During the warm glow of a successful sale, a jeweler may not always pass along the clearest of information regarding care and cleaning of the customer’s new piece. Jewelers know that to properly care for a piece of jewelry, it should be taken to a jeweler once or twice per year for an inspection. But when
jewelers communicate with their customers, this message doesn’t always come across.
Often they warmly tell their customers to “bring it back anytime for a cleaning.” This well intentioned statement can cause confusion, though. In the jeweler’s mind, this means an inspection and a cleaning. But the customer may hear “how nice that I can bring it here for a cleaning, but I can do that at home too.”
It all comes down to the language used. A “cleaning” sounds like a nice offer, but an “inspection” sounds like an important appointment. It’s a call to action, not to be missed. Jewelers who minimize an inspection by referring to it as a “cleaning” miss an opportunity to establish themselves as experts in their field. While an inspection does include a very thorough cleaning, it also requires that the jeweler use her expertise to examine the stones and settings for damage or weakness.
This is not to say that jewelers shouldn’t share the importance of cleanings, both professional and routine/at-home. Ideally they will explain how to safely clean a piece using at-home products, while also emphasizing the importance of returning to the jeweler annually for an inspection.
The jeweler’s choice of language is key. It is easy for experts in a field to forget that terminology may have a different meaning for the layperson. So it’s best to be clear about the importance of both annual inspections and routine care and cleaning. Your customer will appreciate your expertise and will enjoy her inspected and well-cleaned piece for years to come.
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