Selling Your Jewelry: Common Sense Customer Service

by Susanne Kathol, Exclusively for Fire Mountain Gems and BeadsĀ®

The art of customer service is key in developing customer relationships and a successful business. Delivering good customer service is not rocket science; it requires common sense, kindness and practice, practice, practice! Since so many businesses don't get it right, delivering common sense customer service gives you a competitive advantage and helps you retain the customers you earn.

Why is customer service so important? Because bad news travels fast. On average, one customer will tell three people about a good experience, but they'll tell 14 people about a bad one. In addition, it costs you five times as much to attract a new customer as than it costs to keep a current one.

So whether you are selling your jewelry online, in a store or hosting home parties, here are nine common sense customer service tips to keep your customers happy, comfortable and coming back for more.

  1. The First Impression

    The first few seconds really count! And this holds true each and every time you meet a new or returning customer. Instantly greet and make them feel special, as if they are the only person in the room.
  2. Delight Them with Your Smile

    It's all in the smile ... let them know you are delighted to see them by giving a warm and friendly welcome. We connect with people through our eyes, so remember to also make eye contact and look them in the eyes when talking to them.

  3. Practice Good Manners

    This seems like common sense, although there is example after example of people not practicing good manners in sales. It's always a good idea to keep the ''golden rule'' in mind and treat customers how you would like to be treated yourself. Here are some simple things to remember:
    • Be punctual
    • Warmly greet every customer as they arrive and leave
    • Say ''please'' and ''thank you''
    • Open doors for your customers and offer to help carry their bags if needed
    • Give genuine compliments whenever possible
    • Offer refreshments if appropriate such as water, mints, etc.
    • Turn off your cell phone
    • Anticipate their needs
  4. Get to Know Your Customers

    Think about the different relationships you have in your life, how they were formed, how you maintain them and how you help them grow. Why should customers be treated any different than friends? It's important to think in terms of building a relationship with every customer you interact with.

    It is impossible to build a relationship without being ''present.'' Make sure you completely engage with the customer and give them your undivided attention. This means asking them how they are doing (and really wanting to hear their reply), actively listening and being in the moment with them. Keep in mind this is not possible if you are talking on your cell phone, texting someone or thinking about something else. If you are distracted, your customer will know.

    Remember customer names and use them to personalize your interaction and help build your relationship. Keep a note card on each customer with their name and other information they have shared, so you can reference it next time you see them to jog your memory and show you care.
  5. Celebrate with Your Customers

    It's OK to laugh and have fun with your customers. Take advantage of getting to know special occasions in your customers' lives and celebrate them. For example, send out birthday cards to your customers, wish them happy holidays or ask about how a recent occasion went.
  6. Deliver as Agreed

    A key component in building a customer relationship is earning their trust. Trust is established by delivering upon promises made, such as when something will be available, shipped, etc. It's always a good idea to under-promise and over-deliver. If you commit to something, make sure you follow through and deliver on-time.
  7. Be Generous with Customers

    Going the extra mile for your customers will help you earn their repeat business. Whether it's giving a free gift with each purchase, graciously accepting a return or offering a complimentary repair or replacement, generosity goes a long way in building customer relationships.
  8. Follow-up After the Sale

    The sale doesn't end when the customer leaves your store. Solicit feedback from your customers after the sale to continue to build your relationship. Contact them to ask how their event was, how the gift went over or if there is anything else you can help them with.
  9. But It's "Only" Online
    When your primary sales method is online, some of the common sense tips might not seem to apply. After all, it's hard to physically hold the door for your customer when you don't have a store. However, the metaphorical door can still be held open: make sure your website is always up and available; solve any online technical problems quickly and efficiently; if you're waiting for some technical assistance, be sure to post on your social media account(s) that you're aware of the issue and give an estimate of how long you think it might be down. There are plenty of ways to keep your customers feeling like they're connected to you.
And remember, it's important to give each and every customer (regardless of how much they spend with you) great customer service. Each customer represents an unlimited amount of business through word-of-mouth advertising. Giving good customer service will ensure that what they say about you to their family and friends will be positive.

But then again, this is common sense--right?

Additional Resources ...