Being successful in the marketplace is all about listening to and serving the customer, according to father-and-son-owned Brown's Furniture and Bedding on Wesmark Boulevard.
Stan and Jason Brown spoke Friday on how "helping customers from beginning to the end" of the product lifecycle has been their formula for success as the store celebrated its 20th anniversary this week.
Brown's opened in 2003 and expanded an additional 2,000 square feet on Wesmark a couple years later as business soared in the "housing boom" years. Then, the Great Recession hit in 2008 and the "bubble burst," but the business managed to stay busy with the help of repeat and loyal customers, Jason Brown said. He learned the business from the ground up, according to his father, Stan.
A key philosophy is all work is done in-house from sales to delivery to servicing the product.
"We try hard to help customers from beginning to the end," Stan Brown said. "A lot of people can sell you stuff, but when it comes to a problem or service, they disappear a lot of times or they tell you to call a 1-800 number, especially the big-box stores.
"Well, that's fine, but here customers can come back and talk to us. We service everything we sell. So, anybody who comes in and buys a recliner, adjustable bed, a sofa, they call us."
The repair could be a mechanism on a recliner or a motor on an adjustable bed.
Customers become "friends" in the process and that breeds trust and loyalty over time, he added.
Mattresses and bedding are at least 40% of the business, Jason Brown said, but product inventory also includes dining sets, sofas, recliners, chairs, end tables, coffee tables, lamps, mirrors and pictures among other items.
Brands are typically medium to upper-end product lines, they said.
Mattress brands include Sealy, Tempur Pedic and Stearns and Foster, which are all high quality.
The duo has about 80 years of combined experience in the furniture/bedding industry, and they said product knowledge is another key to success.
The biggest asset, though, is simply listening to the customer.
"If you will listen to a customer, they will tell you what they want," Stan Brown said, "but a lot of people won't listen. However, if you will take a few minutes to just sit back and they start telling you things, you can pretty much get an idea in your head based on your product knowledge."
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