Tom Shane's World
When I meet people outside of the United States that are also in the jewelry industry, but not familiar with American jewelers, they always ask me what kind of stores I have. I think my ability to answer that question succinctly, and with the same answer for over 40 years, has really helped us achieve the position that we have. I tell them that we stand for two things, value and quality. Yet our concept of status is to allow those who care about making the best business decision feel good about buying from us.
When asked why we give a free lifetime warranty to the original purchaser, when no one else really does, my answer is equally clear. Anyone can talk about their quality…but we put our money where our mouth is. The reason we have rings and other jewelry that requires less service repairs than others is because it makes better business sense for us to engineer it right to begin with. After all, it is my money that will have to pay for shortcuts and deficiencies….not the customers’ money. So we can’t afford to give anything but the best quality…and that’s the truth.
Because jewelry is hard to truly compare, value is hard to compare. Two diamonds can be graded the same; but some independent labs are more liberal than others. Also, where the flaw is located, within the stone, makes a huge difference in its appearance. Yet two stones can be graded the same by the same lab, when one diamond’s flaw is very pronounced and a second diamond’s flaw is hardly bothersome, perhaps off on the side and deep within the stone. Because of these issues, (and the fact that no two diamonds are exactly alike), a consumer needs to be able to count on expert advice when making a purchase.
Having well trained diamond experts selling our product, who are not paid on commission anyhow, is the best way I know to provide a customer with the proper advice. Every customer’s wants and needs are unique. We train our people to listen to the customer, so they can first understand the wants and needs of that particular customer. Then, they can present product to meet those needs.
Operating a large diamond business is hard. It happens that I love doing it. But, as far as taking care of customers, that is not hard. We train our people to treat a customer as they would wish to be treated, were they in the market to buy jewelry and knew nothing much about it. And the rest is really common sense.