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Jerome’s Furniture Expands Customer Experience Team

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Jerome’s Furniture announced that Leatha Molina and Kristine Hilliard have received promotions in the customer service department. Molina brings her 25 years with Jerome’s to the role of Director of Consumer Experience, a new position created to ensure customer satisfaction by overseeing the entire customer experience from sales to delivery. Hilliard will use her four years in Jerome’s customer service as the new Social Media Manager to be more engaged with customers’ needs through various social media channels.

“A traditional customer service department is reactive, but in today’s connected and fast-paced world it requires more,” said Lee Goodman, president and CEO of Jerome’s. “We are pushing deeper into our connections with customers to make sure we’re meeting their needs, and that they feel compelled to share their positive experience with others.”

Molina took the helm as Director of Consumer Relations last year, managing the company’s relationship with customers and other company departments. She is always looking for ways to improve communications, particularly with the use of new technologies and online platforms, which complements her decades of experience in traditional customer relations.  Under Molina’s direction, Jerome’s expanded its marketing communications through social media platforms with dedicated customer service staff who monitors and handles questions and concerns.

She currently spearheads communication improvement plans with three departments including delivery, customer pick-up and the call center.  With a department by department emphasis, she is able to pinpoint areas for improvement and create positive change.  In the last year, Jerome’s implemented a program to address interpersonal communication skills for delivery drivers. As part of this training, Molina meets with the drivers weekly to role play different situations that may occur during the course of their day. The company also implemented a structure where a personal phone call is made to the customer at the time of delivery to ensure complete satisfaction with the ordered product and service experience.  During the call, customers are able to share feedback and are advised that the delivery driver is not allowed to leave the home unless there is 100 percent satisfaction. If an issue or concern arises, the company is then able to handle it immediately.  This year, she plans to enhance that service measure with a new position to survey deliveries. The added measure will allow the company to track customers’ experiences with its employees and garner product feedback.

“The key to my new role is ensuring that the family roots and personal customer experience that Jerome’s was founded on is the standard that is upheld as we continue to grow and customers’ preferences evolve,” said Molina. “We receive a lot of positive feedback from our customers, and we’re working hard to keep enhancing their experiences with Jerome’s, such as the new website we’re getting ready to launch that will incorporate new customer interfacing tools.”

Molina cited a new program that brings the corporate office closer to the retail showroom experience, she stated, “We just recently implemented a program where we staff our call center clerks at the outlying retail offices to assist any customer that may come into the store with a service issue. This way the customer receives immediate resolution instead of having to wait and phone the call center.”  In addition, she implemented new training videos created for every type of situation an employee may encounter with tools and procedures to handle interactions with a positive outcome.  In this case, again, she provides the strategies needed for employees to handle any situation that may arise with both traditional and new communications in mind.

Molina’s team, now including Hilliard, has seen a consistent uptick in positive customer feedback and internal survey responses. In 2010, the company saw an increase in customers who said they would return to Jerome’s for future purchases by four percent - from 96 percent to 99 percent. The company conducts regular surveys to nearly 10,000 customers each year.

As Social Media Manager, Hilliard will be managing all online customer interactions through social media platforms like Yelp, Facebook and Twitter. “Customers have been counting on a quality experience with Jerome’s for 57 years and my job is to bring a consistent level of support to our online communications,” said Hillard.  “Our team is both proactive and responsive in the same way a customer would expect their experience to be when visiting a local showroom.”

ABOUT JEROME’S:  Founded in 1954, Jerome's Furniture is a family-owned and operated business headquartered in San Diego, Calif. with seven showrooms and six clearance centers located across Southern California and an e-commerce website providing avenues for consumers to enjoy online furniture viewing and buying.  Regarded fondly by generations of families, Jerome’s is known as the best furniture retailer for value (“Jerry’s Price”) and a wide selection of products. The company has earned numerous awards including Retailer of the Year by the Western Home Furnishings Association (WHFA) and Honoree of the San Diego National Bank Founders Award along with many other business recognitions as the “best” furniture store.  Jerome’s was honored to be ranked by Furniture Today as the second fastest growing furniture retailer in the U.S. for 2009-2010 among 100 nationally recognized brands. Customers know they can count on Jerome’s to make it easy to shop for furniture with service support including interior design, same day delivery and financing.  More information can be found by visiting www.jeromes.com, www.facebook.com/JeromesSanDiego, or twitter @JeromesSanDiego.


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