Simplicity Sofas is unlike any other furniture company you have ever heard of.
After 6 years in business I received a phone call from the editor-in-chief of Furniture Today, the furniture industry’s leading trade publication. National headquarters for the publication are located less than 10 miles from the Simplicity Sofas factory.
The editor’s first question: “Who the heck are you guys?”
The reason for the editor-in-chief’s phone call and question was that a press release had just come across his desk announcing that Simplicity Sofas had just been awarded a $20,000 Grand Prize in a nationwide competition for America's Most Innovative Small Business.
This was the first (but not the last) time that Simplicity Sofas came to the attention of the furniture industry. Since that first phone call Simplicity Sofas has appeared in several Furniture Today feature stories. The company has maintained a low profile by selling its unique custom furniture direct to consumers.
Simplicity Sofas has also popped up in other surprising places.
For example the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA) is a 1500+ member international organization comprised primarily of customer service professionals from large and multi-national corporations in consumer products, communications, insurance, electronics, transportation and other major industries.
Each year the CXPA presents Customer Service Innovation Awards to firms that excel in different areas of customer service. Simplicity Sofas was named an award finalist for its unusual approach to “extreme” customer service in an e-commerce environment.
So who the heck is Simplicity Sofas?
Simplicity Sofas is an American manufacturer that creates custom-built sofas, sleepers, sectionals and reclining furniture for small spaces and narrow entranceways. Its furniture fits into places that other furniture simply can't go.
As William Shatner quipped in a 2013 interview, "Simplicity Sofas boldly goes where no furniture has gone before."
Our furniture is hand-crafted one piece at a time -- the same way fine furniture has been built in North Carolina for over 100 years.
We are a company with a total commitment to "extreme” customer service.
We do whatever is necessary for our customers to be completely delighted with our furniture.
We actively attempt to amaze and exceed the expectations of our customers.
Our warranties are written for the protection of our customers. They do not contain "fine print" limiting our responsibility for taking care of any problems our customers may experience.
In the rare cases when we are unable to completely satisfy our customers they receive a full refund.
Simplicity Sofas owner Jeff Frank first recognized the advantages of "extreme customer service" many years ago while doing part-time volunteer work with Call for Action, an international, nonprofit network of consumer hotlines.
As a volunteer Mr. Frank dealt with hundreds and hundreds of upset consumers who felt unfairly treated by retailers or service organizations. After a while he started noticing some familiar patterns:
When retailers refuse to address the concerns of their customers the result is an extremely upset person who becomes determined to spread the word about their unfair treatment.
When retailers compromise with their customers and arrive at a mutually agreeable solution, those customers will forgive the store and return to purchase again.
Solutions that go "above and beyond" expectations result in customers who not only become enthusiastic and loyal repeat customers, but also spread the word of their amazing experience with family, friends and co-workers. This is what Simplicity Sofas tries to do with every single customer.
Simplicity Sofas has grown primarily through Word of Mouth recommendations and referrals. We are constantly seeking opportunities to go "above and beyond" for our customers.
"Extreme customer service" does not mean that our customers never experience problems. It does mean that when difficulties do occur, we will do whatever is needed to resolve the problem to your complete satisfaction.
Customer service and Word-of-Mouth referrals have been Simplicity Sofas' primary marketing tool since the company was founded in 2007. This is extremely rare for ecommerce companies and unheard of in the furniture industry.
Here are a few articles, written by Simplicity Sofas owner Jeff Frank, that explain how this works: