In an age where customer service is embraced by many smart companies, it astounds me that a store like this can stay in business. I bought a dining room set in mid-November for more than $2,000. My salesman told me it would be delivered within 28 days. “In time for Christmas?” I asked. “Definitely,” he replied.
Come mid-December, I inquire at the store about the status of my order. It’s scheduled to ship tomorrow, they say. Don’t worry, my salesman says, it’ll be here by Christmas. (I should point out we had 11 people coming for Christmas Eve dinner, because we were assured our new set would be here before Christmas)
I call the Friday before Christmas. Sorry, they say, it just shipped yesterday. When I went into the store to confront the manager, I was met with a series of shrugs and apologies. “There’s nothing we can do about it,” I was told. Sure there is, I said. Give me the floor model, then replace it with the one I ordered when it gets here. Oh no, they can’t do that. Why not? BECAUSE THEY’D LOSE SALES WITHOUT A FLOOR MODEL!! It’s OK for my guests to sit at a card table for Christmas dinner, but Ashley can’t possibly give up a floor model for a week, even if I did pay $2,000 for it.
That was when I lost it. I told the manager that he definitely COULD give me the floor model, but he WOULDN’T. Customer service obviously means nothing at this store. When I told him I planned to make it my mission to get everyone I know to boycott his store, he looked at me like a wounded puppy and said “Well, I hope you don’t but I guess I can’t stop you.” Yes, you could have stopped me by GIVING ME THE d**n FLOOR MODEL!! It’s not rocket science! An unhappy customer can cost you tens of thousands in lost sales!!
In contrast, I recently bought a custom-built sofa from Cassidy’s Upholstery (www.cassidysupholstery.com) in Lethbridge. The folks there spent hours making sure I was happy with my selection, that it suited my needs and that it was exactly what I wanted. They delivered it and helped me choose where best to place it in my room. And they guaranteed it for life. They invited me to a customer appreciation evening with wine, hors deuvres and lovely entertainment. And I know they are never more than a phone call away if I ever have any questions or concerns. Their slogan is “We care about your furniture – and you.”
Which one of these companies will get thousands of my furniture dollars over the course of my life? I think it’s pretty obvious, don’t you?