It is always fascinating to talk to retailers about their customers as with an unlimited interaction with clients on a daily basis, they encounter all types of demands, requests and even tricky assignments. On this note, I asked one simple question to eleven of India’s leading jewellery retailers and their answers will surely give you an insight to what lengths these jewellers go to in order to please the modern consumer. Written for the Indian Jeweller Magazine, this story was published in their June-July 2017 IIJS Special issue. Enjoy reading…
Retailers thrive on Putting Customers at the top to gain Brand loyalty
Today’s customer is very well traveled and well informed about jewellery making. Their keen interests in latest trends are fueled by various social media platforms. This knowledge gives them the power to make choices that are very exclusive making the retailer’s job extremely challenging. Preeta Agarwal asked one simple question to a few leading retailers of India who truly believe in crafting unique customer experiences.
This period is very exciting as well as nerve wracking for most jewellery retailers. Exciting because it gives them the freedom to experiment with both jewellery as well ways to touch base with the customers. But at the same time it also makes their work harder as they are expected to churn out one mind boggling idea after another. While earlier ideas would work for a large number of clients, today, jewellers are expected to customize not just jewellery but also experiences. Let’s see how India’s jewellers have fared on the scale of crafting experiences.
Share one event where you went out of your way to create a one- of-a-kind customer shopping experience that really wowed your customer. Did it in turn help you get a lifetime loyal follower for your brand?
Ishu Datwani- Founder, Anmol Jewellers
“A couple of months back, we had a visitor from Chennai who asked us to share images of some of our best bridal jewellery which he could share with his boss (who owns a large department store) in Chennai as his daughter was getting married. As per our company policy, we don’t share images of our designs with customers, but since the client seemed genuine, we followed our gut and made our store manager and merchandiser personally visit Chennai with some of our exclusive bridal jewellery instead of sharing images. The client liked the jewellery designs and selected a few pieces, but wanted to see more options in similar range and patterns before making the final purchase.
Our team came back from Chennai the same night and the next morning flew to Chennai with more jewellery options. After seeing all the options, the client bought a decent amount of jewellery, which included a heavy diamond bridal choker. The client was delighted with our approach and has promised to visit us in Mumbai soon for maybe a bigger, better order.”
Sunita Shekhawat- CEO and Designer, Sunita Shekhawat Jewellery
“I had recently designed bridal jewellery for Abu Dhabi’s minister of culture and knowledge development, His Excellency Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan’s daughter. I used the nest of Meenakari art and other aesthetics because it was a princess for whom I had to design. The jewellery was designed keeping in mind the kind of jewellery they were looking for.They wanted a neck piece that can be worn from both the sides. On one side, they wanted diamond polki and on the other, they wanted ruby and I made the same for them.
So keeping in mind the venue, family legacy, I designed the collection with every possible detail. It took me six months to make the complete bridal jewellery but finally the bride looked stunning!”
Biren Vaidya- MD and Creative Head, House of Rose
“The world is changing and so is the customer of Rose. What we have seen in the last couple of years is that the younger generation has a different sentiment when it comes to buying jewellery. 65% of the buying happens at the time of buying bridal jewellery and 35% for other occasions. This new customer base, unlike its predecessors is more inclined to investing into other categories and experiences such as travel, apparel, gourmet, art and automobiles. That is because of a higher exposure to these experiences as compared to the art of fine jewellery. In order to appeal to the millennial demographic, we curated a master class with a view to educate young women between the ages of 23-30 on buying jewellery and gemstones like Emeralds, Pearls, Tanzanites and Diamonds. This insightful exchange not only brought about trust and loyalty for our brand but also a deeper perspective of jewellery as a category in the minds of our young clientele.”
Vijay Golecha- Founder, Golecha Jewellers
“My experience is not about a direct customer requirement but how I created the space for a new concept in the mind of my audience. I used to admire royal kalgis and would be saddened by the fact that men only wear these on their wedding day these days. There was barely any jewellery available for men to wear on simpler occasions.This thought provoked an interesting idea and I squeezed the kalgi’s size and made them softer in looks and classier in style so that they can be worn as brooches and found that my creations were very elegant. With initial appreciations I kept developing these with lots of colour and design variations. These kalgi brooches received a lot of attention from my clients and most of these sold out much sooner than I had anticipated. One of my customers even created an entire theme of their wedding on my kalgi designs. I was a happy recipient of their first wedding card, making this whole experience unforgettable. At the end of the day, it is all about how uniquely you can reach out your customers.”
Suresh Subramaniyam- Marketing Head, Ganjam
“Most of our events are designed to enable our customers and guests to be a part of a unique brand experience.The ambience and aura we create around the event, in conformity with the launch of a particular theamed collection, or to reflect the idea behind our supporting a particular event, are part of Ganjam’s desire to help the customer enjoy the beauty of our jewellery in a subtle and not in-your-face manner. Examples include our being a part of the glittering Ganjam Jaipur Cup, a polo tournament held annually at the fabled Guards Polo Club at Ascot, patronized by royals, in Berkshire, England.
Ganjam also patronises classical music every year through its ‘Flights of Fantasy’ series in Bangalore, where some of the nest Carnatic and Hindustani musicians have performed over the years. In terms of actual shopping experience, Ganjam has extended itself by designing one of the nest luxury showrooms at the high end Vittal Mallya Road in Bangalore. Drawing upon the unique theme of Hampi and its temple architecture as its primary inspiration, Ganjam’s new flagship store is a truly unique and memorable shopping experience.”
Manju Kothari- Creative Director, Entice
“Ms. Fathima, who resides very close to our Bangalore boutique, always had a desire to gather the Entice experience but she could not do so under the influence of her husband’s loyalty towards the neighbouring brand. Fortunately, she got an opportunity to chance upon Entice during her visit to ‘Jewels of India’ exhibition held in Bangalore. There she liked few of our pieces and asked us to visit her home with some more options explicitly catering to her choice. Our team diligently worked on her requirement, offered tailored solution and was able to successfully serve to her definite need at her very doorstep, thereby securing her as Entice’s loyal client. Even today she appreciates our team’s effort to not only update her on latest collections and reach out to her on personal occasions but also to make each of her buying experience a treasured one.”
Sandeep Narang- Chief Designer and Managing Director, Hazoorilal Jewellers by Sandeep Narang
“A very esteemed client of ours ordered for a pair of customized diamond bangles 3 days prior to Karwa Chauth.The challenge was that it had to be delivered before the break of dawn as there is a ceremony associated with this festival that takes place during that time and the family wanted to gift the diamond bangles to the newly wedded bride.The pair of diamond bangles were 14 carats of round brilliant shape diamonds set in 18k white gold prong setting. The diamonds were sorted in a span of 3 hours to precision of the colour and clarity. The best craftsmen from the workshop were given the responsibility to create this in the next 48 hours. The work was all done with non-stop work day and night for the next 48 hours and the production team along with the quality control were on their toes. It was completed and delivered to the client at 4 am on the morning of Karwa Chauth. The client was elated and called first thing in the morning to express their joy.”
Siddharthaa Sawansukha- CEO, Sawansukha Jewellers Pvt. Ltd.
“A few months back, one of our loyal customers had an emergency requirement. Her daughter had selected
a bangle for herself, which unfortunately was not the right size. As she herself had not come to shop and had approved the design via whatsapp she was not aware of this problem. On the day of the delivery she realized the error – the dress she had planned for the family function was in sync with this bangle. The event was next day and she made a special request to us to help her out.We went the extra mile and customized the size for her last minute and delivered the bangle to her the very next day.”
Yash Agarwal- Creative Director, Birdhichand Ghanshyamdas Jewellers
“Last year, we got a sudden call from London and the lady sounded quite worried. She told us that her daughter is getting married in 20 days and the necklace that they have gotten designed for her was stolen. The jeweller who had made that design is refusing to make the same one within the short time span and if they do, they will be charging a lot more. We took up the challenge. Though a lot of our karigars were on leave due to the festive season, we still designed the piece for them. We even managed to deliver it on time, which was appreciated a lot by the customer and was happily worn by her daughter at her wedding.”
Sumeet Anand- Partner, Punjabi Saraf Jewellers
“The perceived value of luxury is changed with time. Till some time back, even valet parking was considered luxury but today, luxury has a new meaning and dimension. The customer’s expectations have increased tremendously and we consider it our duty to make them happy anyhow.We do not leave any stone unturned as we truly believe that whatever good you do come back as good to you. Over the years, we have made many last minute deliveries of jewellery pieces, even across states and countries. Recently, the daughter of a client was home in her vacations and had ordered a pair of bangles. Due to shortage of time, we had thought of delivering the pair of bangles at the railway station, just before she boarded but as the train had already left the station, we made our staff drive all the way to Ujjain, the next station, and deliver the bangles in her train coach, at her seat. Jewellery is a precious dream for every girl and we wanted to deliver this dream anyhow.”
Prerna Khurana- Director, Khurana Jewellery House
“Wedding is one of those moments that a woman remembers for the rest of her life. Our client from Chandigarh was to get married. While everything else was ready, just two days before the wedding she found out that the jewellery that she had been waiting for, to be worn on the day of ceremony, wouldn’t get delivered to her on time. Along with her parents, she travelled all the way to Amritsar and came to our store with her wedding lehenga in one hand, desperate to find jewellery that would save the day! But unfortunately, it was a Sunday and we were closed. She approached me on the phone and explained the situation. On her request, I opened the store for her on a Sunday, although, I was at a family function myself. She loved our collection and also went through our design catalogues and selected a beautiful polki set that would go perfectly well with her attire.
That particular set was in its last stages of finishing, however, we couldn’t let such a pretty bride down. As a team, we strived to get the polki set ready in two days with customisation for her function along with matching accessories and hence, made sure that nothing would get in the way of her beautiful wedding. She is now a loyal customer of ours ever since and has already started collecting fine Jewellery pieces from us for her daughter’s wedding.”
Tags: Anmol jewellers, Birdhichand Ghanshyamdas, Customer Experience, Customisation, Ganjam, Hazoorilal by Sandeep Narang, house of rose, indian jewellery, Industry Opinion, KGK Entice, Khurana Jewellery House, Punjabi Saraf Jewellers, Sawansukha Jewellers, Sunita Shekhawat, Vijay Golecha