Name: Taylor & Hart
Founded in: 2014
Tip: “When you’re hiring, add a layer that’s just on your core values.”
When bespoke engagement ring business Taylor & Hart opened up a showroom in London in 2014, long-running jewellery institutions like Tiffany & Co. and Ernest Jones were only streets away.
Since its rings are custom-made, it’s impossible to seal a sale on the spot and have customers walk out of the door with a ring. So the business had to win trust as a new brand and find a niche that would encourage customers to buy into a longer sales process.
Rather than try to imitate competitors, Taylor & Hart decided to focus on the experience customers have with the business.
The first step was to depart from typical jewellers’ tradition and create a culture of fairness and transparency. This gave customers a better understanding of Taylor & Hart’s supply chain and the costs involved.
The business created a set of values based around this customer experience and made sure everyone at the company embodied these beliefs. When it became clear that one senior member of the company lacked the same outlook on transparency, the firm made the difficult decision to let him go.
The next step was to shape the sales process. Customers could visit the Taylor & Hart showroom, which CEO Nikolay Piriankov called a “hygiene factor” when it came to building brand trust. There, a member of the team would listen to what the customer was looking for and discuss possible gems and styles, then follow up with an email to summarise.
The most impactful change was the decision to offer customers a free 3D design of what the ring would look like after each consultation. All their competitors would offer customers designs, but at a cost – if it wasn’t a guaranteed sale, the general industry consensus was that it shouldn’t be given away for free.
Taylor & Hart has a 75 per cent conversion rate for customers who attend showroom consultations. Despite the fact the business has been open about offering free 3D designs, it’s something the competition still doesn’t do. The firm has doubled its sales in the last two years and hired five new members of staff this month, taking its total staff numbers to 32.
“With the design, we just thought about our customers and asked ‘why isn’t anyone doing it?’ From our perspective, the economics add up and it’s a much better customer experience. We’ve continued investing in our customers in ways that no one else has, so we’re no longer looking at the competition at this point.”