DID YOU KNOW KIEHL’S PIONEERED TODAY’S CUSTOMER SERVICE INDUSTRY 98 YEARS AGO? Now-common industry practices such as sampling and the “money back guarantee” have roots at Kiehl’s Since 1851

New Delhi, July 20, 2018: In our modern society, there are many experiences and things we take for granted in our hectic, daily lives that were birthed from the advancement of quiet pioneers in New York City history. Similarly, it is unknown to many consumers that Kiehl’s, the 162-year-old skincare purveyor, holds a unique position as an early pioneer in customer service — which has not only been studied by Harvard Business School, but also has inspired the service models seen in some of today’s Fortune 500 companies.  In today’s consumer culture, when purchasing skincare products, 76.8% of female consumers wish they had access to more expert advice and more samples. Kiehl’s has been quietly answering that wish for over 90 years.

Kiehl’s has been sampling since its days as an old-world pharmacy

“Customers made pilgrimages from around the world to the original Kiehl’s [flagship] location in New York’s East Village, where samples were handed out liberally to any customer.”  Harvard Business Review, 2005

Irving Morse, a founding family member of the Kiehl’s Pharmacy during the early 1900’s, valued the personal relationships he had with his customers and encouraged them to experiment with his hand-made remedies before choosing those best-suited for their needs. Kiehl’s “Try before you buy” policy became the pharmacy’s motto – and this principle of personalized customer service plus customized sampling, established by Morse, has remained a Kiehl’s tradition ever since.

 KCRs don’t sell Kiehl’s products, they share them.

Kiehl’s wants you to be 100% satisfied.

There are no conventional sales people at Kiehl’s. Visit any Kiehl’s store in the world and you’ll find interesting, educated, friendly people in white lab coats ready to help you. But don’t call them sales people.  These lab coat-clad individuals are Kiehl’s Customer Service Representatives (affectionately referred to as KCRs) – and the only similarity to a traditional sales person is their ability to process a transaction upon checkout.

At Kiehl’s, KCRs are rewarded not through traditional commission-based selling, but through a team rewards system that encourages each person to spend the necessary time with each customer. Instead of trying to make a sale, KCRs offer appropriate samples so that customers can try the products before they buy them. Allowing KCRs this “no pressure” period of time to work with customers ensures the appropriate products are selected. The customer ultimately feels more confident in the service and advice they have received as well as in the products themselves. This also minimizes the need for returns. However, if a customer does want to return a product at any time and for any reason, Kiehl’s KCRs will gladly find an appropriate alternative product – or offer a 100% money-back guarantee.

When we are educating our KCR’s, one of the first things we teach them is the Kiehl’s approach to service, for which our motto is, ‘We’d always rather make a friend than push a sale’. Those were our founding family’s exact words to every employee – and we maintain that philosophy todayKiehl’s KCRs confess that they love coming to work because, instead of selling, they get to be educators and problem solvers.

The Kiehl’s Way: 

A promise to every customer in every Kiehl’s store, all over the world. 

The fundamentals and traditions of service that Kiehl’s pioneered more than 95 years ago are as follows:

Listen to customers: The introduction of new products and new store locations is based primarily on customer suggestions and requests.

Personalize consultations: Whenever a customer visits a Kiehl’s store or counter anywhere in the world, they can always expect to receive a personalized consultation complete with appropriate product and sample recommendations.

“Try Before You Buy” sampling philosophy: Kiehl’s believes that by getting formulas into customer’s hands, they will appreciate the fine quality, and at the very least they will leave having had a unique and memorable experience.

100% satisfaction guarantee: Kiehl’s stands behind the quality of its products and service. KCRs are committed to ensuring that appropriate product selections and individualized regimen advice are provided to every customer. During 167 years of service, Kiehl’s has always offered a 100% satisfaction guarantee to our customers.

Simple, informative packaging: Kiehl’s has always believed that the package doesn’t make you beautiful; it’s only the quality of ingredients that can truly help your skin and hair. Therefore, Kiehl’s has always been dedicated to sourcing the highest quality ingredients coupled with the latest scientific advancements.

No advertising:  Kiehl’s reaches patrons through word-of-mouth, personalized customer service and sampling. This allows the focus to be on the quality of ingredients and product development – and to efforts at giving back to local communities through philanthropic work.

Give Kiehl’s 5 minutes to change your skin! #LetUsChangeYourSkin

With customer service at the core of their training, Kiehl’s KCRs prioritize providing solutions for each individual customer’s skincare, body care and hair care needs; to ensure that the patron feels they’re in good hands. It’s a fact that Kiehl’s first opened as a classic old world apothecary where personalized skincare was “prescribed” based on expert one-on-one consultations, and this heritage lives on today through the KCR’s expertise. The Let Us Change Your Skin (LUCYS) Campaign highlights ‘The Kiehl’s Commitments’:

  • Efficacious Skin and Hair Care at a great value
  • Clinically proven formulas that are safe for sensitive skin
  • Expert personal consultations
  • Complimentary samples with every visit
  • 100% Satisfaction and money-back guarantee

During the consultation session, the KCR assess the customer’s skin condition to find out more about their lifestyle and expectations before ‘prescribing’ the best-suited routine for the customer. Furthermore, in line with the Kiehl’s “Try Before You Buy” philosophy, the customer also received customized samples, which they can take back home to try, no strings attached.

Through this campaign, Kiehl’s and the KCRs promise and assure to change one’s skin in 28 Days!

Corporate Comm India(CCI Newswire)


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