Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

Shopping experience as a competitive advantage


#1

I relearned the most basic of lessons last week. Fortunately it
wasn’t at my own expense. At a Christmas party, 6-8
friends/acquaintances (female) were discussing the recent open house
at a local high-end jewelry store. These women all have nice jewelry
and I’ve observed that each of their (or their husband’s) average
purchase over the past few holiday seasons is about $5k (you know…
competitive jewelry types). They were universal in their praise for
the store and event. They talked about how nice the staff always is
and how they feel good shopping there. This store is across the
street from the only other high-end jewelry store in this area. One
woman mentioned that she doesn’t like to shop at the “other store
across the street,” and the rest chimed in with comments about
"snooty" staff, being “talked down” to, not feeling welcome in the
store, etc. There wasn’t a single comment about either store’s
product. It was everything about the shopping experience. So basic,
yet so important in getting every competitive advantage.

Jamie


#2

Yep, I just finished a “retail course” and the first thing that was
taught was that you the sales staff ARE the store, if you give a
bad/negative impression you’ve not just lost that customer, but every
person they know too as potential customers…

What’s that saying…

Get a great deal/service you tell ten friends, get a bad
deal/service you tell EVERYONE. Or something to that effect…

Cheers, Thomas Janstrom.
Little Gems.
http://tjlittlegems.com


#3

Absolutely correct. Experience is much more than how majestically the
showroom is decorated. More than offering the customer Belgian
chocolates (personally I find that to be calculating and bit
condescending, give em what they came for). Its making them feel
satisfied even if they don’t make a purchase. Its making them think
this is the real deal.

Except that in group discussions you sometimes find people go with
the flow. They say what they think wants to be heard. Which isn’t to
say that the comments have or do not have validity. But if they are
using your name in a positive way that’s all that really counts.

A party discussion like this one is great for exposing your name to
new people. I think what drives repeat customers in general though
is the relationship you develop with them as individuals. Temper that
with the new $ realities we face. Sometimes even your most loyal
clients will jump ship for a better price, or better terms. I think
its wise to offer them whatever accommodations are appropriate
before they start looking around. Don’t give them a reason to shop
elsewhere.

Personally I’m taking the viewpoint that, hey, its a buyers market.
If a new customer is going to hammer me on price and I’m willing to
go a certain amount…why would I not be preemptive and offer better
prices/terms/whatever to my established clients? They’re the ones
who keep me in the black the rest of the year. If anything they
deserve more. Considering that its much easier/cheaper to retain
customers than to find new ones I believe this is sound policy.

And hopefully I’ll be the topic at the next party.


#4

Neil:

Personally I'm taking the viewpoint that, hey, its a buyers
market. If a new customer is going to hammer me on price and I'm
willing to go a certain amount...why would I not be preemptive and
offer better prices/terms/whatever to my established clients?
They're the ones who keep me in the black the rest of the year. If
anything they deserve more. Considering that its much
easier/cheaper to retain customers than to find new ones I believe
this is sound policy. 

Great attitude !! I get so tired of people in any business focusing
on how unfair “it” is, rather than making the best of what is. This
is often the difference between happy and unhappy people.

Jamie


#5

Hi Neilthejeweler and all,

Re: More than offering the customer Belgian chocolates (personally I
find that to be calculating and bit condescending, give em what they
came for).

What about selling Belgian chocolates and give them some jewelry on
the side ?! Have a happy end of the year, eat a lot of chocolate (it
is an anti-depressive) and all best wishes for 2009.

Linda from Belgium, where we take chocolate (and chocolate eating
VERY seriously)


#6

This combines two threads we were on several days before Christmas,
regarding customer experience and re-casting customer’s gold. I
really feel good about this one.

Joe proposed to his girlfriend when he was 19 years old with a
homemade ring made with stainless steel wire and foil that he spot
welded together. he gave it to her in a little hand carved wooden box
with hinges and a brass latch that look like they were salvaged from
a cigar box. Nothing a trained jeweler would do, but it was actually
a pretty cool piece of folk art. They got married and saved the money
they might have spent on a diamond to buy a used pickup truck ($400)
and went off to Colorado to seek their fortunes.

Eventually the ring broke, but Joe and his bride prospered, had
kids. He is now an engineer. She is an art teacher. Joe always wanted
to get her a diamond, but it never seemed urgent. This year, a couple
weeks before Christmas, Joe came to me with the broken stainless
steel ring in hand and some old family gold rings. He bought a
diamond from me and I made a gold liner with rails on either side of
the 3.5 mm wide strip of stainess. I set the diamond in a bezel in
the gap where the ring had broken at the original joint, laser welded
it to the gold band and lasered three little white gold granules next
to the bezel on each side, inside the rails to cover the welding
scar. Joe was just as happy and excited about this as anybody I have
ever made a ring for. I carved out the slots in the little homemade
wooden box to hold the now larger ring. Tricked out with a new
diamond and a liner of heirloom gold, Joe gave his bride of 35 years
her original engagement ring again this Christmas.

A Happy New Year to all on Orchid!
Stephen Walker


#7
Joe proposed to his girlfriend when he was 19 years old with a
homemade ring made with stainless steel wire a......... 

Stephen, what a lovely message to read. You did such a neat thing for
Joe and don’t you know his wife was thrilled beyond words. You
created a little miracle for them to enjoy and what a story he will
be able to tell, again and again. Not shabby for you either.
Congratulations to you - what a great heart you have and aren’t you
glad you had the ability to do it. Thanks for sharing. And you
should feel really good about that one.

Kay


#8

Hi Stephen,

What a beautiful story! Would you have any pictures of the finished
ring you could share?

Larry Heyda