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Tip Sheet

Tip Sheet: April 2010

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Set ‘Office Hours’

Do you really want to listen to the voice of the customer? Here’s a way: Set “office hours.” State on your website and maybe your receipts that for say a two-hour period a week, customers can call a number and talk to you directly about your store, a service or a product. William Taylor of Fast Company says the idea is inspired by the college ritual that gives students access to lecturers.

Get Green Smart

April 22 is Earth Day, which means a green tip is in order. To be efficient, here are two: 1) Leave plenty of space around radiators; putting furniture or cases in front of a radiator causes it to work harder to warm the room. 2) Switch to recycled and/or biodegradable paper and note the fact, using soy- and water-based inks, in your store correspondence.

The E-mail Answer

What you knew: That attending to e-mail can be a time suck. The answer? Clean up your inbox when you’re at your least inspired, advises Donald Wetmore, author of The Productivity Book.

Fix that Smile

Find a small mirror and place it next to the phone in your store so you can check you’re smiling before answering calls. It will ensure there’s a smile in your voice each time you talk to customers, writes Don Taylor in Up Against the Wal-marts.

Diamond Service

Service test: An 8-year-old boy walks in with $50 in his little palm and his heart set on getting his mother a diamond ring for Mother’s Day. Do you laugh out loud, suggest a piece of crystal or do what Maine-based Day’s Jewelers did last year: Offer him a silver band and set it with a diamond (melee found in the shop)? The sale didn’t result in much of a margin but it puffed up the chest of a young boy and had his aunt raving about the service they’d received. In short, a lesson in how to create a testimonial.

Frame It in Pearls

Shake up your window displays! Pam Levine of Levine Design suggests draping chains and pearls in your windows, even hanging them from the top of the frame in swags. “Eye level is eye-catching,” she says.

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Ounce of Prevention

Jeweler Travis Piper’s favorite “special” question to throw at a job candidate is: How many grams are in an ounce? “If they say ‘I don’t know’ or something like ‘31 grams’ then I’m OK. If they confidently answer ‘28 grams’ then that raises a huge red flag for me,” Piper mentioned in a recent post on instoremag.com. The reason? “Drug dealers/users weigh marijuana in ounces avoirdupois and not troy,” the owner of Jewel Craft Jewelers in Vincennes, IN, explained.

The Flip Side

A lot of stores print their return policies on the back of receipts, which can be a great service. But make sure if you have any conditions in your return policy to post it in a place customers can see before the purchase. Once they have that receipt in hand, they’ve already paid for the item, after all.

Double Gifting

Here’s a great tip from Eve Alfillé, owner of Eve J. Alfillé Gallery and Studio in Evanston, IL, for someone buying a custom-designed gift. “I offer to wrap the selected gemstone together with an attractive mini-sketch of the future ring, all in the gift box. This way, I explain, she will have a gift twice: first the surprise of the gem and the sketch showing what is to come, and later, the ring itself.”

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Wilkerson Testimonials

If It’s Time to Consolidate, It’s Time to Call Wilkerson

When Tom Moses decided to close one of the two Moses Jewelers stores in western Pennsylvania, it was time to call in the experts. After reviewing two candidates, Moses, a co-owner of the 72 year-old business, decided to go with Wilkerson. The sale went better than expected. Concerned about running it during the pandemic, Moses says it might have helped the sale. “People wanted to get out, so there was pent-up demand,” he says. “Folks were not traveling so there was disposable income, and we don’t recall a single client commenting to us, feeling uncomfortable. It was busy in here!” And perhaps most importantly, Wilkerson was easy to deal with, he says, and Susan, their personal Wilkerson consultant, was knowledgeable, organized and “really good.” Now, the company can focus on their remaining location — without the hassle of carrying over merchandise that either wouldn’t fit or hadn’t sold. “The decision to hire Wilkerson was a good one,” says Moses.

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