How The Body Shop USA Can Improve Customer Experience on Twitter

I was researching The Body Shop for my post on National Day of Service and community at Conversation Agent and came across their Twitter account in the US. Perhaps it was started by a fan of the company? It looks sort of abandoned or just the RSS feed from the blog.

TheBodyShopUSA has a nice image in the background, complete with logo and tagline. If the company intends to become more active on Twitter, perhaps it cam tweak a few things there. Small changes sometimes provide big results. More active could mean building a stronger community for The Body Shop international.

Three tips on improving the profile:

1. Add a URL. It would make sense either way - whether this is an official account by the company, or it was started by a fan.

2. Personalize the account with an actual name from The Body Shop customer service team. Many companies are realizing that people want to hear from other people, specifially from those who actually work with them inside organizations, not the marketing folks.

3. Write a brief bio telling people what you’re about. For example, where you are, what you do. Maybe this is an opportunity to show how The Body Shop works: "This is the place to find out how we stand up for others, and how you can do it too."

Three content ideas:

1. Share links to stories on how one can activate self esteem. For example, my friend Stephanie Quilao writes a great blog on finding the every day ‘live’ in living. You’d find worthy material there and within her community.

2. Form partnerships with publications on green living to align with protecting our planet.   Take a look at Vida Verde Media for ideas and examples of the types of conversations you could begin. Take a look at their Twitter account and see that they manage to have conversations with readers.

3. Look for ways to engage and activate on public good initiatives. As a concept, this would be a way to let the people who received support from The Body Shop foundation tell their story by joining the Twitter stream with you.

Customers are becoming more interested in activating a dialogue with the people inside the organizations they support. There are many individuals on Twitter who embrace sustainable development and products. Which means greater opportunities to continue the conversation Anita Roddick started with her movement.

Valeria Maltoni | Conversation Agent

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  • Jinal Shah

    Valeria, I came upon this post while googling for The Body Shop customer service.

    I had a terrible and almost terrifying experience at The Body Shop store today. I love their products but after this incident, I am probably never stepping foot in their stores ever again.

    Taking advantage of their annual sale, I shopped for a bunch of products. A few hours later, back in the car, I realized that I had paid for 5 products but received only 4. I assumed that the employee who rang me must have forgotten to give me my 5th item. I went back to the store and told the manager what had happened.
    The manager rudely replied back saying he cannot give me a free product and that I would have to come back the next day to talk to the employee who rang my sale.

    I politely explained I wasn’t asking for a free product but just the product that I had paid for and not received. I also told him how I don’t live in the vicinity and it is going to cost me more to return to the shop the next day than the price of the product.

    At this point, the manager should have simply told me that he is sorry for my inconvenience but he would be glad to give me a call tomorrow when the employee gets in and have me come in and take my product. Instead of executing his customer service duties, he said to me, are you sure you didn’t just drop it or leave the product somewhere? This enraged me. I asked the manager directly if he was insinuating me of trying to cheat the store.
    I have worked in retail before. Usually, when an employee forgets to give the customer all the products, they always account for it and let their managers know. This particular employee had not done that.

    I further asked the manager, what if this employee quits tomorrow? Does that mean I am going to be stiffed of my money? And the manager said, yes. It is his word against yours.

    I told the manager that I had worked in retail before and I know they keep employee phone numbers on file. I asked him if he’d mind calling the said employee and asking him about it. The manager again, in a very uncooperative manner said that he would do no such thing. And then, he asked me to leave his store. He threatened to call the security on me.

    So I asked him to ahead and call the security. I said I needed to speak to someone higher than him anyways. He made the call. While I waited at the counter for the security to arrive, the manager disappeared in the Body Shop store room. He emerged two minutes later, came up to me, picked up a product and threw it in my bag. For a second I didn’t understand what just happened. And I asked him that. He said that he had called the said employee who was responsible for my sale and the employee confirmed that he had indeed forgotten to give me my product. And so the manager, THREW the product in my bag.

    I just didn’t know how to respond. I was so taken aback by this manager’s behavior that I walked out of the store without glancing back at him. But then I remembered that the security was on their way. So I returned back to the store to meet the security. I lodged a complain with them and I intend to take this matter up with The Body Shop.

    First, the manager accuses me of lying. Then, instead of calling the said employee when I requested him to, he absolutely refused to help me out. Lastly, when he realized that I was right and was indeed stiffed of a product I had paid for, he THREW the product in my bag and didn’t even apologize!

    I’m not stupid. I understand retail. I understand he had to confirm with his employee but shouldn’t a retail chain like The Body Shop have a better system in place? What if the employee had forgotten or denied having forgotten to give me my product? It would be his word against mine and ultimately, I’d be stiffed of my money.

    This entire ordeal cost me 45 minutes of my time and not to mention, the distress ever since. I keep playing the scene again and again in my head. How could he threaten to call security on me?! On a customer that his store had cheated by not giving all the products in first place?

    I have always loved The Body Shop but this experience had left just such a bad taste in my mouth. It’s 3am and I am still so upset. I am writing it here because I don’t know how else The Body Shop will hear about this. Oh btw, when I returned to ask the store manager his name so that I could lodge my complain, he asked me to get out of his store and he refused to give me his name.

    Companies that don’t understand customer service shouldn’t be in the business of retail at all. I used to work for Bath & Body Works and their products may not be of the same quality as The Body Shop, but atleast they understand how to treat customers.

    FYI - The value of the product I had returned to collect was $5. And the only reason I had returned to collect the product was because they don’t make it anymore and I was lucky to have found it in a sale.

    The point of sharing this here is simple: being on twitter does not make any company better at customer service. you really have to care about your customers for that. I have written to The Body Shop and even contacted them on Twitter so I shall see if they respond and actually take the time to deal with this. It was just such an upsetting experience that it just takes away from all the good will they've generated around being so involved in social media and all that.

  • Valeria Maltoni

    @Stephanie - thank you for stopping by and for the awesome suggestion to mingle. I should have thought of that!

    @Ricci - thank you for coming in and commenting. I saw you included a profile in the account. Great first step. As for following, you can always begin by following @LighterFootstep and some of the people he follows.

  • Ricci Wolman

    Hi Valeria,
    First off, let me say thank you for taking the time and interest in The Body Shop to make these suggestions in our efforts in the realm of social media. Yours is exactly the kind of post that helps us to better engage in the social sphere, and understand how we can best serve the community. Twitter is one of our newer initiatives in engaging with our customers, and we've already begun the process of making many of the changes you suggested. Thank you again for your tips, and please let us know if there are any other ways that we can make The Body Shop online experience better for you or anyone else with an interest in our work. We take pride in our values and in continuing the message of Anita and her legacy, so we see this as a valuable opportunity to further the conversation already taking place online. I look forward to reading more from you on Conversation Agent, and please feel free to get in touch if you have any other suggestions or questions.

    Ricci Wolman - The Body Shop

  • Stephanie Quilao

    Thanks for the mention Valeria. So kind of you!
    I agree with the Body Shop USA adding a more personal touch because that is how their brand became so popular in the first place. Also, they need to start following others. Right now they just look like a broadcaster not a mingler. Like you said, Tweeters like minglers who chat with others.

    Whole Foods has been doing an awesome job with their official Twitter home: