National Jeweler Network

Market Developments

7 tips for gaining and retaining clients

By Brecken Branstrator

April 25, 2014

San Diego--While stores dedicate a significant portion of their marketing dollars on recruiting new clients, many forget about investing time and money on retaining clients, said retailer Peter Stavrianidis in his presentation at Conclave on Thursday.

Since the top 20 percent of a store’s clients generally generate about 80 percent of the business, mainly represented by these returning, loyal customers, retailers need to make sure these proven customers will stick around.

To create a well-rounded system, Stavrianidis, owner of Venus Jewelers in Somerset, N.J., recommends a “front end, back end” marketing process, putting a focus both on bringing new customers to the store and investing to keep them coming back.

The front end includes many of the traditional forms of advertising and marketing, including print media, social media, television and radio commercials and a presence in events in the local community, such as charity events or sponsorship.

Businesses have to be accommodating to the new clients that represent the front end, no matter how much profit they present, as they represent an opportunity to turn them into returning shoppers, Stavrianidis said.

But often more focus is put on this part of the business, and the strength behind the client database that the company has already built often remains untapped.

“Each company’s primary asset is its database or its back end,” he said. “The back end is the most underutilized asset by most businesses.”

Stavrianidis gave the following tips to help build a business that will both attract and retain customers:
1. Have an attractive space. It’s a reflection of the store as a brand, its image and the vision of the company. It also conveys a sense of confidence and success to your clients, attracting and bringing back the kind of customers a jeweler wants to keep.
2. Make sure there’s an ongoing training program for the whole sales team at the store. “There are always things we can learn, things we can do better with,” he said, as long as everyone is willing to learn. It also keeps the skills top of mind with the salespeople.
3. Create a mission statement. This gives your business direction and establishes the core values on which it will be built.
4. In the same vein, create a “vision” statement, which will be more specific about the goals that the business wants to achieve over the next few years.
5. Establish a code of conduct at the store and have all employees sign off on it so they know exactly what they should and should not do.
6. Create a company culture. It should be in accordance with the store’s style, vision, and mission. More time is spent in the workplace than at home these days, so it’s important to create that environment of respect and connectedness for employees, whose happiness affects sales, profits and the attitudes of those around them, including perceived image of your store by clients. Don’t be afraid to take action when an employee doesn’t fit into the culture, he said.
7. ‘Wow’ the customer every time. This business is about relationships, and jewelers keep customers loyal by keeping them content.