I've posted elsewhere at CDI about my experiences with a local jeweler, a store that I've done business with for a couple of years now. In my opinion, this particular store is MUCH more interested in the business of little blue-haired ladies and their husbands, generally, people who have shopped there for YEARS, have plenty to spend, and don't seem to question ANYTHING. I've stood around for 10 minutes or more, just waiting to be acknowledged, when they are "busy" with other customers. Whether it is a jeweler or dress shop, if you are standing at the counter, and no one acknowledges you, that's just bad business.
Actually, I felt VERY unimportant when speaking on the phone to an online jewelry vendor once. I'd never purchased jewelry online before, was looking at some "significant" pieces, and I was trying to get an idea of how to judge what I was seeing online, as well as a sense of "who" I was dealing with. My questions were serious, but when I said I would not be making a purchase for many weeks, I was told that the vendor was very busy, and I should call back when I was ready. I understand the vendor's frustration, however, at the time, I felt pretty small and embarrassed.
Several people have mentioned Tiffany & Co.: I grew up near NYC and went many times with my mother to Tiffany's. We were ALWAYS made to feel welcome. I've ventured to the T & Co store outside DC, and I'd say the service there was as good as it gets. For example, when the store was crowded and busy, even though the saleswoman knew my FI and I were not going to purchase for several months, she showed us a dozen or more rings. Then, she ordered several rings for us to look at the following week. Also, she offered to let me try on some WAAYYYY-out-of-our-budget pieces... including the $400k+ internally flawless cushion-cut diamond ring -- WHAT a beauty! We had a great time, learned a lot about what I like, what my FI likes and what physically "works" on my hand; we felt comfortable, and, most importantly, made a relationship with a salesperson who knows our budget and our tastes. THAT was good business (and the result of good sales training).
And finally, to me, the WORST experiences have been at some (not all) mall jewelers who just assume I'm completely uneducated about diamonds, and in my opinion, treat me like a moron. As soon as I ask about ERs, the sales person pulls out a piece of paper describing the "4-Cs" and he/she launches on a rudimentary lecture about diamonds. I appreciate anyone's desire to educate, and I know I can always learn more, so I listen. But when the memorized lecture is all over, they can't answer my questions, and usually show me a junky ring anyway...so, what is the point?