Room & Board has been creating practical, timeless, and comfortable modern furnishings for more than 40 years. The company prides itself on sustainable practices, American craftsmanship, and exceptional customer service. They currently have 19 retail locations across the USA along with a call center, all staffed by Design Associates who are passionate about helping customers create homes (and businesses!) they love.
Room & Board offers a number of services including the ability for customers to meet with a designer in the showroom. In the past, a customer would submit a request for a Design Service appointment using a web form with the ability to include a date and time preference. Showroom staff would receive each request, check availability by location, and reach back out to close the loop with the customer, and confirm the appointment. The process was manual, limited in choice, and onerous for the showroom staff.
The retailer recognized that there was an opportunity to streamline this process, make it easier and more straightforward while facilitating the backend process of appointment scheduling. By providing customers with the ability to schedule dedicated time with the design experts, Room & Board anticipated an increase in overall design service bookings by making it more compelling.
They began the process of identifying potential software vendors by looking at how other retailers were offering appointment bookings, and evaluating the front end experience for the consumer. They pulled together an RFP and distributed it to four booking software vendors, culminating in three actual demos.
Following the demo, all stakeholders were in agreement that JRNI offered the optimal user experience, security, and ease of integration required. Importance was also placed on companies that build relationships, and JRNI excelled in that category while aligning with Room & Board’s culture and values.
Room & Board required a vendor to provide an appointment booking solution that would replace the previous manual process for booking Design Services. Requirements included ease of use for the customer to schedule a meeting with the Design Associate. Technically, they needed a solution that was secure, easy to use, and customizable to reflect the corporate brand regardless of platform.
The booking system launched in February 2020, just ahead of the pandemic. It is live in all 19 locations, and staff is trained in all showrooms and in the call center.
Among the KPIs tracked are total appointments booked, booking by location, and bookings by appointment type. They also use JRNI data to analyze sales and average transaction value from design appointment bookings. Customers that book appointments tend to spend more, and the experience fosters loyalty as they are more likely to return in the future.
“Our teams were immediately pleased with the ease of use. The most welcome feature was the automation, and how little work is needed to manage customer appointments,” said Liz Schultz, Retail Customer Experience Leader at Room & Board.
Because the system went live in February, it wasn’t long before showrooms were closed down for the pandemic. Design by appointment was a critical part of the reopening strategy, one that could not have been achieved with the manual service. With showrooms now reopened, there is an elevated desire by customers to schedule design appointment times, as well as work remotely/from home with their Design Associates.
Looking ahead, Room & Board is watching for enhancements from JRNI, and understanding how they might provide value to the business.