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MOANFACE: So you want to work in beauty retail?

I was emailed fairly recently asking about my experiences in the beauty industry and what does it take to be a part of it, so I thought I’d reply here and that it might make a change from my usual reviews. I can’t really go into specifics about particular companies other than saying I worked for The Body Shop, then for Clinique and now for The Body Shop once more.

I think it’s a much harder industry to work in within the retail sector. I believe it’s one of the few businesses on the high-street where you need to know absolutely everything about your product as well as being able to adapt so violently quickly to changing circumstances, whilst looking your gleaming best, being obscenely flexible and being able to make recommendations based on flows or sometimes trickles of information, all within a split second. Anyone who’s in this position will agree when I say it’s almost enough to give you schizophrenic tendencies.

I think the only thing that might come close but I rarely see carried out well would be in mobile phone stores, although finding someone who knows what they’re talking about can be like gold dust, particularly as you may often be sold the most expensive tariff and phone even if it’s completely inappropriate for you: “I make 5 calls a month, send 10 texts and only need a cheap phone”… “For £55 you can get the iPhone 4S with 1000 minutes and 5000 texts and we’ll tie you into it for 24 months”. Sounding familiar?

In beauty there’s no reeaal script, and to make matters worse, customers enter entirely prepared for the possibility of being pounced upon. Even a warm and friendly “Hello” can be met with “AAARRRGHH! LEAVE ME ALONE!” and in some cases, walking away completely. Just give people some space and room to breathe; at least allow them past the threshold first! Letting people having a play with testers and a look at what you’ve got first is hugely important.

Although saying this, I love being customer serviced, because I’m an absolute bugger (there’s a much better word for me than that but I shan’t write it) and the customer from hell, this is my sport, and when pounced upon, it’s challenge accepted. I will ask every question under the sun, often knowing the answer full well, just to test if I’m being lied to. If told something I believe not to be true, I’ll say something like “I don’t actually think that’s correct” and then give a full explanation as to why, as well as the fact that I believe I have every single skin concern under the sun. I am a truly nightmare customer but if I’m treated honestly and kindly, I’m all yours and will spend until you’re bored of me. I think it’s out of revenge for the fact that men got so bloomin’ marginalised, and we’re automatically written off as a paying customer and often seemingly, a human being with a head.

If you want to work in cosmetics, just know your product, do your research and know skin, just KNOW IT! The amount of rubbish I hear come from some people’s mouths when I’m out shopping is unreal, which is sort of inexcusable especially as there is just so much reliable information on the internet that will really help you understand your product and therefore your customer, just Google it, it’s all about going above and beyond. Make sure you know understand common skin concerns as well, such as acne, rosacea and exzema, these can be and are often so easily mistreated through skincare, which even though we’re not providing medical treatment, can have enormous beneficial/detrimental effects. Is it really appropriate to use a grained face scrub on Acne? I think not. However, if you don’t know something, then say you don’t know, no one will think any less of you, they’ll probably respect you more for it, just find someone who does.

I’d say only work in the industry if you care about people and skin. If you’re just looking for any old job and couldn’t really give a damn about your product or people, then I’m afraid your in the wrong business. Because there is so much competition out there and so many companies selling products all designed to do the same thing, one bad customer experience is enough to repel that person away from your brand for life. Beauty boys and girls get such a bad rep as being bitchy airheads, which maybe rode well 10-20 years ago, but the customer is so much smarter when it comes to skincare these days, as I pointed out with the internet, we’re not the oracles that can decide life or death anymore and particularly as we’re in recession, people are researching so much more before buying, so make sure you do the same.

Comments
Harvey Specter
Posted at 03:28 February 3, 2013
Discount Cosmetics
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Author

These cosmetics items are popular in UK’s every states. People like their items most. They upgrate their item. For more http://www.beautiesfactory.co.uk/

Harvey Specter
Posted at 20:20 May 14, 2012
Ged in London
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Author

This is funny! I have to admit when I walk into a shop and get pounced upon by sales assistants I get extremely annoyed and will often resort to express this emotion clearly on my face or I will just walk out. I agree that companies have to have a really good level of customer service and customer experience going on but some companies make the mistake of having too much of it. If its too over powering its not working, just like any fragrance. Unfortunately in my experience, this often is the case with ‘beauty boys and girls’ and it’s such an awful experience to be asked by 4 people in a period of 30 seconds of they can help me. I always think ‘If I need help I’ll ask for it.’ Is that wrong?

Harvey Specter
Posted at 20:20 May 14, 2012
Ged_in_London
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Author

This is funny! I have to admit when I walk into a shop and get pounced upon by sales assistants I get extremely annoyed and will often resort to express this emotion clearly on my face or I will just walk out. I agree that companies have to have a really good level of customer service and customer experience going on but some companies make the mistake of having too much of it. If its too over powering its not working, just like any fragrance. Unfortunately in my experience, this often is the case with ‘beauty boys and girls’ and it’s such an awful experience to be asked by 4 people in a period of 30 seconds of they can help me. I always think ‘If I need help I’ll ask for it.’ Is that wrong?

Harvey Specter
Posted at 10:55 May 14, 2012
Phil
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Author

Hahahah so true. I do this myself when they look me up & down, already deciding I’m easy paying pray. How wrong they are once the questions come and I point out the flaws :P

Harvey Specter
Posted at 10:55 May 14, 2012
Phil
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Author

Hahahah so true. I do this myself when they look me up & down, already deciding I’m easy paying pray. How wrong they are once the questions come and I point out the flaws :P

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