Farrimond, Aug 20, 2017

California Dreaming

On a recent visit to the United States to attend an industry conference with one of Farrimond’s key trans-Tasman clients, Showcase Jewellers, I had the pleasure of experiencing customer service excellence. Not just good, polite, standard service, but the kind of encounter that, if I lived in the U.S., would make me a loyal customer.


The location was Robbins Brothers in Costa Mesa, California. Robbins Brothers positions itself as “The Engagement Ring Store” and operates out of 15 locations across the country.


Given the nature of their business and the degree of emotion associated with the category, Robbins Brothers goes to a lot of trouble to get to know their customers well. It was clear that they see the lifetime value of each individual customer in much broader terms than just one single transaction. Each member of their team works genuinely to build and enhance every customer relationship.


What stood out for me was the warmth of the welcome and the fact that the store associates didn’t attempt to sell ‘at’ their customers and never, ever tried to upweight any customer’s purchase. In Robbins Brothers view, “…your perfect price is your perfect price” and your journey towards the purchase of a diamond engagement ring is one that should be a pleasure, not a pressure.


This is backed up by the company’s hiring policy which favours store associates who genuinely care for their customers, over those who are simply focused on a quick sale.


As a business, Robbins Brothers is also an enthusiastic information gatherer. Their belief is that the more knowledge they have about an individual shopper, the better they can deliver on that customer’s immediate and future expectations.


This individualised approach also extends to matching the sales associate to the customer. If, for whatever reason, the sales team (and they do work as a very cohesive team) feels that an associate is failing to establish the right rapport, they’ll immediately ‘sub them out’ and seamlessly introduce a fresh salesperson to carry on the interaction.


As overbearing as some of these tactics might sound, the end effect is so flawlessly executed that you can’t help but be impressed. The primary focus is always doing whatever it takes to achieve 100% customer satisafaction. Who could argue with that?