This guest post is by Richard Sexton, president and founder of Carolina Rustica, a multi-channel retailer of high end furniture. Visit Happy Customer for weekly guest posts from leading thinkers in ecommerce and customer service.
Our industry is littered with dead companies that have tried to exceed customer expectations at the lowest possible cost, at all times and in all situations. As a 17-year veteran of furniture retailing, I can tell you that there is no more difficult customer service challenge than the safe, cost-effective delivery process of getting a piece of furniture into a home.
Furniture is heavy, difficult to move, and easily damaged. Just one scratch on the table, or imperfection in the leather, and that piece is coming back to you at great expense.
Most online furniture retailers employ white glove delivery services that are supposed to “deluxe” a piece before that last mile. Sometimes this happens, but sometimes it doesn’t. And even if …