The Studio – Jewelry Blog by Rio Grande

Business Know-How with Marlene Richey: Customer Service Savvy

Jul 7, 2014
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Marlene Richey
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quotes

quotes

These are some of my favorite business quotes. Here's another favorite, which I have above my desk and read and reread often:

 A customer is the most important visitor on our premises, he is not dependent on us. We are dependent on him. He is not an interruption in our work. He is the purpose of it. He is not an outsider in our business. He is part of it. We are not doing him a favor by serving him. He is doing us a favor by giving us an opportunity to do so.

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Ronna Lugosch, owner of Peapod Jewelry in Maine, understands that providing exceptional service to her customers is essential to her success.

Customer service and word-of-mouth are your best and most effective marketing tools. I have always tried to follow the principle of offering, not just good customer service, but exceptional customer service, whether it was with my businesses, consulting or teaching. There are literally hundreds of blogs, websites, books and quotes out there regarding customer service and how incredibly important it is to every business, no matter how big or small you are. And most of the time, it doesn’t cost you anything.

The first step to great customer service is to listen. Listen to your customer. Listen to what they are saying, the tone of their voices, the words they are choosing, and if they are standing in front of you, their body language. Then ask questions.

When you find out first what they need, you can then effectively help them. The more you know about your customer, the better suited you will be at solving their needs. Since all businesses are going to depend more and more on customer satisfaction, consider:

  1. What can you give customers that they can’t get from other stores or makers?  What is special about working with you? Ronna Lugosch, jewelry designer and owner of Peapod Jewelry in Maine says “There are many ways to go the extra mile for your customer. I feel that offering a pleasing design that can be customized while the customer waits is a winner. People love immediate gratification and are so grateful to have something that represents them personally.”
  2. Even if the customer doesn’t purchase or makes a very small purchase at this particular time, how can you make sure they will think of you for the future?
  3. How can you make a customer’s experience with you positive, memorable, and something they tell their friends about?
  4. What are the personal touches you give to your customers that make their shopping experience meaningful?
  5. How does your approach to customer service reflect your product, your business, yourself and your brand?
  6. When something goes wrong, how can you turn a challenging situation into a positive one? What can you do to win a customer back? Offering a sincere apology for a mistake and taking ownership of it is a powerful tool and so many people instead choose to blame others or not take responsibility. Here is a statement that you don’t want said about you: “It was supposed to be an apology but it was a monologue of self-justification.”

Look around at other industries and businesses that you feel have a strong commitment to customer service and emulate them. What outstanding customer service have you experienced and how did it make you feel? What can you learn from those experiences? How can you take these experiences and apply them to your business? What exactly defines exceptional customer service in your experience?

Remember, customer service is all about your long-term relationships with your customers—so make a strong, positive and memorable impression!

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Business Know-How with Marlene Richey: Merchandising Your Jewelry Designs

Jun 23, 2014
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Marlene Richey
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michaelgood2

Today, on The Studio, Marlene Richey gives great, concrete advice on how you can merchandise your jewelry designs. Merchandising is the art of creating a common theme in your collection and capitalizing on that theme to encourage customer loyalty and sales. Merchandise your work beautifully and it will be easy to understand and identify. It will tell YOUR story!

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Business Know-How with Marlene Richey: Networking for Success

May 12, 2014
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Marlene Richey
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One of the most important skills you can nurture and develop as a business owner is the skill of self-promotion through networking! Today, on The Studio, Marlene Richey gives you tips on how you can network to build connections with potential customers and grow your business in the process.

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Business Savvy: Deb Strecansky’s Jewelry Business Goes Square and Takes Off

May 5, 2014
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Amy Cliser
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Jewelers, have you considered using a card reader to accept credit card payments from interested customers when you’re on the road? Check out our latest blog post and find out about the great success jeweler Deb Strecansky of Sky Designs has experienced in her business using the Square with her smart phone.

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Business Know-How with Marlene Richey: Post-Show Savvy—Ten Things to Take Away

Apr 17, 2014
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Marlene Richey
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airstream

In this final installment of Marlene Richey’s “Doing a Show” series, she reminds us that the show isn’t over until it’s over and she shares a great list of ten take aways that can help you get successful outcomes from a show sometimes long after the event is over. Grab a pencil and get ready to take some notes and then knock some socks off at your first (or your next) big show!

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Business Savvy: Ten Steps to Facebook Success for Jewelers

Feb 27, 2014
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Nina Cooper
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Social media holds many opportunities for promoting your jewelry business, but where do you begin? One effective—and manageable—place to start is to create a business page on Facebook. Millions of people post, like, share, make buying decisions, and see your images and posts on Facebook. Here’s how to gather your own fan base on Facebook, from start to finish.

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Business Know-How with Marlene Richey: Doing a Jewelry Trade Show—It’s Show Time!

Feb 20, 2014
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Marlene Richey
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bree

In Marlene Richey’s first two posts on “Doing a Show,” she helped you apply, be accepted to, and prepare for your first jewelry trade show. In today’s post, she shares the nitty gritty on what you can expect at the show Itself—it’s show time!. Marlene has the experience and wisdom to break it down for you! Grab a notebook and get ready to take some notes and then knock some socks off at your first (or your next) big show!

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Business Know-How with Marlene Richey: Doing a Jewelry Trade Show—You’ve Been Accepted, Now Prepare!

Jan 16, 2014
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Marlene Richey
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In Part Two of Marlene Richey’s multi-part series on “Doing a Show,” she helps you prepare for your first big wholesale or retail show! Good preparation is key to a great outcome and Marlene has the experience and wisdom to break it down for you! Grab a notebook and get ready to take some notes and then knock some socks off at your first (or your next) big show!

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Business Know-How with Marlene Richey: Doing a Jewelry Trade Show—Why to Do It and How to Begin

Dec 18, 2013
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Marlene Richey
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Marlene Richey’s next four Business Know-How posts will be dedicated to successful exhibiting at either wholesale or retail jewelry shows. Today, she dives into Part One with a list of the reasons to exhibit at a show and lots of great advice about the application process!

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Grow Your Business at Rio Grande’s Winter Workshop

Dec 9, 2013
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Amy Cliser
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Want to start your own jewelry business but not sure where to start? Have you been running a jewelry business for years, but you could use some skill-sharpening and some fresh ideas to help your business grow? Gain beginning skills and jewelry business knowledge in the Rio Grande Winter Workshop, Smart Tools To Help You Grow Your Business. Read on to learn about the instructors, then register!

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