Crain’s Business

Services Adjust to Customer Demand
“In boom times, shoppers on the Upper East Side think nothing of dropping $4,000 for a Judith Leiber evening bag but in downturns, forget about it. Store owners everywhere have had to customize their product mix in order to accommodate the publics’ spending; the same with entrepreneurs who can’t change their merchandise and must come up with creative ways to keep business going. In late 2001, the last time Christie Nightingale’s Wall Street clientele were feeling pressure, the owner of the Premier Match dating service ran a catchy ’recession special.’ The offer gave the customer a 10% discount off standard annual packages. ’It got people in the door and kept business going,’ states Nightingale. However, during this economic downturn, Nightingale does not foresee reintroducing this special any time soon. ‘At this point, my business is very well established and we have tapped into the European market by aligning with a UK matchmaking firm.’ It appears the business of love has yet to feel this recession’s pinch.”

Growth Tales – Personal touch brings in singles
“Premier Match offers the importance of pre-screening clients and offering a hands-on approach. They also stress the importance of interviewing potential members in their fully staffed offices. ‘It instills a high level of confidence that we are a serious business and not a fly-by night operation like some matchmaking services that only interview in hotels and restaurants,’ explains Principal, Christie Nightingale. ‘The Top Dating Don’ts are also featured: i.e. don’t pull out the Blackberry, answer the cell phone, be late, wear any old thing, talk about your ex, complain about everything, drink too much or smoke.’”