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Elevating the Watch Battery Customer Experience

Dan Gendron thinks it’s time the humble service got its due

“Around half the people who come into jewelry stores are looking for some kind of jewelry service—a repair or a watch battery,” says veteran watch repairman Dan Gendron, a sixth-generation watch specialist (now retired) based in Colorado Springs, Colo. “And most jewelers treat watch battery transactions like they’re shucking oysters.”

Gendron, with his wife, Sheila, and son Jesse (who recently took over Dan’s business, Colorado Timeworks), is on a mission to educate jewelers and watch sellers on how to elevate the watch battery experience, for the customer and the jeweler. He’s even created a video on the subject: “Recharge Your Bottom Line With Watch Batteries.”

Dan notes that while most jewelry stores look clean and pristine at all times—the case polished, the diamonds sparkling—all that visual splendor abruptly ends when customers come in looking to get a new watch battery.

“You look at the store and the showcases are perfect, the tile is impeccable. You’re trying to sell something, so it’s all about visual marketing,” he says. “But when it comes to actually doing watch battery replacements, the visuals are horrible. The tools many people have are what used to be a steak knife that someone kind of ground up to be a watch knife, and maybe a bad, run-down screwdriver and a crappy watch-battery selection.”

Dan, who’s never met a watch he couldn’t fix, says in addition to not making the repairs area pretty—and neglecting to use the correct, up-to-date tools to get the job done—jewelers often undercharge for watch battery replacement.

He says, “I know a guy who says he’s been selling watch batteries for $6 for thirty years and said to me, ‘It’s working just fine!’ Do you know of anything else that is the same price it was 30 years ago? That doesn’t make any sense!”

For customer service ideas and tools to finesse your store’s watch battery buying experience, check out the Gendrons’ video on the subject here.