Here's how to craft a memorable initial encounter with customers - according to five retailers

Positive first impressions can lead to trust, loyalty, and advocacy, while negative ones can deter consumers and harm brand reputation. Jewellery retailers place a great deal of emphasis on creating memorable and favorable initial encounters to build lasting relationships with their clients, discovers Suneeta Kaul

Post By : IJ News Service On 09 April 2024 2:49 PM

First impressions can significantly impact the perceptions and decisions of customers. They often shape how consumers view a brand, or a retail outlet, influencing their willingness to engage with it, purchase the product, and recommend it to others.

Recognizing the importance of getting off on the right foot with customers, jewellery retailers devise ways and means to create a good impression of themselves, and their store, on customers, particularly first-timers. Says Ramesh Davanam, Davanam Jewellers, Bangalore, “First impressions are vital to the success of a retail business. They are easy to remember, and difficult to forget. We take utmost care to create a good first impression on customers, and ensure their first experience with us is something they will remember.”

A good first impression not only leads to a favourable opinion of the retail outlet, it also results in repeat business from the same client. Explains Pankaj Seth, Durga Das Seth Jewellers, Amritsar, “Making a good impression on customers is very crucial. A positive impression can lead to increased customer satisfaction, loyalty, and repeat business. It can also enhance the company’s reputation and encourage positive word-of-mouth referrals. So, creating a positive and memorable customer experience should be a top priority for all retailers.”

Good impressions entail more than just superficial chit-chat – they encompass a genuine warmth and goodwill towards the customer. According to Priyanka Chopra, Chopra Sons Jewellers, Ludhiana, “The first impression is everything – it lasts, and is remembered. We fully understand the importance of making a good impression on our customers. I belong to the GenNext, and am very aware of the need to make customers feel at home. It is important to be friendly with customers. A smiling face works like a key to anyone’s heart.”

A lasting relationship often begins with the initial experience. And if the first impression resonates positively with customers, they are far more likely to engage with the same retailer over and over again. Making a good first impression on customers is paramount at Ratnalaya Jewellers,” says Saket Keshri, Ratnalaya Jewellers, Patna, adding, “It sets the tone for the entire customer experience and lays the foundation for a lasting relationship. We understand that the initial interaction with our brand can significantly influence a customer's perception of our professionalism, quality, and trustworthiness. Therefore, we prioritize creating a welcoming and memorable experience from the moment customers walk through our doors, or engage with us online. By delivering exceptional service, showcasing our expertise, and demonstrating genuine care and attentiveness, we strive to leave a positive and indelible impression on every customer.”

Underlining the importance of making a good first impression, Vivek Vavadia, K R Sons, Ahmedabad, says, “The first impression is the most important part in our business. The jewellery business runs mostly on referrals, and first impressions are very important as they create word-of-mouth publicity, which is the best way to attract customers.”

And here’s how they do so

Having established that creating a good first impression is paramount to the success of the retail jewellery business, the question that arises next is how to do so. Chopra has a lot to say on this. “Creating a good first impression is simple if you are doing your business ethically, and are naturally empathetic towards your customers. I have my own way of creating a good experience for my customers – a smile goes a long way. I talk to my customers about their lives, their preferences, what they have in mind.

“Just to make them comfortable, I ask them how they came to know about us. It is an ice-breaker, and gets them talking, and opens them up. Simple conversation starters such as ‘I like your outfit’, ‘I like your nails’, go a long way in making customers trust you and feel comfortable with you. All this adds up to making a good first impression.”

Nowadays, retailers also impart training to their staff to equip them with skills to make a good first impression. “Our sales executives are trained to engage with customers in a meaningful way, and establish a personal rapport with them. We always emphasize that winning the trust of a client is more important than making a sale. What is essential is that our sales team has extensive product knowledge, and is able to make customers comfortable. Sales will follow if we treat customers with respect and empathy,” Davanam says.

It is universally acknowledged that appearances matter in the retail business. Jewellery retailers also underscore the importance of this adage, adding that it is essential to be smartly turned out in order to instill confidence in customers. According to Seth, “The team in the showroom should dress appropriately and maintain a professional, and yet friendly, demeanour. In order to make a good first impression, the staff should have expertise in jewellery, and be knowledgeable about the various facets of the product. Knowledge gives confidence, and confidence instills trust in customers, and reassures them of your capabilities. Put together, all of this leads to a good first impression.”

Creating a seamless and personalized experience for customers from the moment they walk in is sure to create a good first impression. Says Keshri, “Our approach begins with a warm and welcoming greeting, followed by listening intently to customers in order to understand their preferences and needs. Our team members, equipped with extensive product knowledge and professionalism, offer personalized recommendations tailored to each customer's unique style and budget.

“We maintain transparent communication throughout the process, ensuring customers feel informed and empowered. Beyond the initial interaction, we provide follow-up and after-sales service, nurturing long-term relationships built on trust, satisfaction, and loyalty. Our commitment to building lasting relationships extends to special occasions, such as Ramzaan and Dhanteras, where we share goodies and sweet boxes with our customers as tokens of appreciation.”

Assuring customers of privacy and not being pushy also go a long way in making a good first impression. Explains Vavadia, “We respect the privacy of customers, and provide the very best shopping experience to them. Along with good designs and a comfortable shopping experience, we also make sure our quality check team connects with the customers and guides them about the jewellery care. We never force any product on our customers. If you want to make a lasting impression on your customers, then the focus should not be on how much you sell – it should be on how happy and satisfied the customer feels after buying something from you.”

Clearly, making a good first impression is the beginning of a long-lasting, positive relationship with customers, and jewellery retailers go out of their way to devise more and more meaningful ways to do so.

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