Customer focus: beyond mere support and after-sales service

When we began thinking about a furnishings product to offer an established company in this specific industry, we immediately understood that the game would be played on two closely related fronts: the object in itself, valued for beauty and functionality, and the level of service that would accompany it.

 

With just a few guidelines to follow, concerning the use, the weight and the production cost of the product, combined with the fundamental support of a local designer, we were able to let our imagination and inventiveness run riot, sketching the initial ideas which would become the stupendous marble leg of a table with a glass table top. Compared with other partnerships where we were pure, albeit qualified, design consultants, in this case the leap in quality in our approach was demonstrated in the way in which we stepped into the shoes of the end buyer to assess the potential difficulties the same would have in using the object every day. We crossed the borders of the skills and responsibilities normally attributed to us, to provide our contact person (the furniture manufacturer) with a design and consultancy service focusing on the end consumer (our customer's target), solving at source all those issues which we would otherwise not have been able to detect. Without this particular attention, we would have been unable to complete the study and prototype conception of the object within the very tight deadlines of the supply world, and the project would probably have been abandoned. This customer focus and service represents our concept of total customer care, which goes well beyond the classic activities of after-sales service and support.

As regards the product in itself, the significant topics which immediately stood out, and which are closely linked, were of 3 types:

 

Palissandro is an Italian marble and it was picked from the many different types on the list not just because of its origin, which nevertheless brings with it added value that is acknowledged across the globe, but because it provided the best solution to the customer's specific technical and commercial requirements, as well as featuring a shade that was especially suited to this particular application. Indeed, it is sufficiently compact to avoid any dirt and grime penetrating the pores that are naturally found on its surface, yet it is not too hard that it would chip immediately at the smallest impact; moreover, the quarry where it is extracted produces a quality that varies very little over time, both in terms of colour and structure, which is extremely important considering the existence of a catalogue of products and reference photos for the end user. The production technique, which entails diamond-wire cutting small-size blocks, made it possible on the one hand to contain the total cost, minimising waste of a raw material that is not among the cheapest; on the other hand, it allows the storage of multiple pieces in a limited amount of space, owing to the particular shape that makes it possible to arrange them in rows, almost piled horizontally, in a practical and safe manner.

 

The particular shaping of the leg makes it appear more solid than it in actual fact is, also allowing a larger contact surface with the glass table top; this way, the weight per piece falls within the limits set, allowing safe and secure handling at the company, during transport and when arranging it at its final destination.

 

The commercial success that this table continues to have a few years on testifies to the quality of the material and the genius idea behind it, and it is concrete proof of how the customer can play a functional role in the company business.

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