The biggest game changer for us was Podium. We signed up with them for the review generator, but we never actually use it. It’s their texting feature and the secure credit card payment portal that have really won us over. With the proliferation of robocalls, we found our clients were never taking our calls, even when they were expecting one. Now that we offer texting as an option, 85% of our clients prefer it over email and calls. The other feature they offer is the payment portal, which allows us to text our clients with a secure link to receive credit card payments from people who are not in the store. It was huge for us when the world came to a screeching halt in March 2020. Our store was closed for 10 weeks, and Podium payments was the only way we could collect money from clients with orders and repairs in the pipeline. I seriously don’t know what we would have done without it!
—Melissa Quick, president, Steve Quick Jeweler, Chicago
For us, it’s Clientbook, our customer relationship management software. It’s easy and really logical and our guests really respond to it. It keeps the conversation going. Our top writers use it, and it seems to help a lot. We live in a world of instant communication, and it allows them to have a conversation with a guest at any time.
—Liz Mahoney, vice president of operations, Day’s Jewelers, Augusta, Maine
We’d say it’s a tie with Podium—which makes it easy to communicate with clients and send payment links—and Shopify, which Podium resides on, so clients can shop our products and learn about our brand/store experience. Shopify…if I had to pick one. Everything is housed on that.
—Elizabeth Gibson, CEO and founder, Eliza Page, Austin, Texas
We have been using a colorimeter for 20 years and Sarin machines for 15 years. If you go back to just grading with your eye, there are so many variables—the time of day, how tired you are that day, if it’s me or if it’s my appraiser. [These devices] allow our grading to be much more consistent, and it makes it more transparent to our customers. We don’t talk about it to everyone we work with, but if we’re dealing with engineers, they kind of like it.
—Michael Zibman, general manager, Windsor Fine Jewelers, Augusta, Ga.