Four years ago, Gemological Science International (GSI) built the most customer-focused, technologically advanced laboratory and website in the gem lab industry, according to its Executive Vice President Debbie Azar. “As our reputation among the trade and consumers has grown, that technology strategy paid off in significant traffic increase to GSI’s website in 2008.”
“We are still the only lab that offers a digital report with plotting that retailers can load onto their servers to share with their customers 24/7 – or on some websites can be accessed directly by consumers” said Ms. Azar. “We also have the unique ability to track the progress of our customers’ goods in the lab in real time.”
GSI believes that these one-of-a-kind customer-centric online tools helped to drive the dramatic increase in its website traffic over the past year. “That and the consumer’s thirst for information and verification,” said Ms. Azar. “They are asking us more questions about grading reports, the 4Cs, and our Virtual Vault™ security service. Today, especially with the Internet, everyone expects some kind of verification.”
Virtual Vault™ is one of GSI’ services geared toward consumers. Virtual Vault™ consumers can register their GSI grading report numbers for a one-time fee, and the data can be easily accessed online in the event their report or jewelry is lost or stolen.
“It’s all about giving our customers immediate access to the information when they need it and where they need it,” said Ms. Azar.
The lab plans to add more benefits for its customers in the first quarter of this year by increasing its online presence. GSI plans to launch series of “minisites” dedicated to specific GSI services.
Debbie Azar is an experienced executive with extensive knowledge of the jewelry and gem lab industries. Her entrepreneurial skills and clarity of vision have helped GSI achieve rapid and continuous growth worldwide.
She began her industry career by starting her own successful costume jewelry business. She then expanded her knowledge of the industry with sales, marketing and business development roles at several companies. In 2005, she joined Mark Gershburg to establish GSI. Ms. Azar is an active member of myriad industry organizations and charities; she currently serves as a Board Member of Jewelers for Children. She is also a Forbes Business Council member.
Her strengths include working directly with retail chains and stores to help build their business and brands. She is widely known in the industry for her commitment to meeting customer needs.