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Regaining consumer trust on the industry’s weakest links

In addition to improving pricing transparency, Ehud believed that the diamond industry should also tackle the other issues that have led to a decrease in trust in the sector as a whole.  

With trust being so important to the livelihood of the diamond industry, Ehud reminded us of the Power of Mazal

"Our industry is known for its ability to close multi-million diamond trades based on Mazal, a single word verbally agreed between parties, which is worth more than a thousand words in a contract. Mazal succeeded for so long largely thanks to the strong trust between companies in our industry.

Whilst we are therefore best placed to understand the importance of trust, we have somehow gradually placed ourselves in a more vulnerable position when it comes to consumer trust. Consumers need to trust the diamonds we sell them are natural, are correctly graded and carry long-lasting value. Trust is the goodwill of our industry, it is our lifeline."

Sometimes, just choosing the right staff can make a huge difference: "Just as in any other type of sale, gaining the trust of a customer is top priority. […] For anyone who has ever shopped for diamond jewelry, the difference between a professional salesperson and someone who 'just needs a job' is immediately obvious."

This is a path the industry has walked and overcome before. For example: "Buyers also needed to place their trust in the retailer. The average local diamond jeweler was often recommended by a relative who bought their diamonds from the same retailer. He was trusted to provide a good recommendation and a nice diamond at a fair price. Over the years, the role of the local neighborhood jeweler declined, and the modern grading system was developed in its wake to support trust and fair trading."

Yet, Ehud pointed to some outstanding areas of trust to improve. "The diamond industry has great potential. We need to turn that potential into reality. This requires a new vision for diamonds. A completely new approach has to be based on a fully transparent market to gain the trust and understanding of the marketplace. This means everything from disclosing everything about the characteristics of the diamond, through how it was priced, to continuous and always available information on its current value. Consumer education about every parameter of a diamond and how each component of the diamond pushes the price up or down must be created and offered smartly so all understand the premise and the promise."

In late December 2014, just as the year was about to end and members of the diamond industry left for their winter vacations, Ehud shared a few points to consider for the year ahead, "Transparency will also open us to new outlets for our product. We need the full trust of consumers to increase our businesses. The buyers' appetite for diamonds should never dwindle: nurturing and enhancing it is of the utmost importance if we want to maintain or even increase demand."

 

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