The format we will follow in this post is the same as in the previous posts in this series:
- Sophisticated and well-groomed sales and support staff; salesmen in blue shirts and the sales ladies in dark blue saris – look far more professional than those in traditional jewelry outlets
- The sales staff was very cordial. We asked to see diamond earrings, after they sat us down in the right section, they asked for basic information such as our names and then addressed us by name throughout the conversation; also asked us whether we’d like a glass of water, tea or coffee, not just before we selected a piece but even before they began showing us jewelry (as you read through this post, you’ll see that this is quite unusual!)
- Our saleslady also asked very politely about our knowledge of diamond quality, when we professed ignorance, she explained grades and colors to us and then told us about the quality of diamonds used in their jewelry pieces; she explained the facts to us in enough detail to keep our attention but did not get too technical.
- They were also quick in catching on to what type of designs we liked and after showing us a few trays of jewelry, they themselves started sorting the jewelry to our tastes.
- One of us visited the store with our aunt to look at higher-value diamond sets. After putting aside a couple of sets and inquiring about their prices and details, even when we were about to leave (without a purchase), they were really friendly and took down our name and phone number to stay in touch incase more designs and jewelry of our interest came in. And, not only did they call back when new pieces came in, but when our aunt revisited the store, they remembered her as well as the sets she’d liked earlier, and while showing the new pieces, they also brought out the earlier ones, for her to compare.
- Very welcoming staff
- All pieces of jewelry clearly state the quality and color of diamonds on the little tags attached to them (haven’t seen this in any other jewelry store) and the sales persons did not try to make up things like “diamonds are super-deluxe quality” neither did they pretended to be making frantic calculations on their calculators when asked for a price to offer the “deal for the day” – this immediately won our confidence.
- That said, a recent experience at Tanishq was remarkable: I bought a piece of jewelry from there for a gift, but my parents didn’t completely approve of my choice. So I went back to the Tanishq store the next day, armed with not only the jewelry, bill and certificate, but also with a million reasons and arguments for why I wanted to exchange the piece I’d just bought the previous day. As soon as I walked into the store, I was greeted with a warm welcome and I asked to speak with the saleslady who’d helped me the previous day. She promptly came to where I was seated and I told her that I wanted to exchange the jewelry; while I argued in my head about how to form the argument for the return she interrupted my thoughts with “… no problem madam, just select something else you like and we’ll settle the difference in the end.”
Just like that!!! No explanation asked!!! For a big ticket item like this one!
They invested as much time in me as they’d done the previous day, without a frown, knowing that I wasn’t going to generate any new revenue for them and/or additional commission for the sales assistant. Kudos to their customer service. And for making my purchase experience so smooth and easy.
- Note: This is the only brand across all categories we covered for our research, where we’ve seen excellent after-sales service, where they not only met but surpassed our expectations.
- Staff are polished compared to those at traditional jewelers; Salesmen in neat blue shirts, well-groomed. They were very welcoming and approachable.
- When asked for price and details of a pair of earring we liked, we weren’t given any clarity on the diamond grades used and instead of just giving us the price, he offered to make a “good deal” for us and then told us the price. While this may be common practice at traditional jewelry stores, in a modern format it felt slightly gimmicky.
Unsatisfactory, a few examples of what we didn’t like:
- Shabby doorman, unshaven sales persons, unshaven owner – typically observed in the more family-run standalone jewelry stores.
- At one of the leading jewelry chains, the sales staff wasn’t welcoming, didn’t offer us a seat, neither did they ask about what we were looking for, nor did they initiate any conversation with us. Only when we started asking questions about their different jewelry lines and diamond quality, etc. did they share information.
- At some stores, they only offered water/ tea/ coffee after we had already spent some time looking at jewelry and had set some pieces aside.
- Also, some sales persons insisted on finding out our budget even before showing us one piece of jewelry. Even when we clearly stated that we didn’t have any budget constraints and pointed at a pair of earrings that we wished to see, the sales persons refused to take it out without knowing our budget …“Phir bhi madam, kitne tak ka dekhna hai”.
- Also, some sales persons, even without asking for a discount, started offering ‘a special rate, just for you’-type of deals. They made us even more suspicious of the original quoted price.
Our verdict: The grade for the performance of staff at stores we were impressed with would be A+, the rest get a B.
Next stop: Electronics.
Escape Velocity Team.
[Disclaimer: This post deals mainly with one aspect of the shopping experience – interactions with the staff. Also, the list of outlets visited for the purpose of observation is not exhaustive.]