So-fa, so impressive!
How do you overcome the negative myths around certain industries? Watch this to find out!
Hi and welcome to another episode of BaranovTV, designed to demystify the world of accounts and tax and to help your business grow.
In this episode I wanted to talk to you about a recent experience that we had where a supplier has been really thorough in thinking through their process of sales and the pipeline, etc. I just thought I’d pass onto you because I was really quite impressed and you may be quite impressed too, or quite surprised, when I tell you that that supplier was IKEA.
Now historically, flat pack furniture has had an awful reputation because there’s always problems:
- It’s really difficult to put together
- There’s bits missing
You know, the whole experience can be horrendous but ours was really good and I thought I’d just take the opportunity to talk you through it really.
So, IKEA themselves aren’t exactly aspirational in terms of a brand but their furniture is good; it’s good quality. We were looking for some new sofas for the front room and we wanted something that was comfortable, affordable and easy, really. And because we wanted ease, we also paid the extra for IKEA to deliver everything.
We had a three seater and a two seater, all of which sofas, all of which needed to be put together. So with all the cushions and all of that stuff we thought go for the easy option and get them to deliver.
When we ordered in store we went through the order process:
- We were given a delivery date, we were able to choose the date and choose the time.
- They checked that everything was going to be available. We then were able to book all that.
- I came away with an order sheet which was great.
I then got an email confirming that. They’d also taken a mobile number and I got a text confirming the date as well. So all different ways of confirming to me, they explored and I knew that they worked.
Then we came away, that was fine and in-store the people were friendly, they were knowledgeable, they knew about the availability, they checked everything out. They overwrote the additional fee for delivery because one item was coming in a different way so they knocked that extra delivery fee off which was great.
Then two days before delivery I had an email from them confirming it was all going to arrive as promised.
Then I had a text saying ’48 hours, it’s on its way – here we go’, then I had another text the day before and I had a text on that morning.
All the way along they were confirming, confirming, confirming.
So I knew exactly what was coming and when it was coming. I then had a text from them an hour or so before. I’d had an earlier text which within it I could click on it and track my delivery driver. I could see at the time he was delivering, before the time he was due to deliver to me, he was in Harpenden and I could watch him getting closer to me in Dunstable.
I knew his name because that was in the text and then about 15 minutes out I had a phone call from him to say ‘I’m about 15 minutes away, I’ll be with you shortly’.
Lo and behold, at the appointed time, Alex my delivery driver rang the doorbell and came in to check where we wanted the items delivered to. I showed him which room, everything came in. I was asked where I wanted it, so all piled up in the corner, and I went through and I checked off against my delivery.
Everything was there.
Alex was very friendly, he was very professional and cheery and smart and all those sorts of things and we had a bit of a chat with him about it all.
Then I got another text after he’d gone with a link to a survey asking me how everything had gone, whether I was happy and whether I’d got any suggestions at how they might be able to improve things.
Then it came to actually putting everything together!
It was a case of going through all of the, opening all the boxes, all the packaging, going through the instructions and actually constructing the sofas… and the instructions were really, really clear.
Now Chris and I, are used to following IKEA instructions. Over the years we’ve had various bits but they were really simple. Everything was there. There was nothing over so we didn’t feel like we’d done something wrong, and we were able to follow it through really easily.
Within about an hour we had a three seater sofa, a two seater sofa, all set up, all sorted. Happy days!
What I felt IKEA had really done is to have put themselves in their customers’ shoes.
- We wanted good quality, comfortable furniture,
- We wanted it to be affordable,
- We wanted it to be easy because we didn’t want to be faffing & stressing over it all and we’d paid the delivery, as I said before, to have that taken care of for us.
- We didn’t have to battle in the warehouse and with loading up a van and all of those sorts of things.
They ticked every box and it worked really, really well, which goes to show why they’re opening so many new stores all the time. They’re overcoming this myth that actually, flat pack furniture is horrendous, because it really worked well.
My question, in a very, very long winded way of asking it but is whether you’re putting yourself in your customer’s shoes at the moment and whether you’re designing your processes of delivery to suit them or to suit you?
There were things that IKEA could’ve done or could’ve not done that would’ve made things slightly different for us:
- I didn’t need all those texts
- I didn’t need the emails
…but they were nice to have.
I’m sure there’s some people who wouldn’t want them but I was reassured because I knew that everything was going to follow through and I felt comfortable and confident that everything was going to arrive.
So it might be a good thing to think about as we go ahead into the new year is thinking about your delivery process and whether that’s really working for your customers and maybe ask some of them whether that’s working for them.
I’m going to leave you with that thought. I’m quite comfortably sitting here on my sofa and I’ll see you all very soon.