The dynamic between the customer and a company is delicate. When a company evolves, customers must learn to adapt to its new ways. Similarly, when customer patterns change, the market needs to be ready and willing to tend to their needs. If either party remains static, the healthy dynamic gets lost.
When it comes to diamonds, there are so many fluid aspects that define both customers and dealers. For example, while at one point the entire industry was very private, today there is almost complete transparency. Not only can a customer immediately compare your products with your competitor, they can go as far to check the stone’s market value and tell you what you should be charging for your own goods!
An Emerald Pear & Yellow Diamond Designer Ring (9.72Ct TW)
As consumers become increasingly more knowledgeable about diamonds and jewelry, they are able to pick up on the smallest of details and notice the minutest discrepancy. From the highly informative and educational consumer websites that many diamond companies now host, blog posts, interviews, and the Internet in general, the modern consumer has the world at their fingertips. People know to use this information to demand the very best product, and the best market price.
Add the increase in online diamond sales to the equation and you have got serious competition that requires all diamond dealers to step up their game. The most insignificant price difference could be the deciding factor for one thrifty consumer who is debating between two similar companies. It could also be a slightly higher quality stone, better service, or a larger selection. The point is, consumers are evolving rapidly, which means that re-learning your clientele, dissecting details, and improving your product and service is no longer merely optional; it is mandatory if you want to stay in the game.
An Extraordinary Fancy Black Round Diamond Designer Ring (8.05Ct TW)
Not in Kansas Anymore
One of the best ways to truly understand and internalize the immense change we are seeing in diamond consumers today is by developing a language of communicating. The common requests that were once made by the average diamond client are very different form the demands of the modern diamond shopper.
Not too long ago, we had a customer who was incredibly specific about the setting style he wanted. It was a unique and amazing design idea he came up with. He sent us a few sketches that he made and asked that we create the piece according to what he drew. The problem was that when the customer, jewelry designer, and the master-model-maker looked at the image, all three envisioned the images differently. The customer chose a black diamond he fell in love with and asked that we begin working on the setting. The model-maker began with the stone the customer requested and worked to ensure everything was measured out to the right proportions. However, as a result of the microscopic miscommunications, the outcome was a little different from what the customer envisioned. We tried again, but the design still wasn’t exactly what he had in mind. I believe there were four models that were made before the customer was totally satisfied with what he wanted us to create. He actually decided on a deep blue sapphire in place of the black diamond, but the setting style was done exactly according to what he had envisioned.
Needless to say, this isn’t the first time we have had someone come with such intricate demands with regards to their design. But like I said before, a company can never remain static. Changes will always need to be made in order to better the company. In this case we managed to define the language we used to communicate to the customer a little bit better than what we had prior.
An Extraordinaire Belle Citron - Lemon Quartz Diamond Ring (26.42Ct TW)
Know Your Limits
While attempting to supply your customer with his or her every request, you also need to remember that part of staying ahead means knowing where to draw the line and call it quits. This is an area that might take some time and experience but know ahead of time that any large or unusual undertaking can result in financial loss, disappointment on both ends, and a somewhat blemished reputation. It is smarter to play it safe regarding certain requests that raise concerns. Obviously, as you want to always capitalize on any opportunity you have, explain why, and offer an alternative that works better! In the case I spoke about above, we knew we were capable of putting the design together and that was why we kept trying again and again. However, if the design isn’t within your scope, let the customer know ahead of time.
A Fancy Green Radiant & Pink Pave Diamond Ring (4.69Ct TW)
The Bar Has Been Raised
There comes a time in every industry and in every business when you are forced to raise the bar. In our case, there is simply no other choice. While once, you were pleasantly surprised if your client knew anything beyond the shape and size of the stone they were interested in, or the 4Cs, today’s customers don’t just know the size of the stone they want, but the exact measurements, size of the table vs. the depth of the stone, and just how thick the girdle is. When it comes to the ring, they start comparing the head vs. the shank, the metal alloys they would ideally like in the metal, and how they want the shank to graduate down in size with a sketched, textured model just outside the halo. Since we all know that these consumers exist and that there are plenty others with the same mindset, here’s the changes you must internalize. We must adhere to a higher standard. The products need to be better; far better. Everything from the use of 3D modeling to being meticulous about the design, you need to start examining your diamond jewelry through an even sharper loupe, so to speak.
I was chatting with a friend about a similar, more challenging case he had been working with. He started going into detail and it reminded me of one specific request we had about five years ago. This customer was, for lack of better words, a stickler for details. Again, it was an amazing design he requested but the whole process from start to finish, before he made the purchase, was far from easy. However, he is no fool. He knew full well that he was being difficult, but it was because he knew exactly what he was after. The benefit is, although it was a lot of work, this customer has come back to use three times already since then. Not only has he always come back to us, he felt perfectly comfortable recommending us to all his friends.
Many of the repercussions of the consumers’ sudden new found diamond knowledge are that competition has been increased exponentially. Stones, prices, and jewelry can be instantly compared with the click of a button and literally purchased on the spot, which is what more and more diamond consumers are choosing to do. This leaves less room for human interference and influence. That means that the product has to do almost all of the work. It has to appeal to the masses, be of utmost quality, and priced right. You will not snag every single consumer as there is endless competition and every shopper is looking for something slightly different. Nevertheless, when you make yourself that much better than the next retailer, down to the last detail, you are giving yourself the best shot possible.