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A friend of mine is getting married. They’re a younger couple, living on the West Coast, very marketing savvy. They shared a story with me about their wedding rings, which I wanted to pass along.

Wedding and engagement rings are metaphors for many things: love, commitment, partnership, eternity. They symbolize your marriage. It’s without a doubt one of the most personal purchases you’ll ever make.

And also one of the most expensive.

Fine jewelers make a sizeable percent of their profits from weddings. That’s why, when a couple walks into a jewelry store, they’re often pounced on by commission-hungry salespeople.

But the couple just wants something personal.

This was the experience my friend had—until they wandered into a locally-owned, long-standing family business called Skalet Jewelers.

The first thing they noticed was the owner. He was there on the showroom floor, and he said hello to everyone as they came and left. He helped employees; he chatted with guests. Everyone seemed very comfortable, with the tone he set.

My friends did, too. They strolled the showroom, and nobody interrupted their browsing. When they found rings they liked, the owner immediately came to help.

He introduced himself, asked about their day, and listened.

And they didn’t just talk about rings. He asked my friends about their ceremony, their style, and their interests. By the time they’d picked out a ring, the conversation had become friendly, and the he was discussing Indie rock bands with the groom.

The next day, the owner called them personally to say a new ring had arrived in the store that they might prefer. Guess what? This ring cost less than the one they’d originally chosen. But it was exactly what they wanted.

Here’s the best part. A few weeks later, a package arrived for the groom. It contained an Indie rock CD with a note, thanking them for their business. The note said: “This is the album I was talking about. I think you’ll like it.”

Do you have a story about a time you showed this level of service? A customer service lesson of your own? Have you done anything recently that goes above and beyond expectations? How have you won business just by listening to people’s needs? I’d love to hear about it.

– Ken Hutcheson

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