To give you the real answers to some of your burning questions surrounding the custom order process, we interviewed three of our top custom order specialists across our network of WG&R Furniture and August Haven locations: Tracy Owens, WG&R Sales Associate for 7 years; Linda Parker, August Haven and WG&R Sales Associate for 5 years; and Patricia Houston, August Haven & WG&R Sales Associate for 5 years.
You’ve walked through the entire furniture store and haven’t found what you came in for. Now what?
If this sounds familiar, we have good news! An entire world of options awaits with our custom order program. So many of our vendors offer alternative options—from fabric and color to size and configuration—that it’s very likely we can get exactly what you’re looking for. And if you’ve ever thought special ordering a product is confusing, overwhelming, or pricey…read on. We’re debunking the myths surrounding custom orders with answers from the experts themselves.
Keep reading for the complete interview with our three custom order specialists, or use these quick links to get answers to your most pressing questions. Here’s to getting exactly what you want!
Tracy: Most customers think that custom ordering is really expensive. But with our amazing sales, sometimes it’s not much more than some of our stocked items.
Patricia: Many customers believe that it will cost considerably more than the furniture off our showroom floor.
Linda: The biggest misconception on special orders right now is that they are taking forever to come in. But overall, things are coming in much quicker than they had been over the past couple of years.
QUESTION: Which questions should people consider ahead of time that will help guide their sales associate in the right direction toward finding the perfect solution for them?
Tracy: It would be helpful to know if customers have an unusual or limited space or if they are trying to match to a piece they plan on keeping. Color is easy—it’s finding certain sizes that can be challenging.
Linda: Questions that will help the salesperson aren’t really necessary, as we ask a LOT of questions. It’s more about what they should bring with them to help us help them. The main ones are measurements of the space they are trying to fill, paint color, carpet remnant or even yarns pulled out at an inconspicuous spot, trim sample, blind or drapery colors, and other pieces they are working with (size and color or even bringing in the cushion).
Patricia: There are several questions to consider: how will the room be used, who will be using the room, what is your budget, what is your design style, and what is the timeframe in which you want the project completed? Also, who makes the decisions and what is the entire scope of the project? If you use Pinterest, it would be great to bring in some examples of what you are looking to achieve.
QUESTION: The thought of special ordering something can be intimidating for some people. How does the WG&R experience make it easy?
Tracy: I try to make it easier by showing similar items they can see. Lots of people have problems visualizing. If we can make that “click” they feel more comfortable.
Linda: We make custom ordering easier by using all the samples customers bring in to coordinate with fabrics, giving them a clear understanding that everything works together, along with encouraging them to take fabrics home to be sure everything works in their home lighting.
Within the August Haven showroom, we can also make a floor plan to show them how everything will fit and 3D pics to show how their space will look. We also stay in touch with our customers every month, if desired, to keep them in the loop with ETAs.
Tracy: I’ve always loved Jonathan Louis, but Rowe has so many beautiful fabrics and modern styles!
Linda: I get excited about all of them! But Jonathan Louis Choices program is coming in quickly right now for the most part (less than 4 months). The products we get in are really exciting to see! It’s great when customers text me pictures since we don’t usually get to see the final result.
Linda: I would like people to know that when they come in, especially when they are looking for a particular piece, that we really are here to help them not only navigate a very large store filled with SO many options. If they just tell us they are “just looking” they may not find what they are looking for and leave, which doesn’t help them or us.
If they just tell us what they are looking for and that they want to look around first, that gives us a little time to scour the floor for items that may work for them, which will give them a more satisfying experience even if we don’t find the exact thing they came in for. That allows the customer to at least know we tried our best to help them and they may come back for either a different choice or something else.
Tracy: Don’t be afraid! It’s easier than you think. We are really excited about custom ordering and helping the customer find a solution, which makes it a great experience for everyone.