customer serviceProblem Solved
A lot of store owners and sales trainers don’t like the phrase “no problem” because it implies the customer is causing a fuss by simply making a request or asking for something. Scott Chalmers, owner of Chalmers Jewelers in Middleton, WI, says they remedied the issue the old-fashioned way: with a mix of carrot and stick. “If you are caught saying ‘no problem,’ you put $1 into the fishbowl. Then every Friday, either I buy lunch with the fishbowl funds or out of my pocket. After two weeks, I was buying lunch out of my pocket,” he says.
SECURITYStrip Mall Alert
Criminal activity targeting jewelers in strip mall locations is at unprecedented levels because they are often perceived as softer targets due to structural vulnerabilities, according to Jewelers Mutual Group and the Jewelers’ Security Alliance (JSA). As a result, many jewelers in such stores need to beef up and test their systems, says JSA president John Kennedy. “Make sure your alarms work properly, and if you receive an alert signal, even a so-called communication error, treat it as an actual burglary event every time,” he says.
SALESSlow Time, Show Time
This is the time to start sowing seeds of holiday desire, says Denise Oros, owner of Linnea Jewelers in La Grange, IL. And a great way to do that is to ask clients to preview new stock “because you admire their style or clever eye.” Don’t have any new stock? Oros recommends getting one of your favorite vendors to memo a fresh collection or array of pieces for two weeks so you can create buzz. Second option: Clean and polish case-worn pieces and put them in the safe. Pull out the tray to get a customer’s opinion on this “estate” piece, then chat up pricing and purchasing options for Christmas.
MANAGEMENTChoose Growth Over Sensitivity
It can be tempting to refrain from delivering even mild criticism out of the fear you’ll hurt someone’s feelings. But withholding feedback is choosing comfort over growth, says Adam Grant, professor of organizational psychology at Wharton Business School and author of Think Again. “Staying silent deprives people of the opportunity to learn. If you’re worried about hurting their feelings, it’s a sign that you haven’t earned their trust. In healthy relationships, honesty is an expression of care,” he says.
SECURITYReboot Your Phone
Here’s a new weekly habit for you: Turn your phone off and on at least once. That’s part of the National Security Agency’s recently released “best practices” guide for mobile device security. While it won’t stop a sophisticated hacker, it will make them work harder to maintain access and steal data from your phone. “This is all about imposing cost on these malicious actors,” Neal Ziring, technical director of the NSA’s cybersecurity directorate, told the Associated Press. The reason is that the latest malicious software typically targets your phone’s root file system. But the newest phones can detect and block such malware during a reboot.