Williams-Sonoma Reviews | Glassdoor

Williams-Sonoma Reviews

Updated April 29, 2017
317 reviews

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317 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • Tuff work life balance for entry-level employees (in 58 reviews)

  • Poor upper management provide no direction or continually turn the ship around into another direction (in 75 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (9)

    "All Around Dissappointment"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Sales Associate in Hingham, MA
    Current Employee - Sales Associate in Hingham, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    None...not even worth the employee discount; seeking alternative employment after 12 years with this company.

    Cons

    General Manager is consistently rude and disrespectful to employees and customers alike. Ex: Customer approached GM and kindly asked, '...Can I ask you a question?'. His comment, 'No, you MAY ask me a question'. Unbelievable...

    Advice to Management

    This GM needs to be replaced...moral is reaching an all time low. Employees are losing 'care' for representing this corporation with committed loyalty, respect, and pride.


  2. Helpful (9)

    "Disappointing work experience"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Seasonal Sales Associate in Crystal Cove, CA
    Former Employee - Seasonal Sales Associate in Crystal Cove, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    I worked at Williams-Sonoma part-time

    Pros

    Coworkers (sales reps) were fantastic, smart women who have a passion for culinary arts and were impressive with customer service. 40% discount was nice. Was a fun job when I was allowed to actually help customers. GM and DM were positive and friendly.

    Cons

    I was hired as a seasonal sales rep and spent the majority of my time standing at the cash register ringing up sales on an antiquated system while fielding a multitude of requests/questions from customers with no idea of the answers. The "train as you go" method is not suitable for WS as customers get discouraged and frustrated for waiting. (which was embarrassing) I was not made aware upon being hired that I would have to scrub pots and pans, clean restrooms, (including toilets), take out trash and other tasks that should be done by a paid cleaning crew. One of the assistant managers shouldn't be working with the public as she is rude and condescending to the staff..all of which are lovely, conscientious, reliable women and shouldn't be spoken to in that manner.

    Advice to Management

    Set expectations before hiring new employees so they understand the full job description and their responsibilities. Stop the obsession with capturing emails as it annoys customers and causes employee to lie and say they can't return items without a receipt. Or, employees just use their own emails in place of the customers so as to not miss out on meeting their "email capture goal."


  3. Helpful (15)

    "Finally, Someone to tell you the honest truth...."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Customer Service Representative in Braselton, GA
    Former Employee - Customer Service Representative in Braselton, GA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    As with any work from home company, its convenient. Training is four weeks (three weeks on site and last week at home.) I have had many seasonal work from jobs and I was willing to give this a try as well. I thought that the pay ($11.50) was decent for work from home. For the most part, everyone was generally nice during training. There was never an issue with pay....So you may be wondering...what was so bad about it?.....

    Cons

    If you are considering working from home for Williams-Sonoma, please be advised that you will definitely get more than what you're anticipating. Customer service in itself is pretty much the same where ever you go, but at THIS company it's OVERKILL.

    Technically, you work for Willams-Sonoma, but in reality, you're working for ALL of their smaller entities- Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Kids, Pottery Barn Teen, Pottery Barn Baby, West Elm, Williams Sonoma Home, Mark & Graham, etc. So as a Customer Service Rep, you will receive calls from ALL of these customers.

    Calls entail shipping issues, delivery issues, payment issues, damaged merchandise, item not as depicted..and so on. IT'S A LOT! So within the first few hours of your shift, you're going to get more than your fair share of angry customers.

    That's only the beginning. These companies are known for promoting sales, promo codes, flash sales, discounts, etc...However, their system is so archaic that often more than not, the discount or promo is not applied to the order until after the item has shipped...which means that the customer has to pay full price upfront and hope that the Customer Service Rep remembers to apply the discount later after the items ships. Crazy!!!!

    Customer Service Reps have authority to apply discounts, credits, etc without a supervisor's permission and many of the customers know this. So in turn, they call in with an entitled attitude making demands of applying expired coupons, free shipping, %off for inconvenience- and so much more. It's sickening the way 85% of the customers talk down to you. I even had a customer say, "I make more in a week than you probably make a month..." It's too much for that rate of pay. Essentially, you're working for multiple companies, looking up multiple policies, flipping back and forth through multiple websites, for mediocre pay. it's downright ridiculous.

    Training was just okay; lots of wasted time and clueless trainers in the beginning, but midway through, a light bulb seemed to go on and they seemed to come together and understand the role of a trainer.

    Advice to Management

    A better system for porting calls. There should be different gates for different types of calls.
    For example: There should be a gate (phone line) for customers to place new orders, a different gate to check the status of an order, a different line to complain..etc. In turn, these gates should be assigned to specific teams. Certain reps can take new orders, another team could check status of older orders, etc.
    It's overwhelming to not know what's coming on your line next. You're setting reps up for failure. I've never seen or experienced a call center that was so unorganized but with such high expectations. I feel this company has potential, but just needs more structure and organization.


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  5. Helpful (10)

    "General Manager"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Raleigh, NC
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Raleigh, NC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Still has some nice merchandise.

    Cons

    Corporate culture
    Upper management
    Quality of job, customer service has spiraled downward
    In trying to appeal to "everyone" with their marketing and products, quality of merchandise has diminished

    Advice to Management

    People First -not really!


  6. Helpful (3)

    "Unhappy experience"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Customer Service Representative in Las Vegas, NV
    Former Employee - Customer Service Representative in Las Vegas, NV
    Doesn't Recommend

    I worked at Williams-Sonoma full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    40% discount and work from home schedule.

    Cons

    Company could not keep up with inventory sales and didn't inform customers right away they were not getting what they ordered, so customers call and get really upset and I could not give them a reasonable answer.


  7. Helpful (11)

    "Boring Beyond Belief with Low Pay"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Albany, NY
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Albany, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Williams-Sonoma (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Standing around doing nothing gives you time ti search for a better job on your phone.

    Cons

    Crappy pay, outdated POS systems, restrictive employee discounts. A manic obsession with collecting customer emails, and NO sales incentives.

    I could've lived with the $9 an hour wage, but not the mind-numbing boredom. This is the most lifeless, dull work atmosphere that you could possibly imagine. The job is basically convincing morons to buy overpriced kitchenware that can be had for about 30% less online.

    Advice to Management

    McDonald's pays better than you cheapskates.


  8. Helpful (15)

    "Pottery Barn - tough place to work"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Williams-Sonoma (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Great healthcare benefits (although be prepared to pay your fair share monthly), 40% employee discount at all company brands. Some amazing people work there. Great place to put on resume if entry-level (although pay is low). Great environment for 20-somethings who are hungry and willing to work hard.

    Cons

    Be prepared to work around the clock - emails and texts don't stop at 6pm, be prepared to get calls at all hours, especially if you work on the eCommerce side. Salary is not competitive. Turnover is very high, training and re-training is constant. The company preaches innovation and inspire - however the environment moves so fast that employee well-being takes the backseat to a reactive workforce. Promotions are often given as a preventive measure for employees threatening to quit. The toxic environment is top down - starts with the unrealistic expectations and treatment of the CEO Laura Alber which trickles down through upper management and effects the hard-working lower levels. Training is mostly non-existent and managers/directors are not properly setup for management success.

    Advice to Management

    Invest in your managers - bad management trickles from top down. Laura - please work on your delivery and support of your teams. They don't need coddling - they need encouragement and to own their responsibilities - not micro-management. train your upper management to do the same so that entry level employees feel like they are in a positive environment. when business is bad, don't beat down the teams - work with them to find solutions. let the teams plan and innovate instead of being reactive all the time. it's a discouraging environment with many people miserable and in the last two years almost every person with tenure has either left or being laid off. create a better environment and you will see the good employees with come and stay.


  9. Helpful (12)

    "Office Politics Aplenty. Good for some, bad for most."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Marketing Manager in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Marketing Manager in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Williams-Sonoma full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Strong product and brand aesthetic. As a marketer it makes your job a lot easier when you don't have to make up for poor merchandise and creative. There is an employee discount and frequent sample sales where you can get great deals. This is a good place to start your career. You get to network with a lot of people and the company is respected in the industry so you'll build yourself a strong foundation for your resume to help launch you to the next opportunity.

    Cons

    Office politics. There is a lot of it here. If you're good with all types of people and your manager likes you, you'll do really well here. If you don't get along with your manager you won't make it very far up the ladder. Your supervisor makes or breaks you here, no matter how competent or hard-working you are. So there is a lot of time that has to be spent massaging relationships.

    Advice to Management

    WSI needs a manager & above training program and a formalized way of allowing people at the bottom to provide feedback on their supervisors and leaders. Continuing to promote/place the wrong people in leadership roles is hindering the business because of high-turnover and employee dissatisfaction across the org. The company has gotten away from being "people first" and needs to go back to that philosophy if it wants to compete in today's market of many Bay Area companies that offer not only better compensation and benefit packages, but strive for a happy workforce.


  10. Helpful (1)

    "part time sales associate"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Retail Sales Associate in Westport, CT
    Former Employee - Retail Sales Associate in Westport, CT
    Doesn't Recommend

    I worked at Williams-Sonoma (Less than a year)

    Pros

    For the most part, great merchandise that can be stood by.

    Cons

    On call status. calling in day scheduled an hour before shift to see if needed.

    Advice to Management

    On call leaves workers unable to plan properly and unable to count on salary.. Very unsettling to workers, making them not be able to give best performance.


  11. Helpful (3)

    "miss the pay, but not the sttess"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Oklahoma City, OK
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Oklahoma City, OK
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    the pay is great but not worth it

    Cons

    mgmt does not care about employees or customers
    customers that curse at you
    lies from mgmt about working from home


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