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Consumer Delivery - Part 8 - Cure For Squeeks

Furniture World Magazine


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"Oil" for delivery crew squeaks and squawks.

Nobody knows better than your crews, when something's wrong in your delivery operation. The sooner they let you know, the better your chances of saving sales, improving customer relations and cutting delivery costs.

Nothing eliminates squeaks and squawks as well as a little 3- in-1 "oil" specially formulated for delivery operations-a low-cost, three-part delivery information feedback program. An efficient program should include:

Crew check-in calls: Two or three calls a day will keep you current on delivery situations and allow fast schedule changes when necessary. A last-minute pickup, for instance- if a truck happens to be nearby- saves time, saves money and always impresses customers.

Immediate problem reports: Should a damage be discovered during delivery- and you're informed-you can get right on the phone with your customer to arrange a replacement - and perhaps suggest that she use the piece until the new one arrives. If a truck breaks down-and you're informed-you may be able to save the day by sending out another. The sooner you call customers and reschedule deliveries, the better.

An immediate report should be the rule when a customer insists the piece isn't what she ordered. Furniture can look different at home. The last thing you need is an unhappy customer and a bringback. Promptly alerted, a customer relations specialist can probably save the sale.

End-of-day debriefings: Your men should be encouraged to keep their antennae up. A few minutes of listening to their comments can enable you to catch operational flaws before they become major headaches. Debriefing session information can help you improve not only your delivery operation but your customer relations as well.

Like 3-in-1 brand oil for machinery and equipment, 3-in-1 "oil" for delivery operations; base-touching calls, prompt trouble reports and crew debriefings-eliminate squeaks. It also eliminates or at least reduces squawks from customers.

An efficient delivery information feedback system is easy to set up. And all it costs is a few phone calls and a few minutes at the end of the day. Give it a try.

Furniture World is the oldest, continuously published trade publication in the United States. It is published for the benefit of furniture retail executives. Print circulation of 20,000 is directed primarily to furniture retailers in the US and Canada.  In 1970, the magazine established and endowed the Bernice Bienenstock Furniture Library (www.furniturelibrary.com) in High Point, NC, now a public foundation containing more than 5,000 books on furniture and design dating from 1620. For more information contact editor@furninfo.com.