I bought a new car about a year ago. After shopping around, I decided on a dealership nearly an hour from my home because they gave me the most pleasant experience and emphasised their exceptional customer service. And so far, they have lived up to their word. One of their selling points was free regular inspections, oil changes and basic maintenance for the first 20,000 miles. At closing, they scheduled my first service appointment, handed me an appointment card and asked if I prefer reminders by phone, text or email.
Each time, an energetic, friendly service counsellor would greet me by name and escort me to a nearby waiting room, complete with coffee and snacks. Now and then, my counsellor would come out to inform me of any progress and when my car will be finished. I have one more free service left, and I know that for future needs, I will travel the extra distance to their establishment for maintenance or repairs. I am now a loyal customer.
Jewellery shops can take a lesson from this customer-oriented company culture. Most stores are good at selling products and repairs but fall short of providing after-sales services, which keep customers coming back.
Companies should invest in a service counsellor. Larger stores may want to assign more than one, depending on customer needs and footfall. The counsellor is responsible for all contacts with the customer and will act as the liaison between the customer and the shop. Make sure that these counsellors are friendly and knowledgeable about your services.
Schedule follow-up services
Many stores offer free jewellery cleaning and buffing, but there is rarely a definite call to action. It slips out of the customer’s mind very quickly. At the time of a sale, provide a written outline and schedule for follow-up visits. Space the visits between four to six months apart. The first visit can be a quick inspection and buffing; the second one, a thorough cleaning; the third one, a deep cleaning and polishing; and so on for at least four to five visits. Set the first appointment at closing and write it down on their care sheet. Ask them how they wish to be reminded of their appointment. Set the next appointment with each visit. If a customer visits a store at least three times, it becomes a habit. Always encourage them to bring in other jewellery pieces for a free buff. You will often find a need for additional service at your regular shop pricing.
The customer service counsellor needs to be in constant communication with the customer. If it is a quick, free scheduled service while the customer waits, the counsellor can let the customer know of the progress: “Our staff is finished checking the prongs and your ring is ready for the final buff to keep it looking new. We should be done in 10 minutes.”
For longer repairs or customised work, the counsellor can call or email every few days to report the progress and expected delivery date.
Scheduling pre-set appointments is the ultimate call to action to bring the customer into the store on a regular basis. And of course, each visit is another selling opportunity. This attention to service will help you to stand out from the competition and promote loyalty among clients. I know that for myself, my local 10-minute oil-change shop doesn’t stand a chance against an hour drive for a higher level of customer care and satisfaction. If it works for me, it will work for your customers.