Customer orientation is a top priority in furniture stores. A drop of bitterness: Those who need advice are often put to the test of patience. This is shown by the current service study of the German Institute for Service Quality, which tested 14 furniture store chains on behalf of n-tv.
n-tv test winner-furniture store service-2017.png
Two furniture stores achieve the quality rating “very good”, six others are “good”. The full-service furniture stores do significantly better than the furniture discounters, particularly in terms of the breadth of their product range and branch environment. A further plus point: additional services such as children’s play areas and restaurants are often standard here. However, the furniture discounters examined in the test are still at a satisfactory service level.
Consulting competence as a big plus point
It is not only the diverse range of products that proves to be a trump card – the employees, who score points with their motivated appearance, friendliness and competence, also ensure a good result. With few exceptions, they answer customers’ questions correctly in tests. Weak points in consulting: The presentation of product alternatives and the question of the customer’s price expectations are too often neglected.
Waiting times as a nuisance
In significantly less than half of the cases, employees actively approach the customer to offer help. The waiting times until the start of the consultation are correspondingly long. On average, customers have to be patient for more than four and a half minutes, in individual cases even more than ten minutes. At the cash desks, on the other hand, things move relatively quickly: on average, customers wait 85 seconds to pay for their purchases. “Customers usually meet competent staff in the furniture stores. It is annoying that the good overall impression is diminished by often long waiting times. If you need advice, you should take the initiative yourself and approach the staff in a targeted manner,” says Markus Hamer, Managing Director of the German Institute for Service Quality.
The best companies
Höffner emerged as the test winner from the service study with the quality rating “very good”. The employees score with friendliness and helpfulness and have the highest consulting competence: They always answer the questions correctly and almost always completely. In addition, they take sufficient time, inquire precisely about the customer’s needs and tailor their recommendations accordingly. Höffner is also a leader in terms of the range of products. In addition, the branches convince among other things with their inviting atmosphere and cleanliness.
Porta (quality rating: “very good”) takes second place. The employees frequently approach the customers, offer their help and give competent advice. In doing so, the staff responds to the customers individually. Another advantage is the shortest waiting times until the consultation and at the cash desk. Porta scores point with its extremely diverse range of different product groups.
Third place is occupied by Möbel Kraft (quality rating: “good”). The branch environment is the best in the test: the furniture stores examined are very attractively designed and convince with clearly presented goods and helpful orientation tips. The friendly sales staff take sufficient time for consultation and present customers with several product alternatives. The extremely diverse range of products and various additional services are also convincing.
The best furniture discounter in the test is Roller with the quality rating “satisfactory”. The employees are motivated, helpful, take sufficient time for the customer and prove their professional competence. Among the discounters, Roller also has the best offer overall.