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September 08, 2016
Last week I had a short time in which to accomplish what should have been a very simple product exchange at one of the big “mega” home improvement stores in town. I had tickets to a football game and before I had to leave for the game I wanted to run this one quick errand. I wouldn’t have even had to go back to this particular store to make the exchange except that the item I purchased previously did include all of the parts in the box.
It wasn’t the best time to make this exchange but my contractor was scheduled to arrive early the next morning and this item was needed to complete the product. So I fought through rush hour traffic and finally made it to the store. I went directly to the customer service desk where I thought I would show the associate where the parts were missing, return the item and receive a replacement. Once in front of the associate I was asked multiple unnecessary questions and then I had to stand and wait while somebody else was called up to assist as the customer service representative had not been trained on how to handle product exchanges. The whole task took much longer than I anticipated which left me somewhat annoyed.
I then proceeded to a drive through restaurant to pick up a quick bite to eat (please don’t judge). The line was long but it was dinnertime so I patiently waited. I ordered, paid and received my bag of food. Items were missing! I showed the associate my slip and the bag and apparently that caused confusion because the associate and her co-workers just stood their dumfounded. Eventually a manager came over and gave me the missing items. It was a frustrating experience but that seems to be the new normal in customer service.
I arrived home and pick up my family to attend the football game. This was our first time attending a football game at the NC State Wolfpack field so I assumed it was like all other events that we’ve attended at this location and we would be directed to general parking. Well that wasn’t the case. Although there were ample parking attendants on the parking lot, there was nobody outside of the lot to direct drivers so I ended up in an area in which you need a permit to park. I asked two separate traffic directors where general parking was and one person tried to help and the other was completely rude and said to just keep going. It was frustrating because we still weren’t sure where to go. Just as we were about to leave the lot a very nice parking attendant gave us advice on where we could go to park. Finally, some good service!
We opened our store almost 4 ½ years ago. Our original concept began when we were mattress shoppers and we experienced and witnessed very poor customer service in many of the local stores. We saw mattress stores using all kinds of gimmicks to attract customers and once an unsuspecting person enters they become a raw chicken in an alligator pond. If you don’t understand what I’m saying then go in any big chain mattress store right now and see for yourself.
Our model is different – we went into this business to provide a customer experience that is outstanding and to respect every person that comes into our store. The idea of offering organic and natural bedding came after and once we realized that we would not only be able to offer the most comfortable mattresses with no chemicals it was a win win situation for us and our customers. After 4 ½ years we are still holding to our original model. Overall the mattress industry has changed, manufacturers and retail stores have merged, corporate executives have moved from company to company and now one of the largest retailers in the U.S. (Mattress Firm/Sleepy’s) is owned by a South African company.
We don’t have hundreds of stores and we may not be able to offer the gimmicky promotions that the “big” stores offer but what we can offer is so much more. We promise to always:
1. Provide our customers with honest information and outstanding customer service. We will not pressure our customers to purchase anything they are not comfortable with and will not offer gimmicky incentives to purchase items that aren’t necessary. We will offer various sales and in-store or manufacturer promotions throughout the year and these will be clearly communicated on our website and in our store.
2. Carry the absolute best products in the industry. We spend a lot of time researching, reviewing and testing new products as they are introduced. Our decisions on what to carry depend heavily on quality of the product, quality and availability of materials, logistics and overall customer service of manufacturer’s personnel. We know our products are the best on the market and we are confident that if any “better” products are introduced to the market you will find them in our store.
3. Be professional. We make it our responsibility to answer all of your questions and to be as highly knowledgeable about our products and materials as we possibly can be. If for some reason we can’t immediately answer your question, we guarantee that we will get an answer as soon as we can so you have all of the information you need to make a great decision. Sleep is important!
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