By Michelle Graff

How does it go? "Treat others as you would like to be treated," I think. Which means that if you would like someone to walk into your store and shell out a few thousand dollars for a piece of jewelry for herself, treat everyone who walks into you store as if she could do just that. These are the days of denim in the office and $200 track suits, so it might behoove you to also remember that old rule about not judging books by their covers.

Bloomberg News reports that more than half of luxury consumers are unhappy with their retail experience. I have experienced such dissatisfaction firsthand on multiple occasions. While I may not appear to be the biggest spender on the block, I do like to indulge once in a while, and nothing turns me off faster than an aloof sales associate who makes an assumption about me based on my age or my attire. The branded boutiques may have a better selection of designer merchandise, but I find the service so appalling that I would much rather take my chances with the limited selection at Bloomingdale's or smaller, independent boutiques where sales associates actually acknowledge my existence.

Customer service is another place where luxury retailers—jewelers included—often fall short in my opinion. When I walked into the posh Fifth Avenue jeweler where my fiancé purchased my engagement ring to get the piece sized, the sales associate I dealt with gave me such a hard time that I complained about it to co-workers and friends (and, apparently, blog readers) for months. Guess where I am NOT buying the matching wedding band?

The moral of the story? Today's sporadic customer might be tomorrow's regular. Follow mom's advice, and you'll reap the rewards in the end.

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