Building a customer base is vital to the success of all diamond jewelry stores, but what might seem less apparent is the importance of retaining the customers you already have.
Seeking out new contacts and finding new customers is hard work, and a retailer survey carried out in 2014 by KPMG concluded that customer retention will be the biggest revenue driver in retail in the next few years.
It is clear from these statistics that implementing plans for customer retention and developing customer relationships that lead to repeat purchases, are essential to the long term success of your business. So let’s explore some customer retention techniques.
We don’t have to tell you that when you sell diamond jewelry, you are selling so much more than a product. The process alone is an experience and it should also be special.
Customers like to feel supported and well informed when making their purchases and will turn to you as their jeweler for your expertise, credibility and advice. If you are genuinely interested in educating and inspiring your client, without overtly focusing on making a sale, they will come to trust you, and will be more likely to accept your advice on a purchase.
The way your salespeople dress, their manner and body language are also very important in promoting trust. Employees need to be trained to look clients in the eye and to listen thoughtfully. It’s a nice touch for them to introduce themselves and use the customers’ names during the interactions. Allow time to get to know your customers and build a connection with them by being friendly and asking the right questions to reveal their needs.
This point is further stated by David Peters, director of education for Jewelers of America, who was quoted in Rapaport Magazine as saying: “Doesn’t matter what you sell, doesn’t matter how good your jewelry is, it is not going to build customer loyalty unless you treat the customer in a friendly way. Fancy merchandise is worthless unless you’re nice to people.”
The more you connect with your customers and address their needs, the more likely they are to trust you when it comes to purchasing gifts for the important people and occasions in their lives. The customer wants to feel as though you truly share their enthusiasm and are a partner in helping them find the perfect gift for themselves or their loved one.
Trading Up and Related Sales
One way to increase the likelihood of a customer returning to your store is by offering a trade-up or upgrades policy. When a customer makes a purchase be sure to tell them about your trade-up policy and explain that if at some point in the future they want to upgrade to a larger diamond or change to a different style, they can bring in their current purchase and they will be given the full purchase value towards a new purchase.
Displaying or showing other diamond jewelry pieces that relate to a purchase is another way to encourage repeat business. When a customer finds something they love, show them other pieces that match or go well with that piece. This gives them something to think about and aspire to for their next purchase.
Maintaining Contact After a Sale
All relationships need nurturing to last. Customer relationships are no different. Your contact with the customer should not end when they walk out the door with their purchase.
A few ideas for continuing the relationship include:
- Loyalty Programs - Loyalty programs are a great way to reward customers and give them an incentive to purchase from you again instead of going somewhere else. You can use a points system, or a ‘club’ card that they show to get member-only discounts, or even partner with another business with a similar clientele to offer a gift voucher to the other business with each purchase. The partner business does the same for you which gives you access to an entire new set of customers.
- Customer Databases - Creating a database with your customers’ names, email addresses, anniversaries and other relevant information allows you to maintain contact with your customers. According to PragmaticMarketing.com, you should be in contact with your customers at least once a year. Collecting customer contact information allows you to send reminder emails when a gift-giving occasion is coming up, mail invitations to private sale events, and send information about new product lines. You can also keep track of a customer’s preferences and reach out when pieces come in that they may like. Consider implementing a Point of Sales (POS) system to help automate all your sales and customer relationship management. To find out more, read our blog What Is a Point of Sale or Retail Management System and How Does It Help My Diamond Jewelry Business?
Your customers are the reason for your business, so once you find them, be sure to focus on keeping them. Repeat customers and customer referrals are vital for the growth and continual success of your diamond jewelry store. Try implementing some of the methods above, or other systems that work for you and your employees and soon both you and your customers will be enjoying the benefits of a long term relationship.