Two US retailers share how they foster loyalty among their customers.
Owner, Steve Quick Jeweler
I see trust and loyalty completely intertwined. You can’t have one without the other. Clients who don’t respect you won’t continue to do business long-term. The good news is, you only have to do one thing really well to gain their trust: be the best jeweler you know how to be. In most cases, that is more than sufficient.
The things our staff does to create loyalty are as varied as the clients we serve. For our younger bridal customers, a celebratory photograph after their big decision creates a story they cannot wait to share. Our collectors, who we call our “Gem Explorers,” appreciate the degree training of our professionals and their continuing Gemological
Institute of America (GIA) and American Gem Society (AGS) education and affiliation. And our fashionista customers can’t wait to hear what trends we’ve discovered on our buying trips. Our ability to fulfill slightly different needs, depending on who we’re dealing with, is key.
Also remember that one size never really fits all, and no one thing works for every customer. Be flexible and responsive. Listen to and look for the signals your clients are sending. Many of us are so wrapped up in what we have to say that we’re less than receptive to signs our customers are giving us.
Don’t be that person.
CEO, Sissy’s Log Cabin
Arkansas and Tennessee
My phone number is posted outside the door at every one of my stores for a “jewelry emergency.” And 99% of the calls I get have not been complaints. It’s been “I forgot my anniversary” or “I need help.” And if I go into the store at night or on a weekend, what do you think that does for loyalty?
Then you have to do what you say. Go that extra mile. We’ll refund your ring, and be just as delightful when we refund it as we were during the sale. And you talk about loyalty for the rest of a customer’s life? They will never even think of shopping anywhere else. And have loyalty to your vendors. That’s so important. Your vendors can always take you through some tough situations.
So when there’s a problem, we say, what would you like us to do about it? Tell me what the solution is. Most of the time, their solution is way smaller than what we would be willing to do. We’d give them their money back, and they just ask for a replating or something. Does it cost us money sometimes? Sure. But we make way more than it costs us.
And you can’t put a price on customer loyalty.
Image: Final cut. (RDI Diamonds)