When Customers Share Our Values

Recently we have noticed a trend at the Oak Brook store. Customers are returning their fabric samples when they have completed their selections. This is a great example of our customers sharing and supporting Room & Board’s long-held belief in sustainability.

It may not seem like a major event, but each customer who is returning their samples is contributing to a collective effort, which can have a large impact. Room & Board has always believed that small actions can lead to big changes. It is exciting and energizing to see our customers share our belief in sustainability and, even more importantly, to act upon it!

samples

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The Power of a DA and Email

Like many retailers, Room & Board keeps in touch with customers via email. As a Design Associate we are charged with asking customers if they would like to opt-in to get our email communication. We are very respectful of our customers. The first email we send to an opted-in customer contains a link to a profile/preference center which presents five topics that customers can choose from in terms of the type of emails we will send them. If a customer only wants to hear about clearance events and vendor promotions, that’s all we’ll send them.

Data shows that customers who opt-in through a Design Associate will purchase 29% more over their lifetime than customers who opt-in online by themselves. The value of every email opt-in through a Design Associate is $3,797. The impact we have as the ambassadors of our brand is incredible. By committing to facilitate the digital connection between our customers and Room & Board through email opt-in, we are able to significantly impact the health of our business today and into the future.

Showroom Standards

A big part of being a successful Design Associate is the ability and willingness to maintain Room & Board’s showroom standards. We want every customer to be able to experience our brand and showroom as we intend.

What this means is making sure that each inspirational room setting is looking very put together. Lamps need to be placed properly, pillows fluffed, price tags facing out in the correct position, chairs tucked in at dining tables, books straightened, etc, etc. On a busy day this can seem like a Sisyphean task!

Whenever I return to the showroom floor after a break or finishing up with a customer, I always take a quick spin around to tidy up. At the end of the day’s shift, we work as a team to re-set the showroom for the next day. All lamps are turned off and all room settings are fully recovered to begin the next day – and start the process all over again!

Stop on by…

Last week I had an opportunity to meet one of the new Design Associates recently hired to start in our Boston showroom, set to open this summer. C was visiting a college friend in San Francisco and had never been in a Room & Board showroom prior to his visit last week. He was blown away with how our showroom presents our furniture to our customers. I could see the excitement building in him for his new position.

I strongly recommend visiting a showroom near you if you are considering a job with Room & Board. The entire experience that we strive to wow our customers with is very evident and you will gain further insight into what Room & Board’s showroom standards are like.

I would also recommend visiting other furniture retailers’ locations as well so you can speak to the differences in presentation and information displayed. I recently stopped by the new DWR showroom in San Francisco’s design district and it really struck me that not a lot of information was accompanying their furniture. You can look at a Room & Board price tag for a sofa and find out its exterior and interior dimensions, seat and arm height, what’s in the cushioning, what the fabric is made of, where the sofa is made and of course, its cost! In addition to all that information, there’s a tag beneath that top tag that lets the customer know the pricing of the piece in another group fabric and whether or not it can be ordered in leather.

Search Engine Marketing

Twice in the past month, I have helped customers who had never been in our showroom previously, but were here to see something they had found with the help of google. Our Brand team at Central has done a great job to ensure that Room & Board products come up high in search results on google and other search engines. Both customers had googled “swivel chairs” and found our website, looked at our options, and decided to take a trip in to check Room & Board out. I really enjoy working with new customers. Our showroom is so vast and filled with beautiful room settings filled with American made furniture. It’s fun to see people be so impressed with what we offer and the level of customization and service. Both customers bought swivel chairs here on their first visit!

Marriage of Craft and Design

Last month, the San Francisco showroom, in conjunction with the American Craft Council (ACC) hosted an extremely successful customer event. We worked months planning this event. As a member of the San Francisco Brand Team, we are responsible for hosting several events throughout the year.

The ACC approached our Central Brand partners with the idea of the event to coincide with the big ACC show held at Ft. Mason in San Francisco annually. The idea was to have a preview party at our showroom, featuring the work of several ACC members also exhibiting at the show and invite Vern Yip, HGTV star to discuss how hand-crafted works can really enhance one’s living spaces.

The initial part of the event was exclusive to the press and ACC supporters. These folks were treated to an intimate conversation with Vern and Steve Volpe, a well-known San Francisco based Designer. These guests also enjoyed Balvenie scotch and catered treats.

The event then expanded to the entire showroom. Over 300 guests enjoyed a DJ, catering, beverages a slide show featuring Vern and his philosophy regarding using hand-crafted work in your home and meeting with ACC artists and experiencing their work. The ACC artists were a delight and their work really enhanced our room settings. All guests were also given passes to attend the ACC event the following weekend at Fort Mason.

Check out photos from the event at Room & Board’s Facebook page.

Design Associate Dashboard

Every month the Design Associate (DA) Dashboard is updated to show how your efforts and actions have played out. You may look at your efforts year-to date in the following key measures:

• Written Sales – You can see how much you sold and where you stand in regards to your individual sales plan.
• Entered By -The number of orders you have entered for your colleagues, i.e. quote conversions.
• Email Opt-In – The % of customers that you have opted-in to receive email communication from Room & Board.
• TUWYT Results – Room & Board sends an survey email to customers after they receive delivery called “Tell Us What You Think”. Here you can see the breakdown of how you’ve been rated by customers. You want to have more 9/10 results than 7/8 or 6 or below. You may also see occasional comments from customers regarding their shopping experience with you.
• Returns – This measure shows the % (dollars) of returns to your total written sales.
• Accomodations – This percentage measure shows your percentage of accomodations (anytime we give credit to customer, i.e. free delivery due to delayed product) of your total written sales.
• DA Notes – This is a self-driven measure where you may record your role in other’s sales, for example if you do a quote for our Business Interiors division and it becomes a sale, you can note it here.

Being able to keep tabs on your measures every month allows you to see areas of opportunity and your success.