I hadn’t set foot in the store for three years. Yet the welcome I received felt like a homecoming.
But I’m getting ahead of myself…
Nine years ago, back when my husband and I lived in Boston, we bought our wedding rings at a boutique jewelry store called Kosmima. We had always admired the elegant, hand-crafted creations in its windows whenever we drove through the leafy suburb of Chestnut Hill. When it came time to buy rings, we ventured into the store and we were immediately taken with the uncommonly warm and helpful service provided by the owner, Pano, and his wife. It was clear to us that Pano genuinely wanted to help make our wedding day as special as possible. He takes as much care over the customer experience as he does over the craftsmanship of his jewelry.
Great service makes an impression on customers, it’s a key part of the customer experience. That’s because it’s so rare to truly to be valued by a company you’re buying from. It’s a special thing and it can make a lasting impression.
Last week I was reminded of the “bond” that sparkling service creates.
I haven’t lived in Boston for over three years but I ventured into Kosmima during a recent visit to the East Coast. I mainly wanted to get my rings cleaned and also ask a question about ring sizing (the rings have started to feel loose). To my surprise, Pano and his wife remembered me. They immediately started cleaning my rings and pointed out that one of the tiny diamonds in my wedding band had fallen out. (I never even noticed that the diamond was missing, it’s the size of a spec.) They replaced the diamond—at no cost! Wow, that was an unexpected delight and a memorable customer experience.
We chatted about ring sizing. I didn’t have a long enough visit for Pano to resize the ring so Pano made a great temporary fix to help my ring fit tighter. He said I could come back during my next visit to get the ring re-sized if I wanted to. I really felt important. Pano and his wife really care about me even though I’m not a big spender and even though I don’t live in Boston anymore. Didn’t matter. They both wanted to be of help.
I did tell them that their service was so good I couldn’t go anywhere else. They understood that bond and appreciated my loyalty. I feel good, I trust them, I know them, and they care about me. It’s a special feeling in the life of a customer.
No question, this is my jeweler for life even if I have to fly 3,000 miles just to see them. When I next look to buy jewelry, this is the store I will visit.
How are you using service to bond customers to you? You can make a real impression just by recognizing customers, treating them as valued clients, and providing immediate help and quick answers to questions. Take off your professional hat for a moment and put on your customer hat. Now make a list of the ways you’ve been impressed as a customer and then see if you can translate any of those ideas and experiences to your business. Can you make it easier and faster to get service and support? To get a refund or return something? Can you respond to customer service emails faster? Small things make an impact (not just free diamonds – ha!).
Diamonds are forever. So are loyal customers.