I moved apartments in late October. I now have a second bedroom, a real luxury for me in Palo Alto, CA. I was overjoyed to have a bedroom instead of a living room for visitors.
Such luxury begets more luxury. I purchased a fine sofa bed with an amazing memory foam mattress from Crate and Barrel. It is stylish and comfortable. I also purchased a wine rack that was exquisite (that's the way one must speak of such things as wine racks, escargot and quail).
Sadly the beauty at Crate and Barrel ended in the showroom. Once I'd ordered both items I was tossed over to the delivery/shipping department. This department hasn't been afforded the style or hospitality of the showroom and it's staff.
The showroom is on the top while the order pickup for my exquisite wine rack on the bottom.
We stepped inside to mention what we were there to pick up and were soon asked to step outside into the cold. To quote the Full House twins "How rude!".
The sofa delivery was just as awful. The rushed and rude delivery driver replaced the sweet salesman with the call me anytime attitude. The sofa was too big for our bedroom door so we were left with a 'call the store, not my problem' delivery.
We did eventually get our exquisite wine rack and we did eventually get the sofa disassembled, through the 27 inch door and reassembled. And we were completely turned off to purchasing from said store ever again.
The issue isn't the store or the people or the sofa/wine rack industry. It's how obsessed businesses are with the SALE.
Getting the sale is so thrilling and difficult it's hard to think about much else. Who cares about delivery if you haven't made a sale. Who cares about tomorrow's sales when we're struggling to sell today.
I run a business called CodePen. Ask me many how many sales we've made and I can tell you. Ask me how many users were so frustrated they left and I'll have no idea.
After the sale comes hospitality. The problem comes to businesses who take money upfront and deliver the product after. The incentive to deliver a great service is greatly diminished. It's why you pay for your hotel when you check out and for your meal after you've had dessert. You're hoping to get the best service while you're there. Given the right incentive, businesses can produce great hospitality.
Selling your product gets you part of the way there. Once you make the sale you're out of the sales business and into the hospitality business. It's what you do after the sale that determines who you are as a business.