August 13, 2012

With Elegance and Grace

My Personal Photo

Mistakes are part of life- we all make them despite willing ourselves not to. It’s how mistakes are resolved that we remember most. This pretty parcel came home with me on Friday, courtesy of Chanel. Their way of saying, we apologize. What a lovely way to start the weekend…

I’ve always experienced impeccable service at Chanel. I’m quite astute when it comes to shopping and being treated with dignity; I honed these skills at my first part-time job in retail. I have never had a quality issue with any Chanel item and that’s not what happened here. 

On a long flight, I noticed a hairline crack in one of the arms of my sunglasses. I’m not sure how it happened, but it happened. I can’t endure a long flight or any hint of sun without a pair of oversized sunglasses. I have very fine/small features, so finding sunglasses that don’t overwhelm my face is hard. When I find something that works, I’m inclined to stick with it. 

As soon as I got back to New York, I took the sunglasses to Chanel to have a replacement part ordered. Without saying too much, I can say that the ball was dropped when it came to keeping me apprised of the situation in a reasonable time frame. To be fair, there was a lot of communication going on between the store, Luxottica and the eyewear factory in Italy. 

When the store manager (who is absolutely lovely) called apologizing profusely, she couldn’t believe that I was so calm and pleasant about the entire situation. While my sunglasses weren’t new, the store manager thought it was only fair (given the time I had been waiting for any update) that we setup an appointment to see if we could find a new pair of sunglasses courtesy of Chanel. 

Just when I was starting to feel rather discouraged in my search, my brother spotted a pair high up on the shelf that looked just right- brown tortoise, oval, discreet logo, and yes, a bit glamorous. I can’t wait to have my prescription put in and the lens gradated later this week. In the end, I'm pleased that Chanel took ownership of the situation and resolved the whole ordeal with the elegance and grace that I’ve come to expect.

28 comments:

  1. Gosh, how beautiful is that wrapping! I love pretty, elegant packaging.

    It's great to hear of a case like this, when a company goes out of its way to help you. Chanel did the right thing by (finally) reaching out to you to correct a messy mistake. Personally, I think more companies should make a real effort to retain customers and I refuse to spend my money in places where I am not treated well.

    I only wandered into the Chanel store near my former home in South Kensington once - to look at some costume jewelry - and the shop assistant was so dismissive that I never went back. I would rather buy my Chanel vintage from people I like ;) And frankly, given the fabulous service offered by staffers at small businesses like Belen Echandia and bigger establishments like
    Net-a-Porter and Liberty, why bother with others? The staff at Net-a-Porter in particular have gone out of their way to hold items for me (for two weeks on occasion), as well as taking responsibility the one time I had a problem with a top I bought.

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    1. Ammu- My goodness, I know. Chanel gets me every time with their elegant wrapping. I love elegant packaging for my holiday gifts- there's just something that feels really special (perhaps the extra care) about presenting a beautiful package. Aside from the very obvious Hermes boxes I love Jo Malone's packaging. I also happen to love camellias- I always think of them as a nod to time spent in the southeast:)

      They went out of there way without my having to pull rank (I hate doing that)or reach out to contacts at the corporate level (not my style). It feels good for a company to do the right thing. I feel the same way about spending money in places where I'm treated well.

      I'm sorry about your experience at the South Kensington shop. Some of the most memorable shopping experiences I've had have been at the Rue Cambon shop and the NY stores. I do feel very thankful to have found my vintage Chanel dealer- she's incredible and in addition to vintage has amazing rare finds that might have only appeared at the show. I love that she shares the same love of the heritage and history, but ultimately wants to see these amazing items find a good home. I keep a wishlist with her:)

      Net-a-Porter and Liberty have wonderful service. Net-a-Porter always goes the extra mile when it comes to my questions, which I appreciate. Plus NAP offers same day courier service available in the day and evening here which just might be the best thing ever.

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  2. I'm so pleased for you, Lindsay. I had to have prescription lens on my Chanel sunglasses. I get severe migraines from sun glare but finding a large enough frame to protect my eyes but not too big in order to fit custom lens in proved to be difficult. Thankfully, my husband found 2 pairs for me - standard frame for everyday wear and sunglasses.

    Admittedly, the service I've received from the likes of Louis Vuitton, Chanel or Hermes have been a bit of hit and miss. I've received exceptional service and I've also received thoroughly appalling and dismissive service. It really depends on the SA.

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    1. Chocolate, Cookies & Candies- Thanks Marlene! I always feel a bit shy when I have situations like this- it's hard for me to speak up, so I'm glad it's over and done;)

      I'm so sorry to hear about your migraines. That sounds horrible. That's great that your husband was able to find frames that work for you.

      Oh goodness, I've been lucky at Louis Vuitton as well- the sales associate I've worked is so honest and takes her time with everyone. She totally understands my lifestyle and that I'm not looking for the item that everyone has. I personally haven't had an issue at Hermes, but I dislike their business practices don't scream customer service.

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  3. Good for you.

    Lately I feel I'm being screwed over left and right by new and exciting fees (wtf?!)--and of course at a time when I've decided to go back to school--which is another way to get screwed over all over again. Sorry for the vent, it's just fresh on my mind.

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    1. Prêt à Porter P- Thank you! It certainly felt like a small victory;)

      Please don't apologize for venting! Congrats on going back to school! I would love to hear about what you're studying. It's a big commitment to go back to school, but in the end I'm sure you'll be very happy in the end. Hang in there! I know what you mean about feeling taken advantage of by new things to pay for- not fun at all.

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  4. Hello Lindsay, it is always great to hear of SAs bending their backs to delight a customer. It's inspiring to hear of how you handled the situation with poise and grace. Life's so much better without strife, isn't it? And you can be sure that most of the time, good favours will be returned.

    I have been a Purse Forum member since 2006 and have read countless feedback on the forums regarding Chanel's customer service. Some are simply atrocious, while others like yours, inspire.

    I am always fascinated with the Camellia - the sobriety and almost geometric roundness of the flower. The first flower given to Coco by her lover, "Boy" Capel. It is one of the most lasting flowers and when the flower has finished blooming, the calyx detaches from the tree and the entire flower falls together with the petals intact, a beautiful picture of the family staying as one.

    Sorry for being carried away.. Chanel always has a special place in my heart:)

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    1. Eileen- Thanks Eileen! I always try to handle situations with poise and grace. Keeping your composure under the most difficult of circumstances is a trait I admire. Life is so much beter with I strife. I totally agree with you good favors will be returned and one hand ultimately washes the other, I think.

      I'm always amazed but what I read on Purse Forum. I always try to stay objective when reading and remind myself that I've been lucky to have great experiences.

      I love the Camellia as well. I think it's the geometry and simplicity but it's up there with Peonies and Gardenias for me. Don't be sorry for getting carried away. I happen to love that Chanel has so much symbolism. I think I gravitate to brands where there's some meaning beyond the iconography. I've also read to many Chanel bios, so I'm always happy when I meet someone else who enjoys that too;)

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  5. Hi Lindsay! That's lovely. You seem very reasonable, so I imagine it was a very long time. And to think you only wanted a part replaced. When I interned in luxury goods I can assure you that being unassuming and humble gets you far. It really is true in all aspects of life. Congrats on the small victories-they make life sweet.

    I am like you, I've never had anything short of exemplary service at Chanel. Yes, we all hear stories on TPF, but I can only rely on my experiences and history.

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    1. Issa- Thanks Issa! "unassuming and humble gets you far"- I agree with this completely. When you're reasonable people generally are willing to work with you or at the very least meet you halfway.

      I like the idea of "small victories." It certainly felt that way after a long week:)

      You have to rely on your own experiences. I'll read about quality issues at certain brands but then think OK my mom has had that purse for 30 years with no problems- so hmm... You just have to be objective about everything.

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  6. I'm so glad that they took care of you - definitely great service in that store! At least there was something that ended up looking great on you as well :)

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    1. littlemissandrea- Thanks Andrea! I was so happy that I found something that looks great. My mom actually likes what I got better than what I had. Yikes!

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  7. Great to hear about the excellent service you received from Chanel - this is how luxury service should be. Sad that many stores fall short of this nowadays, some of their standards are deplorable.

    I also think a lot depends on the customer her/himself. If one waltzes into a store expecting everyone to bow at one's feet, one can almost expect to be treated with disdain. The best service experiences are always based on respect - both from the customer and the service provider.

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    1. wandrrlust.org- Thanks! It is great to hear about good service, especially in the luxury sector. You are so right, so many stores fall short today. It's like customer service is somehow an afterthought.

      I agree with you. Too often I see customers behaving badly and being just plain rude. It's all about respect on both sides- I couldn't agree more!

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  8. Nothing wrong can EVER come out of those boxes. I swear! So thrilled that everything worked out for you- oh happy day!

    By the way love that window- it looks so cozy.

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    1. Anonymous- You made me smile- THANK YOU!

      Yes, love antique windows:)

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  9. So glad for you that it turned out so well. We so often expect the opposite when we try to return or exchange something in a store and Channel really came through!

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    1. Sunday Taylor- Thank you. Oh you're so right about expectations. It's always a wonderful feeling when you don't expect things to work out and somehow they do:)

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  10. Good customer service is so rare this days...glad to hear Chanel keeps it...I think is something that makes you go back again and again to a shop.

    Anyway, the packing is so amazing I don't care what is inside! : )

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    1. lunaday- There's such an art to good customer service. I hope one day we return to valuing the customer having a delightful experience.

      The packaging is so pretty. It's fun to have a pretty package for yourself, just because.

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  11. It's so nice to read about your wonderful service at Chanel. I've heard so many conflicting things about Chanel at tpf, but I've only had excellent service at the boutiques and even dept store makeup counters. It's very assuring to hear that a luxury brand will "stand behind" it's product, especially nowadays.

    Have a wonderful weekend!

    xo, sam

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    1. Samantha- Hope you had wonderful weekend too!

      I know what you mean about hearing conflicting things on TPF. I'm glad that you've had great experiences as well. Bad experiences really ruin the joy of it all. Come to think of it, I have had good experiences at the department store makeup counters. Positive experiences make such a difference.

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  12. It's service like this that keeps me going back to certain stores. The Chanel counter in Fiji is the same. I've been going there for years. It always saddens me when the sales staff that I've come to know and adore move. It's like losing a close friend. Lindsay, thank you so much for your comment. We share many similar sentiments and frustrations. Much love, Vanisha xoxox

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    1. Vanisha- Vanisha! Thank you for commenting. We do share so many similar sentiments and frustrations. It's funny how these blogs have connected so many of us- I love that!

      You are so right about great service keeping you going back to certain stores. It means so much to me when sale staff goes above and beyond. It wins over my loyalty for sure. When they move on you do feel like you're losing a friend.

      I owe you an email- this week has been unexpected CRAZY!

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  13. I'm so glad they took good care of you, nothing beats excellent service! Thanks for stopping by, let's keep in touch!

    xo, Yi-chia
    Always Maylee

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    1. Always Maylee- Thank you Maylee! It feels good for someone to have your back. Agree completely- nothing beats excellent service.

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  14. Wow, it's so nice to hear that a brand is living up to its image when I feel like I've been hearing a lot of stories citing issues with customer service. Yay for Chanel!

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    1. kittenmasks- I know! It's so nice to have a positive customer service experience and no negativity. So pleased with Chanel.

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