It’s the Experience that Matters

retailj
By retailj March 5, 2018 09:50

It’s the Experience that Matters

By – S A Sarfaraz – Managing Partner, LKS Gold House, Chennai

When in the jewellery business, a lasting experience is what matters ultimately. What memories the customer takes back, and whether she returns determines a good sales experience. And that is exactly what the jeweller has to strive if he wishes to grow in the business.

Focus on the Intangible
The main point of the business is how do we make our customers feel at home? About two years ago, we brought in an intangible change to boost our sales. We always wanted to give customers an experience that they would remember. The focus at our store is not on just selling the jewellery, it goes beyond that. At our store we engage the customers to talk about their connection with their jewellery. A very high percentage of our customers have been with us for more than two generations now and most of their heirloom jewellery was bought from us. This kindles in them the emotional connect they have with us and this leads to more loyalty which in turn leads to more repeat walk ins and new walk ins through word-of-mouth. To amplify the customers’ shopping experience, we constantly work on our product presentation and visual merchandising so that the customers feel a breath of freshness every time they walk into our store. Any intangible change will happen over a period of time only. Always remember, tangibility can be replicated but not intangibility.

Stop Being Pushy
If you are going to trap the customer into buying, he will never come back. And this is not a good idea at all for a business. We have to increment our sales but not at the cost of being ruthless. If we sell the customer something for which he feels remorse later, he will never return. So, it’s important to understand the emotional need of the customer, connect with him and gently be persuasive.

Resell to Succeed
It’s all about selling the brand. There should be no compromise when it comes to the brand. Right from vendors to customers, everyone should be aware that it’s the quality and finish that matter the most for you. For example, I will never buy a product from the vendor if the finishing is not up to my standard. How can I cheat my customers? We have promised to sell them the best quality and that’s what we will always strive to do. So, right from our sales team, vendors to sales staff in the showroom, all are trained to know the difference between good and bad quality/finish.

Face of the Brand
The staff is the face of any jewellery business. They are the first ones that the customer interacts with. So, in order that they reflect the best, they have to have a sense of ownership. Once they feel that they are as much as part of the business as the owners and other senior staff, they will strive to put their best foot forward. This will show in the way they deal with the customers. So, it’s very important to have happy vendors and staff. They will in turn keep the customer happy.

Emotional Support
The owner has to be emotionally available to the customer. This is something that I practice diligently. Many years ago there was a heated argument between the supervisor and a customer. The latter was complaining about a manufacturing defect in a recently bought gold chain which the supervisor was denying. I intervened and told the customer that there couldn’t be anything wrong with the chain. The customer was so angry that he broke the chain in front of my eyes. Instead of losing my cool, I sat him down and talked patiently. I got to know that he was a sales executive and had bought the gold chain with money saved. So, obviously he lost his cool when it snapped. I offered to give him a new piece without charging the making cost. He accepted and later apologised for his behaviour. I may have made a loss of Rs.2000 but I gained a customer for life.

retailj
By retailj March 5, 2018 09:50
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