1. I wrote to Lakme. As soon as I blogged about it, I wrote to them. Have yet to get an acknowledgment or response from them.
2. I marched back (ok, well, took a cab) to the New Beauty Centre at Khar. And now I am even more mad at Lakme. Here is what happened.
Me: Can you please show me the testers for Sugarbloom and Watermelon?
SA 1 (main/senior SA): (to junior SA2) - show her the shades.
Me: (wait for 5 minutes idly at counter before being attended to)
I then finally removed the testers myself.
With a flourish then I remove the lippies I was sold.
Me: I bought these 2 lipsticks from here like 2 weeks ago. Just check the shades, they are both completely different from the testers. & one of them is a tester itself (showing the SA the tag)
SA1: (to SA2) - Give her another piece of both.
That is it girls. The show was over.
I was given
1. No apology for the fact that I had to travel all the way specially to get them changed. No apology for the error. No apology for the discomfort it caused to me. Nothing. Nada.
2. They didn't even ask me once if I wanted my money refunded. They just assumed that I wanted another piece. Frankly I did need those lippies, which is why I bought them in the first place, and I would have taken the replacement. But they did not even consider for a minute that maybe as a customer I am so pissed off with Lakme that I don't want their stuff. This is exactly what Lakme is suffering from, they are so damn sure that they are irreplaceable in our lives that we will keep coming back. NOT! Lakme has goofed up, and big time here!
3. There was no explanation given why the lippies were they way they were. Even when I asked, I was just curtly told that they are giving me fresh pieces. They almost behaved like it was my fault that I bought those lippies and since they were giving me replacements - I should just keep quite and be grateful.
4. They didn't even ask me if I wanted the same colors as replacement, or did I want a different color or maybe even a different product from Lakme.
5. Basically their attitude was, just take these new lippies and get out of our faces. We won't explain, we won't apologize and we don't care.
In our B-School, we were taught a concept called Service Recovery, this means that a good recovery can turn angry and frustrated customers into loyal customers. In fact it can create even more goodwill than if things had gone smoothly in the first place.
I have seen countless Brands do this. McDonald's excels at this. Most brands that customers swear by, are great at service recovery.
Lakme of course had a chance to do this with me. & they blew it. Big Time.
Make-up is a luxury product, and like all luxury product the experince of the customer is not just based on the product performance but also how she is made to feel at the counter when buying make-up.
Not only are Lakme's SA not trained in this art, they clearly also haven't been taught that "You should apologize to a customer when Service or Product Failure happens!".
Basic Fundamental truth of Customer Relationship Management.
At this point, I couldn't really care about the lipsticks. I hate the way I was treated by those SA. & I am now even more irritated at Lakme and convinced that I can survive without them.
Btw, I saw the Satin Enrich Lippies there. Laid out nicely in a separate rack. Having heard so much about them from Rati & Cynthia, I would have definitely tried them. But then these SAs pissed me off so much that I just took my lippies and walked away from that counter.
& I ain't going back to Lakme. I am done. The breakup is over and complete. If they don't care about me, I don't give a rat's ass about them either.