42 | The Jewelry Business Magazine Belle Etoile sends e-blasts to their retailers with updates on training tips and exciting news such as media and celebrity placements to help them use in their sales pitches in store. By Gloria Macaroni When consumers can buy any product at any time—from a multitude of competing retailers—it’s the in store buying experience that separates the leaders from the rest of the retail pack. It’s the consumer experience that matters, not the sale or the selection, but the total retail “experience”. A good customer experience provides great customer service and brings them back time and time again. Despite the increased focus on digital and mobile shopping channels, brick and mortar retail remains an important touchpoint for the modern consumer. According to the National Retailer Federation’s quarterly report, 74% of consumers say they typically visit the store to buy something specific rather than to browse. However, compared to older shoppers, younger generations are more likely to view the store as an opportunity to socialize and explore; 48% of Gen Zers and 35% of Millennials say they typically visit a store just to browse. Another positive statistic on brick and mortar sales is from NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay that states, “Not only is retail not dying, most retailers are adapting to changes in consumer preferences, behavior and technology — as they have throughout history.” Over the last decade, retail sales and jobs have continued to grow despite challenging economic conditions. And despite the press on store closings, data from IHL Group shows a net increase in store openings of over 4,000 in 2017. GOOD CUSTOMER SERVICE PAYS BIG DIVIDENDS Today more than ever, you need to capture the attention of your future customers and keep your current customers. Without consistent and excellent customer care, customer loyalty is unlikely, especially in this economy where buyers have so many places to shop. Now more than ever in business, you need to find ways to differentiate yourself. Creating a unique customer experience in your store can be your key to your future success. A few questions you should ask yourself are: • Does my store have a distinct personality? • Do I and my staff promote a positive, friendly and professional environment? •  Is my staff well trained and knowledgeable about the collections that we offer? •  How can I differentiate my store from on-line retailers and my brick and mortar competition? Here are some key customer service points to create a positive customer experience: GREET A CUSTOMER AS YOU WOULD A GUEST •  Greet shoppers like they are coming to your home, in a friendly and positive manner. •  Say good morning, good afternoon or good evening within 15 seconds of a shopper entering your store. •  Let customers browse a bit, then return to make a positive statement about something they are looking at. Belle Etoile Silver Bangle MSRP $450 Belleetiolejewelry.com THE ULTIMATE TO DO LIST TO BRING CUSTOMERS TO YOUR STORE