Sunday, December 19, 2010

My Nordstrom Nightmare...

Last Friday I went to Nordstrom to purchase a new fall fragrance. I had in mind a few fragrances that I wanted to sample but I was really looking forward to browsing and seeing all the new items in person. Upon walking over to the fragrance department, I was bombarded by two sales people. They greeted me, asked if they could help me and what I was looking for. I stated that I was looking for a fall fragrance. Immediately these two women became glued to my right and left side, talking quickly, grabbing bottles and spraying various scents onto strips of paper, and shoving them under my nose.

My good mood quickly went downhill. One of the ladies backed off, but the other one stayed attached to my hip. She was really annoying the hell out of me but I remained calm. I nicely but firmly explained to her that I was heavily into beauty products and knew what all the latest fragrances were and that I just wanted to take some time and look on my own. Did she take the hint? Of course not, she kept right on, walking right next to me and going on and on and on. Everything I said she agreed with. I told her one musky fragrance that she sprayed on my hand didn’t mix with my chemistry and she agreed. I tricked her a few moments later by saying the same fragrance was really soft and pretty. Again she nodded in eager agreement. I just shook my head at her desperate attempt to make a sale. She was paying no attention to me or what I said I was looking for in a fragrance.

Finally I could no longer take it; I said to her that I just wanted time to browse alone. I thanked her and asked her to please allow me time to shop. She seemed extremely offended but at that point I did not care. Shortly after getting rid of the initial pest, another woman came to the sales floor and started her sales pitch. Granted she was nice and she was just returning from her break but still... How many times and how many ways can I say I’m just looking? A representative from one of the fragrance brands soon joined in and it was right back to the ordeal I was having before. At that point, I had had enough and left the store. I was so irate. Not only was I frustrated that I didn’t get my perfume but I felt disrespected as a customer. A good sales associate should know how to turn their pitch on and off. I don’t understand what was wrong with the ladies at Nordstrom but their tactics were way over the top. They were so pushy and hungry for a sale. I understand there are sales quotas to meet when working in retail. And not to toot my own horn but when I worked retail, I always met or exceeded my quota because I knew how to allow my customers time to shop. I knew when to step in and offer my honest opinion, and I knew how to nicely tell my clients when something was not for them while offering a suitable alternative. I was never hungry for sales or pushy.

Once I calmed down, I called Nordstrom (Yes, I have their number saved in my contacts) and spoke with the manager of the fragrance department. She listened and sympathized with me. She apologized for her team’s lack of professionalism and assured me that she would speak to them about my complaint. I am very proud of the way I handled the pushy sales lady because I have a very bad temper and that situation could have really gone another way. As I get older, I am learning not to react in anger. It is better to walk away, calm down and then follow up with a phone call or email to a higher up.

The manager invited me back to shop with her personally for my fall fragrance. I will take her up on her offer because I love Nordstrom and this was my first bad shopping experience in nine years.

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