River Mounts is a provider of diamond-set ring mounts in the UK and across Europe as well.

Tony Dodge, head of the supplier’s London trade counter, sat down with PJ to give an update on where the business is as we head towards the end of 2021.

Why does River Mounts put so much emphasis on customer service?
At River Mounts we believe that building trust, confidence and rapport between supplier and retailers is so important – not only during these turbulent times but at any time.

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What do customers say about your service?
We regularly get positive feedback about simple things, such as how pleasant our team are to deal with.

It sounds trivial but when the person you are dealing with is friendly, pleasant and capable, and they strive to go above and beyond what is expected of them, then you have a great basis for a happy relationship. Plus, of course, it is true that people buy from people.

Our customers are always pleasantly surprised at how often we say ‘yes’ to their requests, whether it is in answer to getting a particular job delivered even quicker than our already class-leading timeframe, or whether it’s a particularly difficult bespoke request – we’ve handled plenty of those!

Often it is a surprising ‘yes’ to the question ‘Do you have one in stock?’ With tens of thousands of items in stock in four locations, it doesn’t surprise us when we have the items required in stock, ready for next-day delivery.

How do you deal with it when the occasional delivery goes wrong?
Due to our advanced manufacturing facilities, superb quality control and our well-honed operations and processes, things very rarely go wrong.

But if there ever is a hiccup, this is where customer service is so important – we want our customers to be happy at all times, so we will do every single thing possible to ensure that the problem is resolved quickly, fairly and satisfactorily.

Customers who are perhaps used to experiencing a battle between themselves and the supplier are soon surprised with how helpful and amicable River Mounts’ customer service is.

Why did you recently open a new trade counter in London?
We needed a standalone, bigger premises to cope with demand and to continue to maintain and indeed improve our customer service levels to our many customers in Hatton Garden and across South England.

Where is it and how will it help improve customer service levels?
We have taken on the first, second and third floors of the iconic former Graff building in Greville Street.

The positioning couldn’t be better: central and easy to find, and importantly it is ours alone.

We have two floors of showroom area where we can show customers our huge range of stock items, any of which they can take away immediately.

We are planning a more private consultation area where customers can sit in comfort, browsing through product ranges that they might wish to purchase.

We trialled this system at our old trade counter and we even had customers flying in from afar to spend time picking out their next season’s ranges, whether it be eternity rings, matching set rings, our vast selection of earrings and pendants or our new award-winning designer pieces.

“We are constantly adding functionality to our website”

How else is River Mounts setting the industry standard for customer service?
We are constantly adding functionality to our website – not only can you browse tens of thousands of items online, with a couple of clicks you can easily get them sent to you. We call it ‘Reserve today – receive tomorrow’.

Your statements, invoices and appro notes are all available to see in one place, and you can do things such as adding your retail mark-up in, uploading your shop’s logo and make the website truly customer-facing.

River Mounts has a full-time team dedicated to bringing even more ease of use and user-friendly features to the website.

We  are constantly getting comments about how easy it is to use – this is shown by the fact that already over 15,000 reservations have been made online by our customers.

Are there any other ways in which retailers can benefit from River Mounts’ well-renowned customer service?
Yes, of course. At River Mounts we don’t just view customer service as the interaction that takes place when customers telephone us, or when our salespeople make a visit to one of their stores.

It is about so much more than that. I’ve already mentioned our ‘Reserve today – receive tomorrow’ function on the River Mounts website – this function enables more sales, quicker sales, better sales for all of our customers.

Our huge investment in stock enables us to lend out on appro virtually whatever the retailer needs to help them get that all-important sale.

We also, with selected customers, loan goods on a long-term appro basis, so our customers’ cash flow works so much better – they pay for the items only when they actually sell them. It really works with many of our top accounts.

Customers are always after something different. Can you help with that?
Absolutely! Our bespoke service has gone from strength to strength. In just a few days we can turn a picture sent via WhatsApp, for example, into a detailed CAD drawing.

From there we manufacture and set customers’ gemstones if required, a process that takes just a few weeks from start to finish.

Recently we have been working with leading retailers designing bespoke ranges for their stores – jewellery that is exclusive to them and will not be found in our catalogues or online.

It’s yet another way that we are making sure that customer service is king.

Finally, what would you say sets River Mounts apart when it comes to customer service?
We try harder. However happy customers are with us now, we are only as good as our next delivery or service contact.

We are always looking for ways to make things quicker, easier and better for our customers.

As long as we continue to strive to have the friendliest and most helpful team around, the quickest service and the best standards in the industry, we know our customers will continue to reap the benefits of our efforts.

After all, at River Mounts our motto is ‘Helping you sell’.