Strategic Support – the Importance of Merchandising, After sales Support and Quick Convenient Repairs
It’s a fiercely competitive world retail. Particularly fierce when it comes to home furnishings; commitment to real estate and stock is vast, margins are tight, costs increasing and customer demands ever evolving.
But while any retailer worth its salt is exploring ways to secure even the most marginal of competitive gains, not every retailer has had the vision or the foresight to forge a partnership with Servico.
With more than 150 stores nationally and a new sales focus on growing flat pack furniture sales, Dunelm have done exactly that – brought in Servico to tackle three key elements of their new strategy. Those three competitively advantageous elements?
2. After Sales Service
3. Furniture Repairs
Says Jeremy Mace, Senior Technical Manager in the Product Technology Department, “The primary reason that we brought Servico in was that we are growing our range of flatpack furniture having previously sold mainly pre-assembled. The market for flat pack is huge and we want to ensure that we do it right. It’s absolutely essential that when products are displayed in-store they look their absolute best.”
Trialed at a dozen of the larger Dunelm stores manager reaction to the service was as positive as it was unanimous.
“The store managers all agreed that Servico’s work was excellent,” says Jeremy, “The time savings and improved quality merchandising make the service a no brainer.
“We’re really pleased and are planning to roll the service out to all 150 stores, to make it part of our normal store operating procedure. All new flat pack ranges dealt with by Servico.”
After Sales Service
There’s little doubt about it, few people enjoy assembling flat pack furniture. Many lack the time, others feel unconfident, are worried about damaging their new purchase or get stressed about getting it wrong.
Stage two of the Dunelm /Servico partnership will see a “fully integrated option”, where all flat pack furniture sales are supported with an assembly option. A quick, convenient, low stress customer option.
Says Jeremy, “There’s no doubt about it the build quality is very high indeed – the service level, the professionalism the punctuality of the Servico team is consistently of a high standard.
“The difference with Servico is that they are really using technology to deliver a top service – all of their technicians are web based, the speed and the level of information shared is excellent and the level of reporting is superb.”
Another after sales service involves furniture repair, something else that Dunelm are trialling with Servico.
“It’s more convenient for customers for furniture to be inspected in their home and if possible repairs carried out there,” says Jeremy, “Especially bulky furniture, that demands time, trouble and expense to collect, deliver and ship.”
A classic win/win.
More cost effective for Dunelm and more convenient for the customer.
“I’ve been really impressed,” concludes Jeremy, “Not only are the technology and the culture really strong think they’re really going for it as a specialist. Highly professional and consistent in the ways they train their technicians and the level of pride in the team. They’re incredibly responsive too, – I can call Dale or Darren and if they can help they will.”
A set of clear and significant competitive advantages only time will reveal the extent of the bottom line boost delivered through Servico’s work.
“I’m really looking forward to measuring the benefits over time,” says Jeremy, concluding, “What’s important is that we set ourselves up for success in the flatpack market. That’s exactly what Servico is helping us achieve.”