Online reviews are especially important in the jewelry industry. Jewelers work on family heirlooms and pieces that hold a lot of sentimental value, like engagement rings. Because these items are priceless, consumers are very selective in who they will trust to purchase from or let repair their jewelry.
Christen Cawley, Marketing Director at Shannon Fine Jewelry, knew this all too well. Shannon’s has been in business for nearly four decades and had a strong base of loyal customers. Cawley felt like the business had exhausted its efforts at growing that base through traditional marketing and advertising, so she decided to focus on the store’s online reputation.
The problem was, despite all of the years of loyal, repeat customers, Shannon’s online review presence wasn’t as good as they would have liked. So Cawley set out to find a solution to improve it.
“Word of mouth is still the most important form of advertising,” said Cawley. “And good or bad, people look at online reviews the same way they would if someone they knew personally gave them a recommendation.”
In the past, the staff at Shannon Fine Jewelry didn’t take a proactive approach to collecting online reviews. They did have a sticker on the back of their point of sale system that encouraged customers to leave reviews on a couple of different platforms, but they didn’t see much success.
They had considered incentivizing customers to leave a review. They ultimately decided against that because they didn’t want to look like they were paying for reviews. What they really wanted was a simple tool that made collecting reviews easy, and they found that in Podium.
“Using Podium is just as easy as sending a text message,” related Cawley. “It was a real game-changer. I couldn’t believe it was so reasonably priced and the return on our investment has been far what I could have imagined or expected.”
Implementation and setup was straight-forward and smooth. With the help of Podium Customer Success, the team at Shannon Fine Jewelry was up and running and sending review invites in under two hours.
The staff at Shannon’s are all equipped with iPads with the Podium mobile app downloaded on it. They typically send invitations when they are checking the customer out, but that can change depending on what the customer is coming in for.
“We try to get them to do it while they are still in the store, but we’re not going to force the issue,” said Cawley. “We like that Podium makes it easy to send a reminder after a couple of days if they haven’t left a review.”
One of the biggest benefits they have seen since implementing Podium has been the increase in their star rating. Shannon’s online reputation wasn’t bad. They had a 4.6 overall star rating, but they have been able to increase that to 5 stars while collecting 327 new reviews.
And having that high rating has really helped them, especially with the higher end clientele they serve. Cawley believes their rating and reviews helps to build trust in the business before potential customers even step foot in one of their stores.
“Our sales have increased. Our traffic has increased, and our customers aren’t shy to tell us it’s because of our reviews,” concluded Cawley.