About 20% of our business is direct to the interior design community, or "To the Trade" as we say. Here is a special guest post that discusses some of the challenges that the design community faces when ordering on behalf of customers. This is written with the designer perspective in mind.
Saving Your Order with White Glove Delivery Service
How many of you have had this experience? You've done all the legwork, spent hours with your client, and finally you agree on a large furniture order. A few weeks later, the item is ready to ship, and off it goes via the manufacturer's preferred carrier.
Three days later, the dreaded phone call. Your client is hysterical, the furniture has a chip/scratch/broken leg, but she has signed off on it, and you are stuck with the piece. Oh yes, and you must re-order all over again!
It can turn out to be a nightmare scenario, especially if the client loses patience and goodwill, which reflects back on you. Here at Carolina Rustica, we ship all over the country, and if something can possibly go wrong, we have probably experienced it before. As our business has evolved into more high-end home furnishings, we have slowly made the move from common carriers to white-glove delivery services. We have found that this service has saved more than a few orders, and as our partnerships develop, we find our trucking partners increasingly anticipate our needs before the furniture is ultimately delivered.
As a designer, chances are you will not need these services on a daily basis to the extent that we do. However, even occasional use of white glove carriers can save you headaches. Common carriers absolutely have their place in our industry, for inside, residential "white glove" service, its best to go with the specialists. Here is what they should do for you:
1. Pick up furniture from the manufacturer
2. Unbox and inspect furniture
3. Call your client (or you) to set up a reasonable delivery date (usually within two weeks, if it is a local delivery)
4. Inspect the furniture on the truck prior to delivery
5. Bring the furniture inside and set it up.
6. If needed, they should store the furniture for up to a month (this may be negotiable)
Wow, that looks like a lot of service, doesn't it? These should be par for the course, though, with an established white-glove delivery service.
There are many white-glove carriers to choose from, and it is your responsibility to ask all the relevant questions. Whomever you consider, they should be able to refer you to other designer customers or high-end retailer like Carolina Rustica. Remember that if you work with us, we take all of these delivery headaches away from you and assume responsiblity for safe delivery of your order from start to finish! Visit us a www.carolinarustica.com.