#49 - Batteries Not Included

Posted on Thursday, September 26th, 2019 at 6:13 am by LaLonde Jewelers

At our store we like to try to be a full-service operation, we kind of do this as a convenience to our clients. This would include repairs on jewelry items and replacing watch batteries. But what I have been gravitating towards is doing these things at our convenience and not your convenience. Sounds bad but let me explain.

First of all, there are customers and there are clients. Customers are folks that pop in occasionally need a battery or a minor repair, a client is the person who purchases high end well-made items from minor to great value, but the key word is well-made. They are the ones who respect our opinion.

The clients usually have fine timepieces that don’t require batteries and the jewelry they buy is well-made and usually doesn’t require regular maintenance. 90 percent of the time when I see them it is usually for a new purchase. 10 percent of the time they need some repairs or an adjustment. I am glad to take care of it for their convenience. They never remind me how much they come in and how much they spend.

A customer comes in and wants you to repair a worn-out bracelet that was initially poorly made and was given to them 42 years ago. When advised that they should start over with a new piece, they protest and don’t listen to our opinion. Then over time and the bracelet continues to fall apart. Then I hear that we don’t know how to fix things. They tell me how often they come in and what great amounts of money they spend.

You know, everything is relative.

Things wear out, engines wear out, roofs wear out, our bodies wear out, and yes, jewelry wears out.

So, most people I have found have a damaged piece of jewelry or a watch that needs a battery and they set it on their kitchen table for several weeks. They then realize that they are going on vacation on Friday and come in on Thursday and want them fixed and tell you they need it today.

If I say it can’t be done, then we are the bad guys.

I came up with an idea of asking first when the battery went bad and I always get about 2 weeks ago.

I rest my case, this is when we do things at our convenience and not yours.

Now don’t get me wrong, I really truly love every single person that comes through the door, but it is then that I put that person into the category of a client or customer.

Written by Dan LaLonde, G.G., G.I.A.
Lalonde Jewelers & Gemologists
The Gem Expert