September 20, 1999
Mondera.com has been the talk of the industry since its inception in August. Why all the fuss? Not only did the e-commerce company, a brainchild of the Mouawad family, secure significant financial backing and hire industry big-wigs, it spent the money to build a technically flawless site geared toward customer service unprecedented in the on-line jewelry world.
Here's an example: If you're a consumer who has picked out a diamond but has a last-minute question, you don't have to call a toll-free number and wait on hold or send your message to a generic e-mail address and wait for an answer. Instead, you can log in to a chat room, where a customer service representative is immediately assigned to you and will discuss your question or problem. The service is available 9 a.m. to 1 a.m. for late-night shoppers. Once you place an order, you can track it or cancel it through the Web site.
Diamonds and jewelry are searchable by style and characteristics or price; a gift section suggests jewelry for chosen occasions. The diamond section includes a search engine for first-time diamond buyers, which allows consumers to click buttons below life-sized pictures of diamonds if they don't know what "carat weight" and "color" mean. Shoppers can also search best-sellers and get gift recommendations from "Terry" (though there's no indication who she actually is).
Finally, the Learning Center and an e-mail newsletter with jewelry buying tips keeps customers informed. The Learning Center includes articles on diamond mining, diamond facts, jewelry care tips and information on metals and colored gemstones.
- by Stacey King