Delivery, Delivery, Delivery…


As at Design Associate for Room & Board, it’s easy to discuss our product with customers because we believe in the innovative and sound design and construction of our product. I couldn’t imagine being a representative for a product that you didn’t want to have for yourself. Talking through the particular elements of each piece by explaining where the materials are sourced and who manufactures it, makes the selling process easy for us. But once a customer decides to purchase a piece of furniture, the next step is explaining our amazing delivery process, which is exciting to talk about but also carries great responsibility.

In local delivery areas, our furniture delivery is only $89 flat rate for white glove service and only $129 for National. Design Associates and the drivers are a team who work together to make the customer experience the best possible and aid this process by adding notes to customers’ orders to let the drivers know if any obstacles or barriers exist that would impede access to buildings and homes or would present a challenge. We want to set up real expectations for customers and Delivery Associates alike, as no one likes bad surprises or wants to be disappointed. The conversation surrounding the delivery experience is important, however sometimes unexpected situations arise and it’s often up to Design Associates to resolve the situation if they can.

On occasion we have customers who expect more than what our delivery team is physically able to do. Here in Boston, as with other urban markets, we have more than our share of challenging deliveries. Our historic buildings with narrow passages and stairways, makes it virtually impossible to move large pieces into the home and although customers may think a piece will fit in their place, they fail to recognize that while a piece may fit in the home, it may not be able to be brought from the street, and into the apartment. Hence they need outside movers who use cranes and hoisting to get these pieces in and breakdown services that will literally break a new sofa in half, move it into the unit and reconstruct it.

I recently had a customer who, in our initial conversation talked about having to bring a large armoire up the back deck stairs of a triple decker building that are common in Boston and that it would need to be lifted over the railing. I informed the customer that only 2 guys will arrive for the delivery and while they can lift up over railings and bannisters, they aren’t able to use strapping or pulleys to hoist pieces into homes. But despite clarifying this, the customer expected our drivers to do just that… Hoist. Unfortunately, it turned out that the customer was disappointed that they couldn’t get their piece up the back stairs without using an outside service, so they ended up returning all the pieces.

The amazing thing about being a Design Associate for Room & Board is that we have the ability to make decisions with full backing of Room & Board. Not many other companies give that kind of support to their staff and as a result, it empowers us to make good decisions for the customer and the company.