Customer expectations increasingly unreal. Make the ring to spec.
Customer picks up and 2 weeks later come back. Not happy. Wrong
size, stone looks "odd", metal is a different color now, you dream
up the excuse and I'm sure somebody out there has one to top it.
They go to another jeweler. He knocks the merchandise hoping to gain
a customer. Maybe tells them what he would do if they were his
customer. Then they come back screaming at you.
Part of problem is not setting customer expectations. Tell them what
you will do for them. First year we will size, polish, clean,
tighten, etc. Also we will not fix and specifically enumerate what
is outside your service warranty. Even with this you'll deal with
the customer that still believes they are the aggrieved party when
you ask them to bear the COST to repair the ring they ran over in
Spoke recently with a polished, and talented sales professional
about customer complaints. In particular we were talking about a
customer, nine months pregnant, who was livid because her ring has
been sized larger three times now. "Why can't you people get it
right?" Customer refuses to acknowledge that she has gained weight
over the course of her pregnancy. Of course the salesperson is not
going to point out to the customer she has swelled like a hot air
balloon. After this extreme example, her point was this: More and
more of her customers refuse to take responsibility for their end of
the transaction. Perhaps a reflection of a pervasive current in
contemporary American culture. None the less she said in theory
setting the customer's expectation sounds great. Reality for her is
the customer doesn't care and continues to make demands.
Long and short of it, you will have the crazed consumer. You will
not make them happy. You will not gain their loyalty. This type of
client rarely returns your efforts with gratitude. And if you do
satisfy them, (which often is easy enough to do. just give them
everything they ask for and do it all for free) it rarely influences
future sales. Well maybe you find yourself giving away merchandise
or labor again because "You did this for us before."
I remember my late father-in-law, whose fault it is that I'm a
goldsmith, laughing after chasing one such customer out of his
little store. The customer told him she would never shop at his
store again. And she would be sure to tell all her friends not to
shop there. He thanked her, telling her that if they were her
friends he had no desire to make their acquaintance or do business
with them. I'm sure the sales gurus would tell us how incredibly
wrong that was but I remember Joe laughing and forgetting the woman