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.
There is no excuse for bad customer service. I don’t believe in the saying, the customer is always right, because they sometimes aren’t. But they do deserve to be treated respectfully and fairly. From my experiences and observations, Wolford boutiques seem designed for customer interaction. The Wolford management at the various levels, store, regional, and corporate shoukd take note because there is a disconnect at some level.
I can see your point about the staff attire. I’m sure the store is climate controlled so outdoor heat shouldnt be an issue. I would understand if they were to change before and after commuting on a NYC subwy in August. As you point out, you were wearing Satin Touch 20s, I guess you are more dedicated than they are. They should have used the heat to highlight different, maybe cooler, styles like hold ups or sheerer deniers.
I hope someone at Wolford takes notice. In these days of increasing e-commerce, they need to make every in store experience a good one.
Wolford do seem to be de-emphasising their hosiery lately. It’s all very well broadening your market, but losing your core in the process strikes me as self-defeating. Whether they like it or not, they’re a premium brand. Few of us could afford to wear Wolford every day. So, they’re a special purchase, and should really give their customers that experience. Your experience at NYC suggests either problems with local management, or they’re losing sight of what they’re about! As for bare legs in their summer work uniform…have they not heard of AC?! They’re the ones claiming their Nude 8 tights are “A perfect summer basic item”. Perhaps the real answer is they’re too expensive to supply to their sales people 🙂
So sad to see so many bare legged ladies in places that once were a vital part of a uniform. Eg nurses, waitresses , stewardesses. I guess times have really changed sadly.
Well the barelegged ladies problem is simple. The ladies working in the store are lazy, uncaring, self-centered American women. the vast majority of women in upper-end and in mid-range retail are this way. Even many professional women are the same way. Rather than making themselves look the best that they can be, they feel the world just must accept how they are, no questions. This is where people with attitudes like this have it all wrong. If a lady would dress like a lady, rather then being only half dressed, then they would receive more positive feedback, people would be nicer, and the sales ladies would make more sales. But see, since American women are so self-centered, they cannot see beyond themselves, then they complain that they are not making enough money from commissions, or they are not being treated well or they are ignored. When I go to a shopping mall, even in the mens section for clothing, if a lady comes up to me seeing if I need help, if she is not dressed properly, I will say no and typically walk off and wait to make my purchase on my own. If a lady is properly dressed (which is rare), I will then make sure I make my purchase through her. This has been a 20 year trend. I thought it was changing, but this summer screwed that and the pantyhose have all but disappeared. So it is their loss in more ways than one. But see, we will never get through to these self-centered women, because they have been brainwashed by the feminist elitists.
What an unfortunate, disappointing experience you had, Jessica! You would think the customer service at a Wolford store would be unsurpassed. And bare legs? At a hosiery shop? Seriously? They’re missing out on a wonderful opportunity to markerthir 8 denier pantyhose. Not smart!
Apropos the excellent comments of MeAppr01…
Many years ago I was shopping for a watch at a local mall. I visited four jewelry stores. The women clerks at three of them had bare legs and in my opinion unprofessional attire. The clerk at the fourth store was impeccably dressed in a beautiful blouse, skirt, heels and pantyhose. I complimented her on how classy she looked. We struck up a friendship, and we found we had a mutual love of support pantyhose. She got my business that day, and I made several other large purchases from her over the years. Sadly, that store closed several years ago when the chain went out of business. More professionals (especially in retail) need to realize that clothes–and hos–matter.
Of course, I meant to say clothes–and hose–matter. Mea culpa, mea maxima culpa…