Monday, January 29, 2007

Personalized Service

Yesterday I ventured out into territory unknown - I went to Bellevue Square with the explicit intent of spending money on clothes.

More importantly, I had a girlfriend with me for the event (it IS an event when the last time I was in that mall was literally years ago!).

What was interesting about this was the variety of encounters we had with sales staff.

We popped into a boutique that neither of us had visited before... not bad stuff (pricey), okay service, but no barn-burner. Then off to buy a piece of chocolate for fortification (I prefer dark chocolate caramels, by the way).

We had better acquisition luck at Ann Taylor Loft. Attention from the saleswoman was again, fine, but no ace-in-the-hole. Actually, the best service we got was at Nordstrom Cafe.

Even though we ordered at the counter and sat ourselves down, the busboys and waiter-types were courteous and inquired about our needs. Got a chocolate with a copy of our receipt at the end... nice touch! They were just plain nice without being annoyingly "nice". We actually talked about it, it was that noticeable.

Had GREAT experience at the Bare Escentuals cosmetic store. Very helpful staff, NO PRESSURE. Interestingly, my girlfriend needed to sign up for a makeup consultation (we were in the impulse mood, you understand), so we had to come back at a scheduled time. But it was handled in such a way that we didn't feel inconvenienced. I think it's all about approach. It didn't hinge on snob appeal. That's the key. Nordstrom cafe had same quality.

Off to Macy's for the final leg of the mall crawl. Anonymous city! We were wandering around for quite some time and not once did anyone inquire if we needed help (I needed something red for the Red Party at Colori-Chicago on Thursday). Gick.

Speaking of RED - what is it with all this ugly tomatoy-red fabric out there? Women prefer blue-based reds and I was surprised there wasn't more out there. Especially since Valentine's Day is around the corner!

Oh, and don't get me started on all the synthetic fibers. What is this, the 70's all over again???