The biggest mistake that a retailer can make is assuming that you know what customers want, what they expect and how to reach them. You set your displays, craft your marketing and train your staff based on your perception of what a customer wants. But that may not be in line with actual consumers.
You need to get inside the head of a jewellery shopper. The best way to explore a customer experience is to be a customer yourself. That does not mean standing on the other side of the counter in your store. You are too familiar with everything and will miss the subtle aspects that are the most important to the customer.
When was the last time you shopped for jewellery strictly as a consumer and not an industry insider? Sure, you’ve visited stores belonging to friends and maybe even checked out the competition but have you actually shopped for jewellery as a consumer?
Take a little road trip out of your area and visit a few stores that do not know you and have no idea that you are in the jewellery business. Try different types of stores: big chains, small Mom and Pops, high end and low end. In each one pretend to be a customer. You may want to go in looking for a specific product category like bridal or watches or in some stores you can use the old line: “I’m just looking.” You want to see how they deal with each scenario and how it makes you feel.
Turn off your logical, competitive jeweller’s mind-set. You are not there to compare quality or price. Instead you want to immerse yourself in the emotional experience. Pay attention to your feelings and your reactions. Is the entrance inviting? Does it make you want to go in the store? Or does it make you feel hesitant or unsure?
How is your first contact with the person behind the counter? How does their greeting make you feel? Do you feel welcome or do you feel you are interrupting them? When showing a product, are they helpful and engaging?. Do they seem bored? Are they overly aggressive or pushy? In each case, you don’t want to focus on their technique. You need to focus on yourself…how does it make you feel?
After visiting a store, make a few notes about your reactions. If you were actually a customer, would they have a chance at earning your business? Did you feel you could trust them or did they make you wary or even uncomfortable? These are the reactions that any customer will have in any store, including yours.
When you are back in your store, put yourself in your customer’s shoes. With your experience you can now get an idea of how you would feel in your store.
Buying jewellery is an emotional process and you just had the opportunity to feel a customer’s emotional response for yourself. Use that experience to be sure that everything your customer feels leads to wanting to trust you, like, you and buy from you.