The Bed Expert talks about customer expectations

Vic Smith, owner of independent beds retailer Vic Smith Beds, talks about customer expectations.

Customer complaints wasting your time? No, they don’t – they let you see where you are going wrong!

Most complaints will be your fault. Yes, that’s right, your fault. This is because you may not have handled the sale properly, and as part of your pitch you do have to explain to customers that the brand-new product that they are buying may not be as you see in images online or on bad TV adverts.

You are buying a mattress not a plank of wood or board and it will have their shape and indentations of their bodies when they get up in the morning. This is not a bad thing and, no, the mattress is not knackered. We know it’s not an old second-hand one – it’s doing its job; it’s taking your shape and you can find your own analogy. Mine is you wouldn’t take six eggs home from the supermarket in an ordinary box – you take them home in an eggbox. The eggbox takes the shape of the eggs and gets them home safe and so your new mattress shapes to you.

In this case your mattress cradles you and supports you for 7 to 8 hours per night, all week long, all month and all year, for several years. If it hasn’t got your shape then of course it’s going to not support you. After all, you do want the mattress to have plenty of upholstery and a good spring unit that fits you. Again, customers’ expectations can be very different from the truth, and your job is to manage them. For example, explain that very often if you have carpet, there’s a gripper bar on the edge of the room, so beds tend to lean in to the middle of the room away from the wall. This can sometimes cause problems with drawers being stiff and not opening – all they need to do is to let the bed settle down or put tiny shims underneath the feet that you can find in any good hardware store.

Yes, we deliver the bed and set it up and even take your old one away, but we can’t level your floor. We also can’t paint the outside of your house, clean your windows and renew your gutters – we deliver beds. It’s what we do but if your floor is slightly out, don’t worry. But if it annoys you, get the shims and with a spirit level you can straighten and level the floor out and make everything run smoothly. We always run through with each and every customer we have, about ‘bedding in’ and settling in their new mattress.

We also attach guidance and care notes to our invoice, which we are happy for anyone to use (just email us for permission to use first please). Customers need to be educated on the dos and don’ts and before you say, well, it’s just overuse, just stop and think what customers look at and see on the TV adverts, encouraging kids to jump on beds! Even adults sometimes!

Trust me, it makes your life easier in the long run and your customer walks away feeling like they have just dealt with a bed expert. After all, if you buy a Ferrari and drive it into a brick wall, it’s not Ferrari’s fault. But they will sell you a new one whilst rubbing their hands!

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