Maybe it’s because I’ve always had a job where I have to be respectful, polite, and professional regardless of how people treat me. Maybe I realized early on that you catch more flies with honey than vinegar, isn’t that how the saying goes? What I’ve learned, though, is that your honey can’t be artificially sweetened. It must be 100% pure, natural and unfiltered, because most people can get a pretty good read on whether you’ve created a product that mimics honey. Whatever the reason, I am a true lover of people who have mastered the art of being remarkable when it comes to serving their customers.
Have you ever excitedly referred your friend or family member to a person or business who failed to meet their expectations? It’s an immense letdown, because giving your stamp of approval is a reflection of you. I’ve been disappointed with feedback I’ve received on a few occasions, so I’ve become pretty hesitant to enthusiastically insist that my friends or family patronize a certain business or buy a particular product. And although I know I’m extremely passionate/ dramatic/ over-the-top/ (insert your choice of words to describe my excitement over some things), I’ve realized that there are really only a few people whose services I would wholeheartedly, without hesitation, recommend.
About eight years ago, I mentioned to a friend that I wanted to update my look. Nothing too wild- I just needed different eye shadow, maybe a lighter foundation. I was newly engaged, and Pamela, who had just gotten married, recommended I visit Ann at the Laura Mercier counter at Belk. I did and I was SOLD from the first encounter. Fast forward to 2014, and I still consider Ann my personal makeup artist. Instant street cred when you tell people you have “a makeup lady”!
One thing that I immediately noticed about Ann is that she’s beautiful on the inside and out. She’s sincere, consultative, and fun. And, she is one of the best sales people I’ve ever met. Because I’m a perpetual student of social psychology, I try to learn from others who are successful in a craft similar to mine. Here’s one thing Ann does that surprised me and my friends- she suggests that when you come in for a consultation, you bring your own makeup bag so that you can work with what you have and not buy anything you don’t really need. Throughout the years, Ann has helped me refresh and recreate my look. It’s amazing what a new product can do for you!
I’ve followed Ann from Belk to Neiman Marcus and now to her fabulous new spot at Selwyn and Colony in Charlotte. I recently visited Woo Skincare and Cosmetics, and, as always, left feeling happier than when I arrived. I asked Ann to tell me about her philosophy on customer service.
“I’m able to understand my clients’ wants and needs because I learn so much about them and become friends with them. It really doesn’t feel like work most of the time.”
We talked about the amazing environment they’ve created at Woo that makes people feel so welcome, where they can truly let their guard down and have fun.
“I think of the store as an extension of my home,” Ann shared. “I want people to come in often and hang out, like just to grab a fun new lipstick or to try a trend they’ve been nervous about trying.”
Ann also loves teaching clients her secrets. “I love showing people how to use products they already have. 90% of the time people have something in their bag they aren’t using because no one showed them the proper technique.”
In my opinion, excellent customer service comes down to two things: demonstrating expertise in your area and consistently delighting your customers. Because Ann is a talented makeup artist, I thought I should share what I learned.
Ann’s Favorite Techniques
1) Create a full brow: This helps shape your face and adds a youthful look. There are powder and pencil options. See Ann for the best option for you.
2) Tight line: Truly a trick of the trade and something that I never thought I could master, but Ann has worked with me over the years on this technique. It works for everyone, creating a bright-eyed look. Lashes appear fuller and longer and eyes look wider and more vibrant.
3) Under eye concealer: Give the appearance that you slept a full 8 hours! Everyone needs the right formula and shade to make it look flawless and natural.
4) Cream shadow: Long wearing, crease proof, water proof, and can be used as a base under powder shadows to create a more intense look. Can also be worn alone for a more finished look even when you’ll be sweating or swimming.
Owned by Kara Campbell, Woo is a beautiful boutique with all your favorites brands like Bobbi Brown, Laura Mercier, Nars, Chantecaille, and Trish McEvoy to name a few. In addition to makeup, they also offer full body waxing and a variety of facials, whether you are interested in relaxing or addressing a major skincare concern. I love supporting local businesses when their products AND services are top notch!
There’s always an opportunity to learn from your friends, especially friends who have established themselves as experts in their fields.
Maybe it’s not because I am a sales person after all. Maybe it’s just because I believe that everyone should be treated with respect. And also I believe serving customers should be fun! Let’s face it- who DOESN’T work in a profession where being sincerely kind and gracious wouldn’t pay off in dividends? Who wouldn’t gain more overall job satisfaction if they turned their clients into friends, and thus, created raving fans who sent them new business? Where (or who) do you patronize because of the exceptional customer service you have received?