I got to visit New York City on my vacation and I couldn’t resist to see their local Wolford boutique near Central Park, at the Columbus Circle shopping center). Despite the crazy heat this Tuesday, I put on my Satin Touch 20 pantyhose (a gift from a special fan), a lace white skirt, and a black thong bodysuit that I just recently purchased (more about that later). Not intentionally, but I actually ended up wearing the bodysuit style that is called “New York”. I thought I was all set for my visit. My expectations were soaring high and I knew exactly what style of pantyhose I wanted to buy.
I walked into that boutique and noticed two women talking to each other at the entrance, both of them turned out to be Wolford employees. Only after they finished their conversation and I already had my back to one of them while looking at the display, I heard a greeting from Kathleen. Here comes the first strike. Greeting a customer without eye contact.
No matter how long I circled the boutique, trying to solicit any further response in my address, I still felt like I was invisible. At some point I even took the liberty to pull out the drawer of Neon 40 tights and started checking their shades and sizes, hoping that the woman watching the screen of the desk top computer would turn to me and help me pick out the right size and shade.
The day before I sent my guy “undercover” to scout the boutique. His experience was actually quite pleasant, but it was not the same sales person welcoming him though. Right away he was informed that there is a sales section with 70% OFF. At least it would be nice to also get the same information! I figured if I bring up the price, perhaps I’ll heard back which items are on sale as a way to accommodate budget-conscious customers.
I walked up to the rack with some tops and finally asked the sales person why the items are so expensive. She came up to me and highlighted some valid points about Wolford’s quality and reputation. I thought to see how she will respond to a tougher question and pointed at the snags all over the collar of a shirt that was still hanging there with a regular price tag – “Really, you say they make good quality items? Look at this damage.”
Kathleen (forgive me if I spell this wrong, I had to ask her what her name was because none of the staff wore name tags) was very polite and offered to give me a damage discount on the top. She also pointed out that even though that rack is still regular price, this is what’s left of the summer collection and it is getting shipped back to Austria tomorrow. This is just my opinion, but here is the 2nd strike – damaged merchandise should be spotted immediately by staff, not by customers, and either taken off the floor or discounted accordingly.
Third strike for me was that both of the workers on the floor were with bare legs. I brought up the question and got the answer that it is not part of the summer uniform because it is so hot outside. Of course, Kathleen pointed out that whatever she is wearing is made by the Wolford brand. Did Wolford really change their policies or is she just not aware of the dress code? Most of my Wolford boutique visits happened during the summer and I don’t recall seeing staff with bare legs. At least if the front window is occupied mainly by mannequins in fishnets, I would assume that such hosiery would be a great solution for a hot day.
I told Kathleen everything as is, pointing out that I am also wearing Wolford and that I am planning to blog about my visit. She offered me some information to take with me about the upcoming collection and I gladly agreed. But here came the fourth strike – the phone rang. Those of you who worked in customer service know that there are techniques to handle a phone call and an in person customer at the same time by picking up the phone and asking the caller to wait a little bit, then to wrap up the discussion with the person in front of you, and move on to the phone call. In this case I was still standing there, waiting for the conversation to come to an end so I could get that promised brochure.
That moment I saw my guy turn up at the door looking for me, so I was about to leave and Kathleen caught up to me and gave me that brochure to take home. I haven’t seen whether the phone call was over or whether she in fact did put the caller on hold.
My visit, regretfully, ended without a purchase. I only buy if I feel satisfied with the service. It is a little bit sad for me, I was hoping to get a pair of Neon 40 tights in Midnight shade because this is one of the shades I haven’t tried yet. If even more good deals would be pointed out to me, perhaps I’d buy a few other things too. My experience did not live up to my initial excitement based on the courtesy I’ve seen in other Wolford boutiques across the country.