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Monthly Archives: May 2012
We were very excited to have another article published in the InStoreMag.com blog. Here is the post in its entirety.
An Inspection Is Not Just a Cleaning
To properly care for a piece of jewelry, it should be taken to a jeweler once or twice per year for an inspection. Most jewelers will provide an annual inspection at no cost as part of a purchase agreement, and many jewelers are happy to inspect a piece even if it was not originally purchased in their store.
When jewelers communicate with their customers, it is important that they differentiate between routine cleaning and an annual inspection. Often jewelers tell their customers to “come in anytime” to get their piece cleaned. But this well-meaning statement can cause confusion.
It comes down to the language used and what it means to the customer. The jeweler hopes that by offering a cleaning anytime, she is encouraging that customer to return to the store often. But what does the customer hear? “How nice that I can come back here for a cleaning when I want to, but I can probably do that at home, too.”
But when a jeweler explains that the customers should return at least once a year for an inspection, the customer’s reaction is different. An annual inspection sounds important and is a call to action. It is something not to be missed.
Jewelers are also better off not minimizing the importance of an annual inspection by referring to it as a “cleaning.” While an inspection does include a lovely professional cleaning, it also requires that the jeweler use her expertise to examine the stones and settings for damage or weakness. An inspection requires expertise; and jewelers establish themselves as experts in their field through the inspection process.
This is not to say that jewelers shouldn’t help their customers understand the importance of and how to conduct routine cleanings. Ideally they will explain how to safely clean a piece using at-home products, while also emphasizing the importance of returning for an inspection and professional cleaning once or twice a year.
The jeweler’s choice of language is important. It is easy for experts in a field to forget that terminology may have a different meaning for the layperson. When jewelers choose their words carefully, their customers get a more thorough appreciation for how to properly care for their purchase, both at home and through their jeweler.
We were thrilled to have our article featured in the InStoreMag.com blog. Here is the post in its entirety.
At The Kingswood Company, we sometimes hear from retailers that they are leery of carrying jewelry cleaning products in their store because they believe that if they offer the customer a free in-store cleaning instead of an at-home product, the customer will come back to the store more frequently.
We get it. Retailers want traffic, and offering enticing ways to get customers to your store is key. But does offering free in-store cleanings really increase store traffic? And on the flip side of the coin, does offering at-home cleaning products discourage traffic? We’ll take a look at both sides.
Does offering an in-store cleaning really the best way to drive traffic?
Your goal is traffic and offering a free cleaning seems like a great idea, but your customers need their jewelry cleaned more often than they can reasonably come back to the store. Jewelry that is worn frequently needs to be cleaned routinely, weekly or even daily, so if the customer did come to the store each time she needed her ring cleaned, mayhem would ensue. Every jewelry store would have a line out the door with people waiting to have jewelry cleaned, and every salesperson would spend his day cleaning jewelry rather than selling it. Jewelers don’t really want to see their customers for every cleaning, any more than a dentist wants to brush his patients’ teeth each day.
The goal of store traffic is to improve the chances of making a sale. If customers did come in every week to have a piece cleaned, would they really purchase something each and every time? Unless you have the Imelda Marcos of jewelry as a customer, probably not.
But offering a service to your customer as an enticement to come back to the store is a good idea. Offering an annual or semi-annual inspection, which includes a professional cleaning, is a better solution. It encourages your customer to come in within a more reasonable timeframe, once or twice a year, and the service you are offering is of greater value.
Does offering at-home jewelry cleaning products deter customers from coming back to the store?
Many jewelers have expressed concern that selling at-home cleaning products in their store will discourage their customers from returning to the store for cleanings. This is not the case, especially when the jeweler clearly explains to the customer the difference between at-home routine cleaning and an annual inspection and professional cleaning. Think about it, does your dentist not give you a toothbrush because she is worried that you won’t come back for your next check-up? Not at all.
If jewelers do not offer at-home products to their customers, there are three outcomes. First, your customer really does come to the store every time her jewelry needs to be cleaned, draining your store of time and energy that could be spent in better ways. Second, they are buying at-home cleaning products elsewhere, depriving you of an add-on sale or follow-up sales when she needs more cleaner. The third option is that your customer is wearing dirty jewelry or has stopped wearing the piece because it is dirty. That means she is not fully enjoying her purchase or wearing something that no longer looks beautiful.
When jewelers offer jewelry cleaning products, they know that their customers are cleaning their jewelry properly. And when she is wearing beautiful, sparkling jewelry that gets attention, she is referring her friends to your store.
Care and cleaning of jewelry can indeed be a driver of traffic. But by offering jewelry care products, you can help ensure that it is the right kind of traffic.