As the manager of Deciem’s New York City Fifth Avenue, one of the perks of Anthony Clemetson’s job is meeting people from all over the world. Now, though, with the coronavirus pandemic forcing stores to close their brick-and-mortar outposts, Clemetson speaks with people worldwide as part of the brand’s virtual consultation team. Using software from Hero, Clemetson focuses on client education and outreach. Now, though, while the medium may be different, the message remains the same. “What drew me to Deciem was seeing how they do retail,” Clemetson says. “Customer kindness and education over sales is key.”
How do clients schedule virtual consultations?
On the Deciem web site, there’s a small pop-up on the bottom right corner. It builds on their at-home experience.
What is your philosophy on making a sale?
We’re lucky that we’re not a sales-driven company. Did I educate the client? Are they happy with their purchase? Those are my priorities, and I’ve worked in retail environments where that wasn’t the case.
What are the chief differences between virtual and in-store consultations?
I miss seeing our customers face-to-face, but I’m glad we still have this opportunity to connect with customers virtually. Just doing things with Hero makes it a more personal conversation, because you’re inviting customers into your home, and vice versa. There might be customers who aren’t comfortable going into stores, so this is a good way to make them more comfortable where they feel in control. I see white space in bringing the market into the home, and we need more adaptability. We get to bring ourselves into the home and customize their online shopping experience.
What does the Deciem customer usually have the most questions about in virtual consultations?
The most common thing is making sure they’re using the right products in the right way. A lot of people have just been shopping online and want to know that they’re using the right thing, and that they’re using the product correctly. It’s very similar to in-store consultations.
What are some common concerns your customers are looking to address?
Our customers are struggling with exfoliation and acne. That’s one of the biggest questions I get each day—what to do with acne and acne scars. We also get people asking about blue light filters, because people are home, and staring at screens all day.
What are the common misconceptions about skin care you have to dispel?
The most common misconception is when customers use the strongest iteration with a product. They think if they use the strongest product, they get the fastest results. If you use a product too strong for your skin, it can cause more damage than it would relieve. We make sure they’re using the best possible product for their skin type. Also we are having more of an opportunity to talk to customers about our other brands, and not just The Ordinary. We can coordinate conversations on Niod and Hylamide a little bit more easily.
Virtual or in-person, what is your most memorable sale at Deciem?
It came when I was in my second week at Deciem. I was just getting used to things. It was a family of four, and I spent two hours with them going over every product. In the store location, we have these benches where I got to sit down with them. We talked about life outside of work, what life is like where they’re from, what experiences they have had with other skin-care brands, and where they were headed on vacation. They came back a few weeks later with their friends.