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Handle a difficult customer

A steady hand to handle tough customers: Pradeep Agarwal, Director, Baijnath Ramkishore Jewellers, Kanpur



Pradeep Agarwal, Director, Baijnath Ramkishore Jewellers, Kanpur

Pradeep Agarwal, Director, Baijnath Ramkishore Jewellers, Kanpur

During Diwali, a middle-aged couple visited our shop looking for jewellery for their son Vishal’s wedding in January 2020. They had come to our store for the first time, but only after visiting a few others. The couple was looking for a bridal diamond necklace set, and our staff attended to their needs. Yet for some reason, their behaviour made me suspicious. Although most customers nowadays are inquisitive and ask many questions about the price and quality of jewellery, this couple did not. After having gone through our entire collection, they shortlisted two necklace sets to be kept on hold and left saying that they will discuss the selection with their daughter before deciding on which one to buy.

A few days later, the couple came back to our store with their daughter. They once again looked through the entire range, this time picking one more design to keep on hold from which they’d make a final decision. Our sales executive reached out to them a few days later when they did not get back to us. They now told us that they would come to the store with their future daughter-in-law. After visiting our store for the third time, they added one more design to products they’d kept on hold.


It was only a few days after all this that the couple informed us that although they were considering our jewellery, the prices did not suit them. This was my cue to intervene. I invited them to the store for another visit, and during our long discussion, I learnt that the couple had kept products on hold at three jewellers in the city for the same reason. I soon realised that they were expecting us to sell the diamonds for 15% lower than the rate we’d offered, which was the best we could do after applying all possible discounts. It was a real challenge for me to justify our prices in the context of the quality we were offering. We made them compare loose diamonds packets of four different varieties—starting from a 20% lower to a 20% higher quality—than the ones used in the designs they’d shortlisted. They were still uncertain and took some more time. But we were sure that we had done our best in terms of offering them a fair price, giving them excellent service and making justifiable commitments, and so we decided not to bow down any further. We chose not to follow up with the customer anymore, and instead waited for them to get back to us. A day later, they came back to our store, agreeing to our price but still unsure of the designs.  After going through all our designs one more time, the couple finally decided to a sketch made by our designer, on two conditions—the finished product be delivered within 25 days, and that they could cancel the order if they did not like the final piece.

Confident of our workmanship and quality, we accepted their conditions and proceeded to create the product. When the necklace set was ready, the bride-to-be tried it on herself. It was clear we’d done a good job because there was joy in their eyes and even Vishal could not stop admiring his fiancé or the set.


–Manoj Chakraborty





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