Deliveries Don’t Just Happen

Making the sale is often the simplest part of running a furniture retail store.

The customer has selected their product and money has changed hands, but what now? If it were as simple as putting that sofa on a truck, driving out to the customer’s home and walking it through the door, well there would be a lot more successful furniture retailers. But there are things that great retailers consider in that time between the customer leaving the store and the arrival of the delivery team.
1. The customer – Make sure your sales staff explains the delivery process so the customer’s expectations can be realistically set. A “take away” piece or brochure can be helpful in clarifying the process.
2. Gather the facts for your team – Ask the customer about their home. Do they have stairs, a steep driveway, narrow or corner hallways, pets? Knowing in advance can prepare your team for what to expect or what tools may be helpful during delivery.
3. Deluxe in advance – Before loading the merchandise onto the delivery truck, prep and deluxe at the warehouse. Don’t have your delivery team caught in the situation of doing a repair or adjustment in front of the customer.
4. Have the right people – Find ways to prepare your delivery team for the physical demands of the position. Train regularly on lifting and carrying techniques.
5. Don’t have missing or left over parts – In home assembly is inevitable. Check in advance of the delivery that all the parts are there.
6. The right tool for the job – Have a checklist of of tools and equipment that the delivery team may need. Make sure that each truck is stocked and equipped for every delivery. Don’t forget those furniture pads.
7. Keep in contact – People forget. You may have set the delivery date and time weeks in advance, so call the customer the day before as a reminder. Calling again an hour before delivery is a great habit to get into as well.
8. Lasting impressions – The first impression may be the most important, but the last impression could secure some repeat business. Make sure the delivery team in timely, well dressed and groomed and professional.
9. Keep a schedule, but don’t rush it – Create a delivery schedule with some flexibility built in. Surprises can and will pop up that can throw off the whole day. Some flex time in the schedule can assist your team in recovering from unexpected delays.
Jef Spencer
HFA Operations
HFA Products Store

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