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My commitment to Tiffany and Co.

tiffany_boxII_thumbI was in New York City for a business trip a week or so before my 10-year wedding anniversary. One afternoon, I stopped by the Tiffany & Co. flagship store on 5th Avenue to look at anniversary rings.

A thoughtful representative named Duncan showed me several rings as he explained some of the nuances of color, cut, clarity, and carat weight.

The rings looked magnificent beneath the showroom lights. I recall that of the half dozen or so rings that I looked at, there was one that I kept going back to. Duncan noticed it too. And, of course, it cost 25 percent more than the others.

After about 30 minutes together, I thanked him for his time and told him that I wouldn’t be buying the ring today. I mentioned that I had an appointment in two days with a representative at the Denver location of Tiffany & Co. He congratulated me on my 10-year anniversary and wished me luck in finding the perfect ring.

Two days later I arrived at the Denver location of Tiffany & Co. and met with a representative named Cynthia. Cynthia brought me into a private room to show me a set of anniversary rings that she had selected based on the criteria we discussed. As she revealed each successive ring, she would say something like, “Now, this ring combines the color you are hoping for with the mounting we talked about.”

After introducing several rings in this way, Cynthia produced the final ring saying, “Now, this is the ring that you were especially taken by when Duncan was showing you rings at the 5th Avenue store on Tuesday.”

I was absolutely floored! I said something like, “Huh? What? How did you…?”

Cynthia sensed my astonishment, smiled, and then explained that she had received a call from Duncan shortly after I’d left the 5th Avenue store and that together they had made arrangements for the ring to be shipped overnight from New York City to the Denver location of Tiffany & Co. in time for my appointment.

Duncan and Cynthia worked together to deliver customer service that was completely beyond the realm of customer expectation. I had no reason to expect that the ring I’d looked at in New York would be among the options made available to me in Denver.

Does this level of customer service influence sales? Guess which ring I bought?

I wrote to the president of Tiffany & Co. about his employees’ legendary service and committed to “never purchase a significant piece of jewelry from a jeweler other than Tiffany & Co.”

After customers make such a commitment, there is no coupon or incentive program out there that is strong enough to lure them—and their future spending—away.

How about you? What retailer or brand are you committed to and why?

Order Delight Your Customers: 7 Simple Ways to Raise Your Customer Service from Ordinary to Extraordinary by Steve Curtin or purchase from select retailers, including Barnes & Noble.
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