Having the right staff on hand to deliver the right types and quality of services for todays convenience oriented customers is very important. There are four unique characteristics of jewelry services that managers should be focused on in order to consistently provide and incrementally improve services. Services differ from the physical inventory in that they have the following characteristics: intangibility, inseparability, variability and perishability. No jewelry service can be physically held or touched prior to acquisition as compared to the inventory which can be examined by shoppers. Prospective customers must evaluate jewelry service quality and quantity often before committing to a transaction exchange. How do you signal your prospective customers regarding the services they should expect to receive?
A service is generally produced and consumed at the same time so production and consumption are inseparable. Jewelry products go through quality evaluations during production and certainly before consumers are exposed to products. Services are extremely variable because they are offered by every jewelry store, but the quality and quantity of services vary widely. Therefore, jewelry customers are exposed to multiple levels of services through their multiple shopping experiences. A branded product will have the same product qualities regardless what store a customer purchases it from. However, the services provided by each retailer will be different. Competitive advantage can be gained through offering the right added value services.
Due to the unsteady demand for services it can be very difficult to always have the staff necessary to meet all customer expectations for service. Peak demand in the jewelry industry is usually associated with holiday occasions. However, many stores track store traffic trends to plan staffing to meet peak shopping hours during each week. Over staffing can be more expensive than over stocked inventory. Jewelry services are very important as they make up part of the total shopping experience. Today, convenience is very important and having the right services to provide with the right staff trained for the right customers is key to creating competitive advantage in the jewelry industry.
Take another look at each service offered by the company. Too often stores continue to offer more and more services without trying to purge those services that don’t generate the level of customer loyalty desired. Every service costs money to provide. Therefore, all services must be managed and evaluated to be sure that each service provides the desired return on investment. When was the last time you evaluated each service offered by the company to insure each one is effectively creating competitive advantage for the company?