When Nikolay Piriankov wanted to propose, he just coudn’t find the right ring. So he started his own company. He’s now rocketing his way to success by offering customers the opportunity to design their own engagement ring. We talked to Nikolay, CEO at Taylor & Hart, about how he’s making it his business to be different.
I started the company a few years ago when I was planning to propose and looking for the perfect ring. The options were either a traditional store, where I’d have no input into the design, or an online jewellers, where I struggled with trust – they didn’t offer the opportunity to talk to anyone, or even see the ring before I purchased it.
Many of my friends were struggling with a similar dilemma, and so Taylor & Hart was born. We combine an online experience with a showroom, so customers can start their design via our website and come into the showroom to talk to our consultants in person before they make their final purchase. They can even have it 3D printed first to get an idea of what it will look like.
As the CEO of a start-up, you have to be a jack of all trades. But as the company grows, my role is starting to narrow down as other members of the team take on more responsibility. Until recently, I was heavily involved in fundraising as we’re venture-capital funded, but the most recent round is closed now so I can start executing on our growth plans.
I’m now working closely with the sales team to help them achieve their targets, and have a bit more time on my hands for my own interests – which include food, wine, travel, and Manchester United! Although my role is fluid, the best bit about my job is always the stories – I love hearing about our customer’s proposals and weddings, and it’s heart warming to know we’re helping them make their special day even more memorable.
Buying an engagement ring is really emotive, so we want to let our customer know that we’re there to guide them, every step of the way. This means lots of one-to-one interactions. To ensure our consultants can spend time talking to customers when it counts, we’ve automated the more transactional parts of the process.
For example, logistics and product delivery updates are all managed via workflows in Salesforce. These automations free up our employees to talk to customers. Our creative director, in particular, always makes time to catch up with existing customers, as it’s their stories that keep us motivated and inspired. We’re always working on new ideas that give us back more time as we grow.
We’re working with an integration partner in weekly sprints. Whenever we have a new idea, our first stop is usually the Salesforce AppExchange, to see what’s already out there. Then we check in with the Salesforce community to see what other people have done and how they’ve made it work. I also like to check whether it’s on the list to become a new feature in the next Salesforce release. I love that I can vote on the new features I’d like to see next!
I’d recommend thinking about scalability and what you might need in the future from day one. Other company’s stories are always helpful to really understand what your use cases might be. Don’t just make decisions based on your current challenges, but imagine the future, and consider what the unknown unknowns might be for you!
Retaining that personal experience as the business grows can be a challenge, but is often vital to a company’s brand and reputation, particularly when they’re providing an emotive service. By automating transactional processes, organisations can free up their employees to focus on the personal side. You can find out more about how Taylor and Hart is achieving this with Salesforce here.