August 10, 2015
Use our tips for jewelry professionals on how to explain repair services and increase repair sales. Research shows that a large percentage of jewelry customers actively seek out a new jewelry store because they are in need of some type of jewelry repair service. Additionally, customer loyalty and overall satisfaction is based in part on a store’s ability to offer a complete range of services including jewelry repair. 

In order to increase the number and profitability of the repair sales jewelry professionals make, they should be trained on how to explain repair services.
 

The Right Attitude for Jewelry Repairs

A good starting point is to look at your own personal attitude toward selling jewelry repair services, as compared to selling the merchandise in your cases. There is no jewelry repair sale in the world that can rival the excitement and thrill of selling a big diamond. However, selling repairs is an important part of your job, because it is one of the most valuable services you can offer your customers. Making a jewelry repair customer happy will most likely lead to many future merchandise sales. 

Understand the Motivation for the Repair 

The most important rule to remember when selling jewelry repair services is to never underestimate the value customers place on their broken jewelry. In his book, The Lazy Man’s Way to Riches, Joe Karbo identified the four basic motivators that cause people to make a purchase. He called them the 4R’s: Reward, Romance, Reincarnation and Recognition. 

These 4R’s have everything to do with your customers’ perceived value of an item and how much they are willing to spend to have it repaired. 

Reward: A self-purchase usually motivated by impulse. These jewelry pieces create the weakest and most short-term emotional bonds. Customers are less likely to pay for expensive repairs on these purchases.

Romance: A purchase based in love. Romance motivated jewelry sales are usually more expensive and well thought out. Romance purchases create a long-lasting emotional attachment, and customers will generally pay high prices to have these items repaired, because they are more motivated by value and quality.

Reincarnation: A jewelry purchase based in part on the item’s long-lasting value and the premise that it will be become a family heirloom with great sentimental value attached. The customer will often pay the highest of prices to have the item repaired or restored. Never underestimate the extent people will go to have these items — their legacy — live again.

Recognition: Jewelry purchases that say, “I have arrived.” For a man it might be a Rolex watch, for a woman an expensive diamond pendant. Status is an important component of ownership. People with the money to purchase such items can and will pay for expensive repairs when supplied with thorough explanations of the repair estimate. Trust is also an important issue. These customers look for jewelry stores with high levels of expertise and industry certifications like those offered by Jewelers of America.

Establish Trust for Jewelry Repair Services

In the vast majority of jewelry repair situations, price will not be the determining factor for your customers. People want a good value, but more importantly, and in most situations, they want quality. They also want to be able to trust you and your store to take the utmost care of their jewelry. 

You will lose customer trust if you over-sell unnecessary repair work or do not spend time to uncover repair work that needs to be done. Whatever the situation, once you’ve lost a customer’s trust, you’ve lost the customer forever. 

Establishing trust is made easier if your jewelry store has long standing in your community or is a member of a professional trade association, like Jewelers of America. If your jewelry store is a member of Jewelers of America, you can remind customers of your company’s high standards of ethics by displaying the Jewelers of America Code of Professional Practices that your store commits to each year.

Jewelry professionals can also establish trust with jewelry customers through professional certification that reflects your knowledge, skill and commitment to professionalism. Jewelers of America offers Professional Certification for bench jewelers, jewelry sales associates and management professionals. And of course, customers will look for jewelers who have gemology degrees from accredited institutions like GIA or AGS.

Evaluate the Jewelry Repair Needs 

When selling jewelry repairs, take the time to get to know your customer and the history of the piece they need repaired. Don’t just write up a tidy job card, give a customer a due date, and quickly say “goodbye,” when a he or she brings in the repair. 

While your customer is in the store, give the piece a quick cleaning to give you time to get to know your customer and the piece’s history. This information will provide you with valuable insights into how to sell jewelry repair services that best meets their needs and motivations. 

This is the time to take time to explain the jewelry repair process to the customer. Clear explanation and communication is vital to creating satisfied jewelry repair customers. A great countertop tool to aid the jewelry repair explanation is the Jewelers of America Guide to Professional Fine Jewelry Craftsmanship – with detailed drawings of common jewelry repair services, so customers understand what work you’ll perform on their broken jewelry.

Demonstrating your knowledge and commitment to customer satisfaction by taking just a little extra time with a repair sale will reap tremendous rewards. To maximize your jewelry repair profits and close more repair sales, you must make the customer feel that their jewelry is important and that your store will give it the attention and care it deserves. 

Once the piece is clean, take the time to carefully inspect it looking for any and all repair work that needs to be done. Your customer will be more likely to agree to the added costs of more comprehensive work if you take the time to put her needs and the needs of the piece first. 

Protect Your Liability

Even if you do everything right during the jewelry repair sales process, jewelry repair services leave jewelry stores exposed to customer complaints or dissatisfaction. To protect your jewelry store when undertaking repair projects, make sure the repair forms or jewelry repair take-in envelopes include a disclaimer that clearly states what the customer can expect upon return and for what the store will not be held accountable. Jewelers of America Members can order custom take-in envelopes that feature a pre-written JA-approved disclaimer that help prevent miscommunication between jewelers and their customers.

Keep Jewelry Repair Tools Current

Success for today’s jewelry store is much more about service than merchandise. If you want to compete and win against other jewelry stores for high-end repair sales you must have the right tools: access to an accomplished (and Certified) bench jeweler, a strategically developed jewelry repair pricing structure, knowledge of how repairs are made and the ability to sell repair work to your customers. 

It’s the job of the jewelry sales professional to continually develop the last two of these tools: jewelry repair knowledge and the ability to sell jewelry repairs effectively. Customers turn to you for advice and guidance, particularly when it comes to repairing their jewelry. Your personal commitment to their satisfaction will undoubtedly lead you and your store to higher levels of growth, performance and profitability. 

Tom Weishaar, a Jewelers of America Certified Master Bench Jeweler, provided tremendous contributions to this article. 

Follow Us: Facebook Twitter Pinterest Instagram Linkedin