Friday, April 12, 2013



The company behind sampling and the “money back guarantee” continues to revolutionize the industry

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.

Did you know?
·         In 1633, the first public brewery in America was established by Peter Minuit at the Market (“Marckvelt”) field in Lower Manhattan.

·         The New York Post, established in 1803 by Alexander Hamilton, is the oldest running newspaper in the United States.

·         In 1894, the first motion picture was shown by Thomas Edison on Broadway.
Similarly, it is unknown to many that Kiehl’s, the 161-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.[1]

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. Our “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 for more than 92 years. Kiehl’s sampling practice has not only inspired similar programs in today’s beauty industry; but it has inspired the creation of modern sampling “beauty box” companies around the world.
At Kiehl’s, we focus on the quality of our ingredients and the efficacy of our formulations.  We are so confident in our formulas that we want you to ‘Try Before You Buy’,” shares Cheryl Vitali, Worldwide General Manager of Kiehl’s Since 1851.In 2011, we provided over 40 million samples to customers. We are certain that we have a formula to solve each customer’s unique skin care needs and our customers appreciate that there is no risk.  They can try the product and ensure it is right for them before making a purchase.

 “We don’t sell our products, we share them.
We want 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 (or KCRs, as we affectionately refer to them) – and the only similarity to a traditional sales person is their ability to process the sales 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 of their customers; instead of trying to make a sale, they 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, both in the service and advice they have received as well as in the products themselves, which also minimizes the need for returns. However, if a customer does want to return a product at any time and for any reason, our 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 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 today, “states Cammie Cannella, Vice President of Global Education and Customer Relations. “Our KCRs tell us that they love coming to work because, instead of selling, they get to be educators and problem solvers.” 

The Kiehl’s Way: 
Our 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 90 years ago are as follows:

We listen to our customers. We introduce new products and select new store locations based primarily on our customers’ suggestions and requests.

We provide personalized 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.

We believe in a “Try Before You Buy” sampling philosophy. We are so confident in our products that we know that if we can just get our formulas into the hands of our customers that they will appreciate their fine quality, and at the very least they will leave having had a unique and memorable experience with us.

We offer 100% satisfaction guaranteed. At Kiehl’s, we stand behind the quality of our products and our service. Our KCRs are committed to ensuring that appropriate product selections and individualized regimen advice are provided to every customer. Throughout our 162 years of service, we at Kiehl’s have 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 and the latest scientific advancements.

No advertising.  At Kiehl’s, we prefer to reach our customers through word-of-mouth, personalized customer service of the highest level, and sampling. This allows us to focus on the quality of our ingredients and product development – and to efforts at giving back to our communities through philanthropic work.

Give Kiehl’s 5 minutes
to change your skin!

In Malaysia, Kiehl’s “Try Before You Buy” campaign begins in April 2013. Customers will be able to receive 5 complimentary samples with every 5-minute skincare consultation in-store.

At Kiehl’s, we aim to fulfill the needs and concerns of each individual customer with an efficacious solution. Unfortunately, with the thousands of skincare products available on the market, choices are endless. “Try Before You Buy” is an integral part of our services to ensure our customers of our sincerity as a customer representative and the quality of our products.”
Deric Foo, Kiehl’s Customer Representative, Pavilion

"Try Before You Buy" has been our belief since a century ago. We believe every customer deserves the opportunity to try a sample of our product on their skin or hair before they decide to purchase it. Your satisfaction is ours too."
Benny Quar, Kiehl’s Store Manager, Sunway Pyramid

At Kiehls, we believe that every walk-in customer enters with a genuine interest in skincare. We also understand that it is difficult to convince those who are not familiar with our brand, to use our products. Therefore, we happily provide complimentary
samples to those who are interested, regardless of whether they make a purchase. Even our regulars continue to take samples of our products today, it’s part of the Kiehl’s experience!”
Miki Ang, Kiehl’s Customer Representative, Mid Valley


Cheryl remembers venturing into the original Kiehl’s store at 109 Third Avenue in New York City over 20 years ago and receiving hand-scooped samples of the classics: Creme de Corps and Ultra Facial Lotion.   She has been a diehard fan ever since.  “You know how you daydream about working for your favorite brand?  For me, that brand is Kiehl’s.”  Appointed in March 2010, Ms. Vitali oversees Kiehl’s worldwide strategy, product innovation and retail marketing plans out of the global home office in New York’s West Village neighborhood.   After receiving her B.A. from Yale University, her first job was in advertising.  In 2008, she was awarded the prestigious Cosmetic Executive Women Achievers Award, a distinction that honors women in the beauty industry who have broken through barriers to success and inspire young executives to do the same.  Recognized for her keen understanding of the varied skincare and beauty needs of the evolving global beauty customer, Ms. Vitali has overseen the marketing efforts at some of the world’s most coveted beauty brands, including Lancôme, Maybelline, Garnier and Revlon.   At Kiehl’s, she develops efficacious and naturally-derived facial skincare, hair and body products and helps to drive the company’s successful international growth, especially new store and market openings in North America, Asia and Europe.“My goal is to introduce the wonderful world of Kiehl’s to as many new customers around the world as possible.  This means bringing them what has made Kiehl’s so successful in New York since its humble beginnings as an Apothecary in 1851 – great, highly efficacious, personalized service and a strong commitment to the local communities in which we do business.” Ms. Vitali’s career is unique, in part, because of her commitment to her family and charity, while balancing big beauty industry responsibilities.   Her charitable focuses are Autism Speaks, the largest Autism organization in the country and the Special Olympics program.  She currently resides in Weston, CT with her husband James Shapiro, and sons Max and Nicky.


Cammie Cannella bioCammie Cannella is the Vice President of Global Education Development for Kiehl’s Since 1851. She oversees the educational curriculum for Kiehl’s Customer Representatives, sales force and corporate employees in Kiehl’s stores and offices around the world.   Kiehl’s Customer Service model has been recognized across business industries and year after year in the media, as a model program – a feat Kiehl’s attributes to Cammie and her team. Cammie’s career with Kiehl’s Since 1851 began more than a decade ago at the original Kiehl’s Flagship store in New York City. She is described by her co-workers as both eloquent and dynamic, and serves as “the face of Kiehl’s” through her position as the company’s official spokesperson.  Of her role as company spokesperson, Cammie says that she relishes the opportunity to share with others the rich traditions and distinguishing values that Kiehl’s represents. 

Kiehl's was founded as an old-world apothecary in New York's East Village neighborhood. Its unique, extensive background represents a blend of cosmetic, pharmaceutical, herbal, and medicinal knowledge developed and advanced through the generations. Available at all Kiehl’s stores in Malaysia: KLCC, Pavilion, Bangsar Shopping Complex, Mid Valley Mega Mall, Sunway Pyramid, Empire Gallery (Subang), One Utama, Gurney Plaza (Penang) One Borneo Hypermall (Sabah) & The Spring Mall (Sarawak). Visit our website at
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[1] The survey, conducted by VeraQuest Inc, sampled 2,110 U.S. adults aged 18 years and older online within the United States between December 11th and December 14th. Results were weighted as needed to reflect the total U.S. adult population aged 18 years and older. Respondents for this survey were randomly selected from an online panel to be generally representative of the age, sex, region, race/ethnicity, income and education strata of the U.S., based on U.S. Census proportions.  The data have been weighted to reflect the composition of the U.S. adult population. The estimated sampling error for the sample of 2,110 respondents is +/- 1.8% at a 90% confidence level. These statements conform to the principles of disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

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