New financial year, new thinking

I came across three interesting concepts which I think are particularly relevant today and are worthy of some reflection by all of us. 01. Customer-centric…

I came across three interesting concepts which I think are particularly relevant today and are worthy of some reflection by all of us.

01. Customer-centric 02. Co-ownership 03. Co-creation

Due to our relatively small population, Australian businesses within the same sector (and especially the jewellery industry) are terrible

at sharing information. I get it. Everyone feels that the person next door is their competition. However, there needs to be more collaboration of ideas and learnings if we, as an industry, are to flourish into the future.

We’ve had a good run over the past year, but interest rates are only going one way – up! It’s time to use the concepts above to pull together and to pull ourselves into shape.

I want to contemplate how these points relate to the diamond and jewellery space and I ask you to rethink what these terms mean to you.

01 Customer-centric

It’s so easy to believe that you are a customer- centric business, but I don’t think very many businesses in the jewellery industry are. To be truly customer-centric, you need to sit down with your whole team on a regular basis and ask yourselves if you are proactively anticipating your customer’s needs.

If you were to map out your customer’s journey and drill down to where problems occur, you could then determine what courses of action to take to correct those problems. Problems, as we all know, are opportunities, and the first step is sitting down and talking about them. The next step is setting up some guidelines. Discuss them in weekly meetings by openly using successes and failures as learning tools and not criticising individuals. The final step is to constantly reflect and find ways to improve the process and experience for your customer.

I have written countless times about the omni- channel experience. For those unfamiliar with this term, it means getting the same experience online as from your showroom retail premises. How easy is the customer’s navigation of your website? Your aim is a seamless transition from online research to in-store buying. There are many widely available technologies to help.

Here is a quote to remember.

“People will forget what you said and what you did, but they will never forget how you made them feel.”

02 Co-ownership

What I see more and more is that although the majority of retailers understand the importance of digital experiences (yes, you all have websites), few consider them like a living organism.

Your digital presence is not something you build and leave. A website needs daily, or at least weekly, care and updates.

Most jewellers lack the time, knowledge and resources to become good at this, so it’s worth contemplating developing your digital space with a specialist company. By creating a co- ownership relationship, you could structure a deal that is only based on paying for results. Don’t dismiss this concept if you think that doing it all yourself is too hard – you will miss out on the business this can generate.

“When people say the pie isn’t big enough to share, I say that’s why you need to make a bigger pie.”

03 Co-creation

We are all acutely aware that the digital shopper is keen to share their experiences (both good and bad) with their friends and colleagues. Reviews mean your best customers come from referrals, so analysing those responses means you have a goldmine of advice at your fingertips.

Small insights can make all the difference. A great example is a jeweller friend who has an independent person contact each of their customers a month after every engagement ring purchase with a list of five questions about their experience. The majority are positive, as you would expect. However, from every ten calls, there are often one or two comments which are real gems.

“No one told me you could help me with insurance. I found out online that your business had a relationship with a specialised jewellery insurance company.”

“My friends said that they were told to bring the rings back a few days before their wedding to have them cleaned, and nobody told mDie that.”

There is no doubt that these are training issues, but if you didn’t ask, you would never know.

Your customers help co-create value in your business and they are willing to share not just Google reviews, but immediate feedback. This can only help improve your business and customer experience. Don’t be scared of negative feedback – it’s your opportunity to fix it.

Remember the first quote – it’s how you make me feel that counts, and this I will happily share with others.

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