As mentioned in my first, “Things I Wish I’d Learned….” post, I was a rookie jewelry store manager with less than six months experience in the jewelry business and retail.
In addition to diamonds, rings, watches, and colored stones, we sold class rings to high school students. My sales staff hated selling class rings because of the forms that had to be filled out, the low commission, and the endless questions the students asked about the class rings. A student could eat up twenty minutes of an associate’s time and literally only make a dollar or two in commission while another sales associate was selling an expensive piece of jewelry resulting in a much better commission.
In many cases the students would come in by themselves to order the ring. But then later, they would bring their parents in to look at the catalog or at the ring if it was in layaway.
What I wish I knew from day one was that I had a great opportunity to build a relationship with those parents who obviously had a lot more buying power than their children. Most of them were not regular customers of my jewelry story and this was my opportunity to make a great first impression that might bring them back at Mothers’ Day, Valentine’s Day, and Christmas.
Once I learned that lesson I talked with my more experienced associates who saw the logic. We began to devote additional time, whenever we weren’t busy with other customers, to make a favorable impression on the parents and their children. We wanted them to think of our store as “their” jewelry store.
You may not sell class rings to students, but perhaps you might have a similar situation in which you can make a favorable impression on family members or on employees of one of your businesses. Does the customer have a spouse, parent, or other relative that could become your customer?
PS: Happy Anniversary Customer Service Exerience. Friday, August 29 marks the third anniversary of this blog.Woo Hoo! Thanks to all of you for reading, I’ve seen a steady growth in my traffic over the past year. If you don’t already subscribe, please consider clicking on the link above to receive e-mail notifications or add me to your RSS feeds.