 responses I will draw a $20 Surrender To Chance Gift Card. Every comment will get a place in the draw, so if you comment purposefully on your own or another comment you’ll have a chance, random.org will draw the winner on Friday and the winner will be announced in next Saturdays question. If you win, send me an eMail to portia _ turbo at yahoo dawt com dawt au

Last Weeks Winner: Sadly we didn’t make the goal last week. Damnit! 

Saturday Question: Excellent Customer Service This week on APJ we want to read about your Best Beauty Customer Service moments.

Saturday Question

Excellent Customer Service

So often we hear about the terrible product, the poor wrapping and packaging for postage, the snarky seller, the fool SA and the gamut of bad customer service experiences. Today I’d like to turn that around. It’s so rare to get a good service story because where is the interest in sharing that? we SHOULD get good service, getting it isn’t really a surprise, right? Well I don’t agree. Currently I am MUCH more surprised to be given above and beyond service with a smile. So this week I thought we could all share the good news on brands, SAs, fragrant experiences that were better than the soul crushing norm. It will also be a boost to these companies, and who doesn’t want to shop where the product or service is excellent. Win Win all round.

My answer:

Recently I was online looking for The Scent of Departure series of fragrances. I remember loving the Bali one and Jin’s favourite city in the world is Budapest. Wouldn’t it be a perfect birthday present if I could find him a fragrance that combined his love of travel and fave city? I was super excited when I found them at The Grooming Clinic, which turns out to be a UK store.

Because when I arrived at the site they showed Euro I was unaware that they were in the UK, interestingly the do send everything to the world except fragrance because of UK postal bans. So I went right ahead and purchased these two fragrances.

Within the hour they had sent me an email. Very kindly and politely explaining their quandary with postage of frags outside the UK. They asked if I had mates in the UK who they could send it to and then they could post it for me from Europe somewhere. Thoughtful and excellent thinking but no. They also asked if I would like my money refunded with zero charge to my PayPal account. Yes, it was the best option for me.

By morning Sydney time the money was back in my account, The Grooming Clinic sent me an apology email and it was all done in such a friendly tone and seamlessly. Though I don’t have my product I am so happy to recommend these guys because the experience was 100% positive.

So my question to you is

Where Have You Had Excellent Customer Service?

40 comments on “Saturday Question: Excellent Customer Service

  1. Mary Jane says:

    I purchased a Glasshouse Candle last year–I think it was Verona? When I brought it home and began burning it, I began to sneeze. And sneeze, and sneeze! This continued to happen over the next couple of days and finally I realized I was allergic to my candle. This had never happened before with my (many) other Glasshouse candles, so I emailed CS to ask if I could arrange for an exchange or…something. They wrote back that they couldn’t exchange, but they asked for my favorite candle scent and my address. The very next day I received a mini of Coney Island in the post. Happy day! And I just gave my other candle away to a very lucky friend.

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      That’s an excellent story Mary Jane.
      I love the Glasshouse candles for the bathroom. they’re so powerful that even when we have a dinner or party here it cuts through the stink all night, and perfumes the whole apartment brilliantly without overpowering everything.
      Portia xx

  2. Kate Apted says:

    Two places:

    1) Berwick Pharmacy/Kiana Beauty Online. Jaki and the team have been fabulous with me. I’ve only dealt with them in store though. They let me try whatever takes my fancy, attempt to get certain requests in for me, let me review my purchases and recommend new scents. It is through them I reengaged with Chanel and discovered Shay & Blue.

    2) Alison at Chanel Chadstone – the new store near H & M. An absolute sweetheart. She let me go crazy with the Les Exclusifs, looked up products for me, showed me options I had not considered and discussed the pros & cons of each scent. And she has tried the male scents too. I’ll gladly deal with her next time. She made the whole visit relaxed.

    • Jackie b says:

      The SAs at the new Chanel store in Perth were terrific when 5 mad perfumistas converged on them recently. We stayed quite a while, no pressure from them at all.

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      Never been to Berwick Pharmacy but it feels like the CHANEL SAs are often really good. In Sydney we have Esther, who is amazing.
      Anna Maria and I were in there last week and a different woman spent some time with us going through the range but when we didn’t purchase was MIGHTY put out. It was like dealing with a toothy barracuda.
      Portia xx

  3. Azsa says:

    Imaginary Authors sent me a bunch of extra samples, with a two sample order. I don’t know if they always do that, but I was very pleased.

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      Azia,
      Very nice. I like the Imaginary Authors stuff too. Fearless fragrances.
      Portia xx

  4. Jackie b says:

    I agree, we are so quick to complain!
    I recently ordered samples from Le Jardin Retrouve, and they followed up with an email, leading to a lovely conversation about my favourites and my upcoming visit to Paris. Will definitely find their shop!

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      Hey JackieB,
      How fabulous! Please come back and tell us how the shop was.
      Portia xx

    • Kate Apted says:

      Jackie, that is fabulous. I think Michel will look after you. Oh my… you might meet Clara, his wife. Her art work is so lively and colourful. I really hope it is a fruitful and highly engaging trip for you.

  5. Sue Mills says:

    A couple of years ago, I was purchasing a Chanel soap at DJs for my sister-in-law. To be honest, it was my first foray into Chanel and I was very daggy as I had had to get up, race into the city and be out again.
    The girl who helped me was very young and just lovely. We discussed Christmas shopping and those hard-to-buy-for people. She mentioned wanting something special for her dad, and I told her about a fishing charter voucher I had seen online.
    After thanking me for the idea, she rushed around to the sample drawer, smiled and asked ‘cool or warm?’, and on my answer she presented me with my first Chanel – a sample of Cristalle.
    She was just gorgeous, very helpful and enabled me to get over my self-consciousness. All during the Christmas rush.

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      Hey Sue,
      THAT is a wonderful story. Have you gone back and purchased more CHANEL from her?
      Portia xx

  6. Ceil says:

    The SA, Brad, at my Beachwood Ohio Saks Tom Ford counter is always a pleasure to purchase from…or chat about perfumes, makeup etc. Whether you are just browsing or buying he is consistently pleasant and helpful. He was sad that he had never gotten the chance to try Moss breches or Japon noir, and I have a little left… so I was able to let him try them 🙂 It’s really nice when a SA wants to be knowledgeable about the line they are selling.

    • Gina says:

      I am in Cleveland, Ceil!!! I need to visit Saks and sniff some samples. Thanks for the referral. We should meet to swap smellies sometime. I met a frag friend from PA who I met on Fragrantica. We had lunch, went to a garden center and gave each other lovely new frags to try. It was a great day. I sometimes stop at that Cedar Creek place for happy hour on the way home. I work in Euclid and live in Medina County. I take 271S every day.

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      Great story Ceil,
      Those Tom Ford boys are usually gorgeous too.
      Portia xx

  7. Marion says:

    Maybe I’m a blythe perfume spirit but I can only remember some amazingly awesome experiences…ranging from an incredible parumista in DJs back in about 2007; anequaly great gorgeous young girl in Mecca at Bondi back about then who despite being confronted with a strange witchy matron armed with vials, allowed me to fill em up, causing a life affirming encounter with SL… then there was SL in Paris..a store in Rome, Cherry? I could rave on about Hermes, just unreal all over the World…several wonderful online stores, perfume Au in Sydney… FiF, now sadly deceased for Au; Lucky, Fragnet, eBay, only about no bad experiences I’ve been charmed really…and cannot not mention several perfume angels C, and, M who have personally and singlehandedly kept the flame burning all over the world with their passion and generosity. I often pinch myself when I reflect on the peculiar miracle of finding others like me..💗

  8. Gina says:

    I buy most of my fragrances on eBay or through fragrance groups on Facebook, not retail. But I also buy on etsy. The two BEST experiences ever are from Deep Midnight Perfumes and A Wing & A Prayer perfumes on etsy. The owners are lovely human beings, caring, compassionate, friendly. They throw in extras and care about fragrance not making big money. They both are doing lovely scents at affordable prices. I usually go indie before they are famous and become niche. It makes life fun.

  9. Robert H. says:

    Laura at Maison Francis Kurkdjian is an angel in disguise! I ordered a bottle of Grand Soir last Nov 22 hoping to have it by Christmas, but no such luck. It fell off the map literally. By Jan. it was determined to have been lost in transit, and Laura quickly dispatched a new bottle with a shitload of samples which arrived in a week!

    Throughout she was in constant contact, doing internet tracking searches etc… ironically, the original package finally arrived in APRIL looking as if it had been kicked here from Paris. I emailed Laura and offered to send it back, but she said absolutely not, keep it. What a doll. (Guilt got the better of me, and I ended up doing an RAOK with the extra bottle!) xoxo
    Robert H. recently posted…Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you….”The Cannonizer”😂My Profile

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      Hey Robert,
      That’s a wonderful story. I love it when they go out of their way.
      Poor original box.
      Portia xx

  10. Claudia says:

    Flower at Nordstrom (South Coast Plaza) is such a doll. She works at the Chanel counter and is generous with samples and very knowledgeable! A very nice young lady and she really knows her way around perfume notes.

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      Hey Claudia,
      Loads of CHANEL love today. that’s great. I think they have one of the best training programs.
      Portia xx

  11. Maya says:

    Twisted Lily in NY. I had a gift certificate from there and the perfume I wanted included 10 free samples of my choice. There were exclusions on the offer and I wasn’t sure if it applied to me, so I emailed and received a reply from the co-owner, Stamatis. He said I could have the samples even though the exclusion did apply to me. He added a lovely comment that makes me smile even now! I decided then and there that if they carried a perfume I wanted, I would buy from them.

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      Stamatis is a doll. He has gone well out of his way for me before too. Aren’t Twisted Lily awesome? Great selection too.
      Portia xx

  12. Ingrid says:

    I walked into the Chanel Boutique on the Gold Coast on opening day. Had no idea it was opening day. The SA was very helpful and showed me everything without being pushy. We had a long and interesting chat about Chanel fragrances, while my long suffering husband was waiting outside (don’t they all!). Eventually I walked out with a carrier bag full of samples and some art prints. My husband thought I had just bought half the store, but I hadn’t bought anything. It was such a positive experience it made Chanel my favorite store.

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      Hi there Ingrid,
      CHANEL again! They really are getting it right nowadays. That makes me very happy.
      Portia xx

  13. rosarita313 says:

    I live my perfume life almost entirely online and I am very fond of several indies partly because of their customer service. Imaginary Authors doesn’t have fancy packaging but it’s clever and nicely wrapped, always includes a note and generous samples. At En Voyage perfumes, Shelley Waddington will also send perfume samples as extras and accommodates requests as much as possible. And Zoologist is another company that has a sincere note and good samples. All three ship quickly and securely and the personal touch is especially nice without easy access to brick and mortor stores.

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      Hey Rosarita313,
      How lucky that we live in an age of internet. 20 years ago a perfumista would have only had the choices that were available at stores that were accessible, I like this MUCH better.
      Portia xx

  14. MikasMinion says:

    I do most of my shopping online and have had my share of good and bad purchases. The best customer service have been from Dame Perfumery (no surprise there), Olympic Orchids, and very remarkably, Notino back when they were still Beautyspin. I had impulse-purchased a couple of Amouages and then had a panic about fakes. I emailed them about returns and they responded immediately, reassuring me that I could notify them if something felt shady to me and they would take care of it. Not only were my fears unfounded, but they actually sent a follow-up email asking if I was satisfied. I know that something like that should be the standard response but I’ve had far worse from fancy boutiques and I think a grey-market seller should really be praised for their effort.

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      Totally true MikasMinion,
      That’s really nice of Notino to go the extra mile. Really unexpected too.
      Portia xx

  15. Fazal says:

    I got an excellent customer service not from a retailer but a fellow perfume collector. he was moving home from US to Australia and selling some fragrances. I received a fragrance that I felt was possibly less than the item description and the bottle was opaque. But I also knew this fragrance collector was in the game longer than me and more knowledgeable so I included disclaimer in the message that I could be wrong and I trust his judgment. He was so moved he sent me extra gifts with the next purchase that I did not rush to judgment. This taught me that even if there is a problem, it is important to understand that it might have been an honest mistake on the other side. And it is also possible that we and not the other side may be wrong.

  16. hajusuuri says:

    I absolutely agree with Twisted Lily having great customer service. I was there at a Sniffapalooza event and asked for 4 or 5 samples after purchasing several bottles. When I got home, I discovered that one was missing and contacted Stamatis the following day. Not only did I get the sample within 2 days, I also got 2 instead of 1!

  17. hajusuuri says:

    I also like to call out Foster at Aftelier Perfumes. I had an allergic reaction to one of the perfumes and wrote to ask about the metal used in the rollerball as well as the materials used in the perfume itself. She answered the question about the rollerball. While she was not able to tell me the materials for the perfume, she offered to refund me or apply a credit towards a future purchase.

  18. Bernadette Winfield Gray says:

    A Big Tick for Abby and her team at Paint and Powder in Melbourne city’s beautiful Royal Arcade. I have been a loyal customer since the late 1980’s, ever since my Jean Louis Scherrer period. It is A family run retail business that does make up as well as stocking hard to find classic fragrances. The staff know their products and are willing to suggest interesting sniffs as opposed to pushing the blockbusters. Recently I bemoaned that the behemoth who control Givenchy had discontinued one of my over 35 degree weather scents: Eau de Givenchy. Abby tracked down the Last Two Bottles of EdG Australia and gave me a good deal on them. Even my disinterested husband now smells fragrant when he scrubs up, thanks to Paint and Powder.

  19. AnnieA says:

    I work near the Vancouver branch of the Perfume Shoppe and will pop over during a break. Naz is a perfume matchmaker and wants to make sure each person and perfume are meant for each other. It’s a mysterious process but fascinating to watch. I’ve brought in a half dozen previously non perfume people the the perfumes suited them down to the ground.

  20. crikey says:

    More love for Chanel: the fabulous Kerry Anne, previously at HoF in Glasgow and now at Harvey Nics in Edinburgh. (Knows and loves her products inside out and back to front; generous with her time, her knowledge, and with samples; and she has a phenomenal memory for her customers’ likes and dislikes. Never any pressure, even when I was luxuriating in endless repeat spritzing of the exclusifs samples for a long while…she even gave me a heads up on an unannounced store discount day coming up and suggested I hold off when I was finally ready to buy. She’s got a loyal customer for EVAH now.)

    With more love for Sarah and 4160 Tuesdays, who make every order a treat (right down to decorative stamps on the box, hand written notes, and extra samples wrapped like sweeties), and a special extra mention for Paul Schütze perfumes, who did some rapid sleight of hand to sort out a special request for me with grace and kindess.

  21. Tiffanie says:

    Look for the good — a wonderful approach to life. My mum had a glass-half-full outlook. When the clumsy kid (me) broke a crystal water goblet she said, “Let’s be glad it was just one and not two.”

    A few months ago I mailed a perfume package across the US via US Postal Service ground service. After a week of travel it had not arrived. Tracking said the package remained in transit for several weeks. I contacted USPS by email expecting the worst. I was told the package would be traced. Another week went by and nothing changed, but I did receive updates from USPS customer service as the case was escalated. Eventually the package arrived at a post office near it’s final destination then sat there for a week. Another round of emails with USPS and the box was delivered at last. No explanation was given but I did receive an apology from USPS for the delay. The package arrived in fine shape, and the recipient was patient, so eventual win-win-win, but it was a real nail-biter.

  22. Nemo says:

    I have always gotten the most amazing customer service from Hermes salespeople. I already love their perfumes, so I drop by the stores whenever I see one (usually in an airport). I dress like a grad student/scientist and I rarely buy anything, but they always seem excited to talk to someone who is interested in perfume! They have also always been extremely generous with samples. All of this has made me feel quite loyal to them as a customer, and my next full price FB purchase is likely to be Cuir d’Ange (once I save up enough).

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