“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” – Bill Gates
People are different and unique. Customers come with all types of personalities, needs and expectations. They also come from all parts of the US and globe. Working with diverse people requires a special skill and not everyone has the ability to, well, talk to strangers and make them feel at ease. Design Associates have amazing abilities to help customers of all kinds create spaces wherever in the world they may be.
So how does one learn to talk to people? I suppose it could be a learned skill but then it wouldn’t come naturally. I believe that some people have the instinctive ability to converse. Most Design Associates have this ability which is how we’re able to engage with folks in a friendly, not intrusive way and obviously, the folks who interviewed us were very good at identifying this ability. When customers come into a Room & Board, they’re greeted with a smile and a friendly “Hello” and how each of us present that “Hello” is as unique as our DNA genetic make up and along with our non-commission based work environment, is what partly sets us apart from other furniture retailers. Our abilities allow us to create great experiences for our customer but what happens when that great experience is interrupted by some factor out of our control or worse, what if we make a grave error which results in a bad experience for our customer?
Design Associates, in addition to our amazing ability to connect with people, are also problem solvers. We are accountable to our customers and ourselves. Room & Board empowers us with independence and the trust to make decisions to make a bad experience, a good one. Sometimes things happen that requires us to search deep down in our trove of special skills to gracefully handle a bad situation with finesse, patience and sincerity. Whether from damaged product, miscommunication, incorrect information, unrealistic expectations or a delivery gone wrong, Design Associates make a wrong into a right experience. Customers are often stunned when we can actually help them solve a problem right away, without them having to become angry. The fact that Room & Board’s relationship with a customer doesn’t end after the sale is what keeps customers returning and what creates a loyal customer. I believe it’s called something that doesn’t really exist too much anymore in the retail environment: Customer Service.