Best Customer Service Day

To make progress on the couch mission, I headed to the furniture store today. Since the usual places like Crate & Barrel weren't really appealing to me, I decided to try local furniture store Walter E. Smithe. They are probably most well known for their kooky television commercials, featuring the three grandsons that run the family-owned business. (The latest being a Sex & the City parody, but they've also done The Bachelor, and when we first moved here during a cicada year, their heads buzzed about on cicadas.) The experience was notably better than last weekend's visit to C&B, where the saleswoman didn't ask me if I needed help, but instead shadowed me, fixing the pillows on each couch after I'd sat on it, making me feel like my presence was more of an intrusion on the well-maintained showroom.

But at Walter E. Smithe, a pleasant older gentleman walked up to me (the third person in the store to say hello) and introduced himself... as Walter Smithe. Yikes, I wasn't expecting that. He asked if I'd been to the store before (no), what I was looking for (couch) and what might have made me come in (I mentioned those goofy, but endearing ads.) "Well, my sons say that if they come up with an idea in the morning, and they're still laughing about it by lunch, they just go shoot it in the afternoon."

So the good news is that I've narrowed it down and brought a few fabric samples home. Mr. Smithe checked in a couple times while I was in the store, even inviting me to lie down on the couch to see how it worked for naps. The salesguy spent a good twenty minutes listening to me describe our living room and finding the perfect taupe. It was crazy good customer service.

The spirit of the day continued when I stopped at the fish counter at the grocery store this afternoon. The woman paused while pulling out the shrimp, furrowed her brow, and told me it wasn't good enough. She offered to open up a packaged bag of frozen shrimp from the freezer, and just pull out the quantity I wanted. (I assume leaving an odd half bag at the store?) I was really impressed. I told her that I'd probably eat more shrimp the future, so I could just take the whole frozen bag. "I wasn't just trying to sell you more shrimp, are you sure?" she asked. I laughed and said it was ok.

Even our waitress at dinner was superbly enthusiastic and attentive. It was the best day of customer service...ever. And good news, we will be ordering a couch tomorrow! (Even if it's a similar price to C&B, I think they earned it.)


Jean Therapy said...

Yay for supporting local and small business and yay for great customer service :)

Claire said...

Yes, I didn't even get around to mentioning the feel-good vibe I took away knowing I was going local. My MBA-toting colleagues sometimes chide me for seeking out the local over the corporate, but I like seeing the little guys succeed. Especially when they treated me like a neighbor.

Andra Sue said...

It's posts like these that restore my faith in humanity. Good customer service is hard to come by! :)


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