Monday, February 6, 2012

Does Shopping Online Mean Compromising Personal Service?

If you've ever read my interviews with Fuller Figure Fuller Bust or Busts4Justice then you'll know the story of how Butterfly Collection came into being. I purposefully set out to create an online store as opposed to a brick and mortar store because I wanted women in the most remote parts of North America to have the same access to D-K cup bras as someone living in a major city (and even in some cities it's hard to find good D-K cup bras!)

Since 2009 we have sold bras to women living in parts of the Canada and the US that are only accessible by helicopter or sled! The emails I receive from women in these areas are some of my most treasured. Changing the 'bra-life' of a woman you've never met face to face is a uniquely wonderful feeling.

I recently received such an email and I wanted to share it with you because it's what prompted this blog:

"My Personal Boutique: Hi Claire, I just had to tell you how impressed I am with the service I've received from you and your team. In the last 4 years I've only bought two bras (and I knew when I was buying them that they didn't really fit!) Since I found Butterfly Collection last July I've bought 6 bras and 4 of those were recommendations from Lucy which she got totally right! I feel like you know me because you listened to what my life is like and I am loving my lingerie for the first time in years, thank you."

This email brought home to me that having a personal experience doesn't rely on being there in person, it relies on paying attention. I've been in many shops where the assistant was obviously just going through her commission-fueled paces and couldn't give a toss that my hips are being segmented into six parts by the too-tight jeans. One of our fabulous Twitter followers recently mentioned that an in-store fitter simply wasn't listening to her or why she needed the bra, she just kept saying this is how it should look. You know when it looks right!
I totally understand that some women worry that shopping for bras online will lack that personal knowledge and experience you get in a traditional boutique.What I've come to realize about the approach we have here at Butterfly is that we aren't just interested in your bra size but your 'life size' too. What shape does your life have, how do you feel about your bras and body and what does your bra need to be to work for you.

I think that's why I got my knickers in such a twist over the Playtex Calculator debacle because they are an enormous company capable of bringing great bras to many women but they forgot that the bra has to fit the woman not the other way around. If you are a bra professional then you have a responsibility to give women the support they need to live a busy and pain-free life.

By asking questions over email, Skype and the phone (1-888-225-0474) we get to know the woman and her life because we can't just rely on looking at her body. I feel like we are closing the gap between an in-store and online bra shopping experience and that's something of which I'm very proud. What matters most to you in good service? xx

3 comments:

  1. Too be honest, I feel like I've gotten better service shopping for lingerie online as opposed to in store. From my experience, I think a relatively quick response and a kind tone to any query matters a lot. Even if you don't have an answer right away, an acknowledgement that you've been heard and a follow up is important. I'm also more trusting of online shops who really know their inventory, bra fitting, and have some insight on how a bra model has fit/not fit some of their customers (although that last bit depends on whether people leave reviews so it's a bit tricky). It's the reason why I don't trust Playtex as a company. Judging from their fit videos and their response to critisism, it really doesn't seem like they understand what exactly they're selling and how it's supposed to fit their customers.

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    1. Thanks so much for your comment Gab, you have some really interesting points. I'm glad you've had such positive experiences shopping for lingerie online, customer service whether you're in person or online is SO important. The Playtex issue with Fit and customer response really saddened me because so many women rely on their expertise and trust that their health and comfort are central to the bra. I'm glad they took down their very misleading calculator but I'll be more interested to see where they go from here.

      Thanks again for leaving your thoughts with us! xx

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  2. Shopping online in my opinion is a good tool we should all consider to find stuffs we need and want in a more comfortable way and it is our responsibility to look for reliable sources online.

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