Williams-Sonoma Reviews | Glassdoor

Williams-Sonoma Reviews

Updated August 16, 2017
325 reviews

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325 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Great discount 40% off of most merchandise 20%off electrics (in 177 reviews)

  • decent work/life balance, depending on the time of year (in 47 reviews)

Cons
  • Tuff work life balance for entry-level employees (in 60 reviews)

  • A lot of work, the pay doesn't cover how much the upper management requires of you (in 77 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (4)

    "Okay"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    The only good thing i can say is the discount and the location.

    Cons

    the people there are horrible.

    Advice to Management

    Get better leadership


  2. Helpful (3)

    "Not what I expected"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Seasonal Sales Associate in Las Vegas, NV
    Former Employee - Seasonal Sales Associate in Las Vegas, NV
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Quality Products, Market is Yuppies and affluent Baby Boomers

    Cons

    I was a part time seasonal work at home employee. While i was suppose to be sales only, that was not the case with most of the calls. I would say 75% of the calls I got were unhappy customers. When i tried to help them, as i was encouraged to do, it wound up costing me grief with my fellow employees. Soon I wised up and forwarded most calls to another associate. So if you hate aggravation, this is not the place to work, and definitely not worth it for the low pay Poor training, inadequate computer order system, and poor support. It was difficult to do anything . Finally just when I thought I was learning the job, myself and many other employees were unceremoniously fired under false pretense of a sales meeting, 2 days before Christmas Frankly if anyone has managed to work there for a extended period of time, you should grab them !

    Advice to Management

    All that I can say from my perspective, which is someone who has been in middle management, owned my own internet business, better figure out something pretty soon because this company appears to be broken

  3. Helpful (6)

    "Service Associate"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Service Associate in Oklahoma City, OK
    Current Employee - Service Associate in Oklahoma City, OK
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Williams-Sonoma full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    The people and work culture is awesome.

    Cons

    Inadequate tools and processes to help our customers. Software and computers despirately need updating. Training and product info has improved but not enough. Alot of departments arent setup in care center to share info or have a silo mentality. Policy seems to work against the associate to create a successful outcome for the customer, to the point the associates have to juryrig the system to get a good result.

    Advice to Management

    Executive leadership needs to listen to both customers and associates rather than shareholders so much. Investment in upgrading systems, software, and training will payoff big in the end. Encourage the sharing of information and ideas for a more efficent faster result for the customer. CEO needs to listen to the director of the call centers more


  4. Helpful (6)

    "Buyer"

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

    I worked at Williams-Sonoma full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    West Elm is a bright light within the brands.

    Cons

    Talent is not valued, there are no growth opportunities within the Company. Pay is not competitive.

    Advice to Management

    Employees feel there is an Ivory tower Management team. The Recruitment process is out of touch with the merchandising process.


  5. "Not As I Expected"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Contractor - Work-From-Home Associate in Columbus, GA
    Current Contractor - Work-From-Home Associate in Columbus, GA
    Doesn't Recommend

    I have been working at Williams-Sonoma as a contractor (Less than a year)

    Pros

    You get to work from home is the only pro here

    Cons

    Out of date software...Software used is from the 1990's. You have to perform 3 different commands to get it to do an action, this makes the job much harder than it really has to be

    Ineffective Training....Training was for 4 weeks. Training felt rushed, seemed like they were more interested in getting the associates out there than they were making sure the associates were well equipped to handle the responsibilities of the job.

    Low Pay...For what the job entails, could be making the same amount working at McDonald's.

    Problems with Promo Codes...They don't always work which causes the customer to get angry and yell at the associate

    Unrealistic Metric System....I understand the need for excellence but their metric system is laughable. They expect you to give 100% in return you get 20. I guess how the corporate world is though. They send out email (almost threatening-like) emails that if you don't meet their very difficult metric system you will be let go.

    Not Enough Communication....Customers were calling to find out delivery dates for their order not knowing that some of the items in their order were on back order but they never received any notification concerning this. Having to tell a grandmother that their grandchild will not receive their gift in time for Christmas because the item was on back-order was the worst, The real sad part was that the customer was never notified of this so he/she could not cancel the back ordered item and order a new one in-time for Christmas. So many issues with orders.

    If i am not offered a full-time position at the end of my contract i will count myself lucky and would have dodged a bullet. Even if i am i will decline , i do not want to work with a company who expects the associate to strive for excellence but they themselves are not doing the same to make sure the associate is able to do this.

    Advice to Management

    Stop rushing your training. Tell your trainers to take the time needed to train the associates so that they are fully prepared to take on their responsibilities. Spend more time doing hand-on training than asking the associates to read up on the training manual.


  6. Helpful (9)

    "All Around Dissappointment"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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.


  7. Helpful (7)

    "Store Manager"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Key Holder
    Current Employee - Key Holder
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Williams-Sonoma full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    You can create a healthy team atmosphere, good discount, great quality products.

    Cons

    Antiquated reporting technology, that takes too much precious time daily. Tech infrastructure needs update. Occasionally have to work more than 5 days a week to stay on top of corpotate dictated tasks due to lack of payroll allotment for such tasks. Changes from corporate are not from retail floor experienced personnel. Large visionary gap between proven sales floor methodology and corporate throwing things against a wall to see what sticks.

    Advice to Management

    Update technology to streamline laberous reporting system. Customers come first, so not all process and procedures can be accomplished if a store is flowing over and staff is limited. Commission or bonuses to staff achieving goals would be a large incentive. A store of this fine brand and quality goods should have higher base pay for their employees or more significant raises.

  8. Helpful (16)

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

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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.


  9. Helpful (9)

    "Disappointing work experience"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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."


  10. "It's a job"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Contractor - Anonymous Contractor
    Current Contractor - Anonymous Contractor
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Williams-Sonoma as a contractor

    Pros

    You get a 40% discount on some items. It pays alright especially for a starter position. The
    co workers were probably the best thing about this place! Plus the lead/trainer tried their best with the training to teach us what they could. They give you an option to be in the center or work from home. Which up to you if that is a pro or con. They also let you take the option to take Voluntary time off.

    Cons

    I was hired as a seasonal customer service representative. They give you an option to be in the center or a work at home associate. I chose to be a work at home associate. I thought it would be better for my family. I was very wrong. Plus as a work at home associate you have to sign all these papers including up to allowing them to enter your house if you are a danger to yourself or anyone else. I don't really see how that is legal considering they aren't the police. Also once they let you be on your own. You are really on your own and don't really have anyone to talk too about a situation and so you end up having to call the lead line a lot. The training is four weeks yes, but they don't give you all the training necessary for your job. It's not the trainer's fault. The thing that sucks about the training is there are so many different situations you get placed into by customers. So most of the time you end up calling the lead line and they sound annoyed or pissed that you contacted them. Like how dare you! Don't you know how to do your job! Everyone pretty much makes you feel like your stupid. The customers, the store associates that call you for help, the furniture team and the lead line. Plus yes they are going to tell you that there isn't any pressure for the phone calls but there is! The point system is ridiculous and the performance they expect you to get with phone calls is unrealistic especially during the holidays. It does seem like a great company to work for as long as you don't mind being stressed out all the time about whether or not if you are going to get points or if you are doing well with the performance chart. The only way I can see if you stick out with this company is if you get really buddy buddy with a lead or a supervisor. There seems to be some favoritism in this company. Which yes you would probably find anywhere, but the way they tell how it is all graded and fair is a lie. So if you want to try to stick it out that's up to you. Personally for me I don't think the pay and the 40% off is worth it. Considering most of the items they sell are a lot more than your paycheck. Plus the 40% off doesn't even work most of the time and you are supposed to check the items somehow while you are at work. I have been told however you can't shop for yourself when working. Doesn't really make any sense. Sorry that this is so long. I am just trying to give out an honest review.

    Advice to Management

    Don't place all the blame on the trainer's they try to do what they can. It is really your fault for setting such unrealistic options for the employees. You should have better support for work at home employees and center employees who are brand new at their job so we all don't seem like we are stupid. A brand new person shouldn't have to rely on a another brand new person who was just got out of training for help. That is not a good support system. Plus the system for training does not work out well since most of the time it crashes and you can't really do the situations that are handed out to you as practice. Please also stop lying to the employees about how everything is going to be all great and gravy.


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