We'll Be There for Your Mother's Day!

While my husband and I were dining, Dr T, who is a friend and father of one of my son’s friends, came over to visit with us. Both my son and T’s daughter had recently graduated from college and we were catching up on their current plans. He shared that his daughter was now going to graduate school for an MBA, which she intends to use to promote sustainability in business. Dr. T, an anesthesiologist, went on to say something to the effect: “I have told my children the same thing that I am sure you have told your children. Don’t just get a job, do something you love and that you feel will help others.” Being a healer himself, Dr T’s words held sincerity, yet he went on to say something like, “It isn’t like a job in furniture, we hope our kids change the world and make it a better place than when they entered it.”

I’m not sure he actually said the part of “It isn’t like a job/career in furniture” but I felt that sentiment and it haunted me. I thought to myself, is what I do insignificant? Is it “just a job in furniture”?  I let it go after several days as my daily rigor took over.

However, over the course of the next months, I experienced a “fail” in McKinley’s customer service. Although I do not feel that it was avoidable, we let our customer down. Let me share – a dealer ordered furniture that was custom-sized for his customer’s family room. Their customer chose McKinley for our high-quality value and boutique philosophy of hands-on attention to detail. Unfortunately, custom orders require more time than our regular four-week production time and this caused Problem Number One. The customer missed having furniture to host a family gathering. 

Unfortunately, the story gets worse. The customer selected drapery and carpet around her leather color selection. Once the furniture did arrive, within a very short time the finish on the leather failed. When a leather finish is defective it occurs just like this, quickly and irrevocably. McKinley doesn’t make the leather, we only buy our leathers from reputable suppliers; but on occasion the recipe just fails.  Ultimately, we had to pull all of her furniture back to the factory for testing to confirm the defect and re-upholster it. Complicating Factor – and the customer missed having furniture to host another family gathering.

It was determined that all of the leather we had in house had the same defective finish and there was no top coat sealant to correct the problem. After exploring all possibilities, we had to advise that we could not provide this customer her furniture in the leather she had selected, we could not provide this customer her furniture in the leather that she had decorated her entire room around. Our only option was to offer them other similar leathers as substitutes. The customer had lost faith in our company and did not feel that any of the other leathers worked into her room décor well enough. She ended up finding replacement furniture locally, for which she did not have to wait another four weeks for someone to build. We had to refund our customers’ money and their customer lost faith in McKinley. The Fail – and the customer missed having furniture to host yet another family gathering.

I was intimately involved throughout this entire process and regretted the outcome, quickly realizing the part that I hated the most was that I had caused this customer to miss hosting family gatherings. We have a large extended family that is very dear to me and we also host them to celebrate life events – holidays, birthdays, christenings, graduations, new job opportunities, deaths, reunions and simple family dinners. Dr T was wrong, my “just a job in furniture” is important too. We provide the foundation and seating for families - We enhance people’s lives on a daily basis! We take our role to make this world a better place for everyone quite seriously. Obviously, we make mistakes and don’t always come through for everyone, but sometimes it takes darkness to see the light. With this Fail, we have had at least 99 quiet Successes. I had not realized until now just how important our successes are to the families we serve. 

We are honored to be there during your joys and your sorrows, we are honored to be there as you mark the milestones of life, we are honored to be there for your Sunday dinners and daily life. We are honored to be a part of your family’s life and to provide the foundation for your family gatherings. We’ll be there for Mother’s Day!