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How to Deliver a “WOW” Customer Experience

PART ONE: Give Personalized Gifts




MY MOTHER ONCE TOLD me that I will find the man to marry when there is one who comes along that puts up with my expectations of service. I have always loved a great experience and have expected great service, whether it be shopping, traveling, dining, etc. In college, I worked in restaurants, clothing stores, and hair salons — all the places where you expect great service and an amazing experience. I will forever be grateful for that because I know what it is like to be the server living off tips, and I know what it’s like to be the customer who gives the tip.

When you’re spending money, it is irrelevant the dollar amount. At the end of the day, you do not have to be shopping, you do not have to dine out, so if you do, you expect an experience. So, whether you are at Harry Cipriani’s near Central Park having a famous Bellini or you are at your local sports pub having the draft beer on special, you deserve an exceptional experience. So how does this tie to the jewelry industry and retail sales? It is the same. That customer walking in the door does not have to buy jewelry from you.

Because loving exceptional service is in my bloodline, I am going to break this down into a three-part series to give you not just one idea but many of how to WOW a customer! If you implement just one, you will see an increase in your sales. If you decide to implement more than one, you might achieve the goal I always gave to my sales team. The goal always was “get invited to a wedding.” If you get invited to a wedding, you give exceptional service and that customer thinks so highly of you that they want you to be part of one of the biggest days of their life. And let me tell you, if you attend more than one client wedding per year, your sales will show it! Because they refer you more customers and you meet all their family and friends at the wedding!

Part One: Give Personalized Gifts

When you are not a clerk in the retail world and you sincerely look out for your clients, they become family. I have been so blessed to meet some amazing clients who were extremely loyal and purchased multiple pieces from me a year. Most started with the engagement ring purchase, and after that, they were hooked and came to me for all their jewelry needs. Not only did they shop with me multiple times in a year, but they also sent me all their family and friends.

So, every year in November I would plan out Christmas gifts to have personalized for my top 20 customers. “Top customers” did not always mean they spent the most with me. It could be that they sent me five referrals in a year, or maybe they did not spend a lot, but they purchased six items that year. I would do my shopping on and create gifts based on the personal things I knew about the customer. For example, here is a Christmas ornament I would send with the kids’ names on it. Click here.

It was a very affordable gift — around $10 per customer — but the thought blew customers away! I would have these arrive to the customers’ houses at the beginning of December so they could enjoy when they started decorating the tree. This small yet thoughtful gift put me in front of my clients the full month of December, and when they called me to thank me, it always led to, “By the way, I am interested in …”


Another occasion I loved to send gifts for throughout the year was my clients who were having babies. We all have seen the pattern that after the diamond is purchased, the baby comes shortly thereafter. I once had a client looking to buy a substantial diamond for around $80,000. The couple had visited about eight times, and I noticed during one visit that she was pregnant. The more appointments we had, the closer we came to her having the baby. I made sure to know the hospital they were going to be in and surprised them with a custom-made baby blanket with his name on it. Click here.

The couple was completely shocked and immediately called me. A week later, I delivered the $80,000 ring to their house. Even better, in the months and years down the road, this became his favorite blanket and he visited me a few times in the store and always had it. These are the moments we strive for and the reason I got up every day and loved what I did.



This Third-Generation Jeweler Was Ready for Retirement. He Called Wilkerson

Retirement is never easy, especially when it means the end to a business that was founded in 1884. But for Laura and Sam Sipe, it was time to put their own needs first. They decided to close J.C. Sipe Jewelers, one of Indianapolis’ most trusted names in fine jewelry, and call Wilkerson. “Laura and I decided the conditions were right,” says Sam. Wilkerson handled every detail in their going-out-of-business sale, from marketing to manning the sales floor. “The main goal was to sell our existing inventory that’s all paid for and turn that into cash for our retirement,” says Sam. “It’s been very, very productive.” Would they recommend Wilkerson to other jewelers who want to enjoy their golden years? Absolutely! “Call Wilkerson,” says Laura. “They can help you achieve your goals so you’ll be able to move into retirement comfortably.”

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