7 Ways to Better Manage Customer Expectations

Customer expectations must be managed. Jewelry managers must not assume that customers have the same expectations. To effectively manage customer expectations, follow these seven steps.

1. All customers expect solid information. Make sure each sales associate is well versed in each product category and offering. Information must be relevant and it must relate to the interests of the individual shopper. Don’t talk down to shoppers with fancy GG terms. Use language that the shopper can relate to.

2. Jewelry customers want to be educated and not just informed. Too many jewelry customers readily acknowledge that they don’t know how to evaluate the quality of jewelry. Be sure that sales associates are offering education and not just information. You can tell by the gestures and body language of shoppers if they are fully engaged in a conversation/presentation. Shoppers who are confident in their knowledge regarding a proposed piece of jewelry only need to be emotionally stimulated to become buyers.

3. Jewelry customers want expert options. This relates to sales associates understanding design theories and current fashion trends and being able to relate them to individual customer preferences. Consider how mixing and matching examples of how to wear multiple pieces of jewelry provides multiple options to jewelry customers. Another example is to offer options in the quality of jewelry offered. Selling a diamond just less than 1 full ct. can be just the right approach to value for some buyers. Have more options for shoppers.

4. Customers in 2012 expect superior communication. We each have our own set of language. Sales associates must use the language of the shopper. For example, speaking more slowly with better diction is often very desirable when addressing elderly shoppers.  For some male shoppers, less is more. Just the basic facts can lead to some rather quick purchase decisions.

5. Jewelry customers want to be consulted. Consultive selling refers to personal selling in which a sales associate plays the role of a consultant. It begins with the sales associate assisting the shoppers in identifying their needs. Unless customers are three-deep waiting to check out, why not take the time to discuss the shoppers’ personal approaches to fashion, accessories, and jewelry? By discussing their fashion wardrobes and their jewelry wardrobes, wouldn’t sales associates be better prepared for new purchase considerations? Consider how much more relevant and “qualified” an employee’s suggested product considerations will be perceived and received by using consultive selling.

6. Customers expect a seamless relationship. This first occurs in the store when the sales associate transitions from consultant to salesperson. Once associates asks for the order, they can no longer go back and play the role of consultant. It is very necessary to gather all of the necessary information that will be required to close the presentation before asking for the order. Know why the customer will buy before asking for the order. Take the good will and relationship established in the store and transition it through ongoing digital marketing communication messages. Only send information that is specific to the interests of each customer.

7. Clearly explain terms and return policies. Don’t assume that by not addressing these issues the sale is more salable. Just the opposite—sales associates are setting themselves and their customers up for buyers’ remorse and more returns.