Member Spotlight

Jim Kryshak Jewelers

JimKryshakStoreNightime 11867 878 500 100 c

Lifetime Warranty is a Competitive Edge for Wisconsin Jeweler

ARTICLE BY: EILEEN MCCLELLAND SEPTEMBER 25, 2017
Attention-getting program draws customers to Jim Kryshak Jewelers.

JimKryshak staff 300x174

In a competitive diamond market, bridal specialists at Jim Kryshak Jewelers in Wausau, WI, have found a way to consistently differentiate themselves and clinch the sale by offering an attention-getting 'lifetime warranty', covering materials and workmanship, from a nationwide network of independent jewelers. The offer is so stunning that competitors tell customers that “it can’t be real.”

IDEA

This Benefit is Portable

Members of Preferred Jewelers International, a nationwide network of jewelers, can offer clients a lifetime warranty on jewelry, including diamonds up to 0.20 TCW, as long as the client brings it in every six months to be checked. It also covers prong re-tipping, resizing, tightening of stones, refinishing and polishing, and repairing or replacing loose earring backs.

Because the program is national, the customer’s warranty stays intact if they move; they can find another jeweler in the network. Some jewelry retail groups offer a warranty that may cost the client as much as $500. This one is free.

EXECUTION
JK

Integrate the Warranty Into the Sale

Jim Kryshak manager Tara Smith says the warranty is integral to the sales process and is an important part of the store’s sales training. “It’s an actual benefit, so we use it in the process and presentation rather than after the sale. It’s as integral to a piece of jewelry as a prong on a ring.”

Customers receive a phone call every six months as a reminder to have their rings checked. But often they keep track themselves and take the initiative to call Smith if they are running late on their warranty check.

Jim Kryshak Jewelers started implementing the warranty plan in 2012, but they grandfather in all past purchases if customers will pay to restore them to like-new condition first.

They advertise the warranty heavily on radio. Word of mouth has also been strong.

“People come in and say, `Tell me about this! How can you give this away?’ Other stores tell people, ‘There’s no way they can really do this.’”

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Customer Acquisition is Automatic

“Every time we’re up against another store, we say we’re going to do this and do it for free, for a lifetime,” Smith says. “Nobody else has anything like it. This is hundreds of thousands of dollars we are covering that normally customers would have to pay for.”

New customers automatically seek out the store without the typical cost of advertising associated with acquiring new customers.

In addition, nine customers who bought rings out of the area and later moved to the Wausau, WI, area sought out Jim Kryshak Jewelers to become their new jeweler because of their participation in the warranty plan.

In one example, a new customer, Karla, had moved to Wisconsin and was looking for a Preferred Jeweler in her area for replacement of a diamond that was missing from the shank.

While replacing the diamond, the jeweler noticed that one of the prongs on the center stone was bent, so he straightened and tightened her center stone as well. The ring was also polished and cleaned.

“Karla was thrilled when she saw her ring. She hugged me and thanked me for the service,” Smith says. She also ordered her wedding band and became a frequent shopper.

Jim Kryshak Jewelers website

Jim Kryshak Jewelers

Jim Kryshak Jewelers

JimKryshakStoreNightime 11867 878 500 100 c

Lifetime Warranty is a Competitive Edge for Wisconsin Jeweler

ARTICLE BY: EILEEN MCCLELLAND SEPTEMBER 25, 2017
Attention-getting program draws customers to Jim Kryshak Jewelers.

JimKryshak staff 300x174

In a competitive diamond market, bridal specialists at Jim Kryshak Jewelers in Wausau, WI, have found a way to consistently differentiate themselves and clinch the sale by offering an attention-getting 'lifetime warranty', covering materials and workmanship, from a nationwide network of independent jewelers. The offer is so stunning that competitors tell customers that “it can’t be real.”

IDEA

This Benefit is Portable

Members of Preferred Jewelers International, a nationwide network of jewelers, can offer clients a lifetime warranty on jewelry, including diamonds up to 0.20 TCW, as long as the client brings it in every six months to be checked. It also covers prong re-tipping, resizing, tightening of stones, refinishing and polishing, and repairing or replacing loose earring backs.

Because the program is national, the customer’s warranty stays intact if they move; they can find another jeweler in the network. Some jewelry retail groups offer a warranty that may cost the client as much as $500. This one is free.

EXECUTION
JK

Integrate the Warranty Into the Sale

Jim Kryshak manager Tara Smith says the warranty is integral to the sales process and is an important part of the store’s sales training. “It’s an actual benefit, so we use it in the process and presentation rather than after the sale. It’s as integral to a piece of jewelry as a prong on a ring.”

Customers receive a phone call every six months as a reminder to have their rings checked. But often they keep track themselves and take the initiative to call Smith if they are running late on their warranty check.

Jim Kryshak Jewelers started implementing the warranty plan in 2012, but they grandfather in all past purchases if customers will pay to restore them to like-new condition first.

They advertise the warranty heavily on radio. Word of mouth has also been strong.

“People come in and say, `Tell me about this! How can you give this away?’ Other stores tell people, ‘There’s no way they can really do this.’”

REWARDSJK2 400x289

Customer Acquisition is Automatic

“Every time we’re up against another store, we say we’re going to do this and do it for free, for a lifetime,” Smith says. “Nobody else has anything like it. This is hundreds of thousands of dollars we are covering that normally customers would have to pay for.”

New customers automatically seek out the store without the typical cost of advertising associated with acquiring new customers.

In addition, nine customers who bought rings out of the area and later moved to the Wausau, WI, area sought out Jim Kryshak Jewelers to become their new jeweler because of their participation in the warranty plan.

In one example, a new customer, Karla, had moved to Wisconsin and was looking for a Preferred Jeweler in her area for replacement of a diamond that was missing from the shank.

While replacing the diamond, the jeweler noticed that one of the prongs on the center stone was bent, so he straightened and tightened her center stone as well. The ring was also polished and cleaned.

“Karla was thrilled when she saw her ring. She hugged me and thanked me for the service,” Smith says. She also ordered her wedding band and became a frequent shopper.

Jim Kryshak Jewelers website

Skalitzky Jewelers, Sun Prairie, WI

Skalitzky Jewelers, Sun Prairie, WI

skalitzky

Welcome to Skalitzky Jewelers, a fine jewelry store that offers a full-service jewelry repair and custom design department with locations in Sun Prairie and Waunakee, WI. They have been in business since 1982 currently employing 6 full-time and 3 part-time employees. Bill Skalitzky remembers being a 15- year old boy when he came home from a night out with friends. His parents were having a dinner party and one of their guests was a Sun Prairie jeweler. He was a comical man who was cracking jokes and Bill tossed a few back at him. Later, the jeweler told Bill’s parents he wanted to hire him. Bill applied for the job and has been in the industry since. He started his schooling by becoming a certified watch maker and then proceeded to jewelry repair. And the rest is history.

Bill firmly believes that to do things successfully you need to have training, hard work, and sweat. Principles that have helped with the success, growth, and continuity of his business are a simple recipe: Honesty, integrity, community outreach and involvement, and staying humble. It is important to learn, “all that you have learned is a minuscule part of what you will continue to learn over your career.” Our industry is ever-changing, and we have to change with it.

One of the biggest challenges Skalitzky’s, or any jewelry store for that fact, faced was the recession. It was an interesting experience, a bit stressful, but a very good learning experience. Skalitzky’s was able to make the necessary changes and came out of the recession expanding their business to a new location. Custom design work has become a specialty at Skalitzky’s as well as custom designed and custom faceted gemstones.

On a personal note, when Bill and his wife, Jane, aren’t running the business, they enjoy spending time with their blended family of 5 children and 7 grandchildren. Bill also enjoys caring for and playing on his 5-acre golf course, aka his back yard. His course is called “Cabin on the Green”. The cabin is an 1846 oak log cabin that his Grandfather lived in as a boy. The building has been restored by his Father and now by Bill. Every spring, the cabin is opened up to all the 2nd-grade students in the Sun Prairie Area School District for their local history field trip. There are days when 200 students will pass through this tiny cabin to learn a little about their neighbors that settled the area of East Bristol (between Columbus and Sun Prairie).

Skalitzky Facebook Page

 

D.J. Bitzan Jewelers, Waite Park, MN

D.J. Bitzan Jewelers, Waite Park, MN

SPARKLESNOW

Dick Bitzan, CEO, CG, GG – owns and operates D. J. Bitzan Jewelers, Waite Park, MN. The store is a free-standing 4400 square foot business which has 18 full time employees with 2 part time employees. D. J. Bitzan's mission is to Celebrate Life's Moments, by creating client experiences through

exceptional service, unparalleled assortment, and real lasting value. Equally important is a commitment to family, employees, and the Central MN Community. Don Bitzan founded the company in 1966. Dick Bitzan, Don's son, joined the business in 1973, and today Dick and his daughter Erin, own and operate the business.

What principles have contributed to your success?

Dick feels the most important element is dealing with integrity -- with clients, with employees, and with vendors. He feels actively engaging and supporting in many aspects of their community, including financially supporting over 250 nonprofit organizations annually, have helped D J Bitzan become an important community asset. Also, a never-ending Improvement Campaign in their organization keeps D J Bitzan moving forward every day.

What are your best sellers and what type of merchandise do you look for in your store?

At D J Bitzan we try to offer products our clients will not see in other stores in Central MN. We look for unique pieces -- including many one-of-a-kind, often with interesting and unique gemstones. We also specialize in Fine Swiss watches, which many jewelers no longer do. And, of course, bridal continues to be our bread and butter.

What do you love most about your business?

I think most of us would agree the Best part of this business is the privilege to help our clients at many of the most joy-filled times in their lives. This never gets old. It is fun everyday- to share someone's love story, their achievements, their family's milestones. We make so many lifelong friendships through our professional lives! Working with my daughter Erin and our awesome staff makes every work day fun!

What have been the biggest challenges?

The biggest professional challenge for many in our industry came during the mortgage crisis in 2007-2008. Business was seriously affected, and the lack of available consumer credit made it hard to maintain our growth. We adjusted our offerings, adding different products and price points to encourage clients to continue to buy fine jewelry -- even when economic times were not great for so many of them. We examined every expense, and reduced total expenses by 11% without any layoffs. We were in the process of designing and building a new free-standing store during these challenging years...so getting sleep was sometimes difficult too. Community Affiliations:

Past and Present Leadership positions and Partnerships with dozens of organizations including:

United Way of Central MN, Central MN Habitat for Humanity, St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce, Boys and Girls Club, YMCA, CentraCare Health System, St. Cloud Hospital, St. Cloud State University, GREAT Theater, Paramount Arts, Central MN Community Foundation, Big Brothers/Big Sisters. Non-professional Passions and Hobbies:

Dick's interests include: above all Time with Family- also Travel, Saltwater Fishing, Boating, Exercising, Gardening, Live Theatre,and Wheel Pottery. A particular highlight for Dick was his Summit of Mount Kilimanjaro in 2011.

MJE Logo new
P. O. Box 1604
Madison WI 53701-1604
Phone: (608) 257-3541
Fax: (888) 779-8755
Email: mja@midwestjewelersassociation.com