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Company's smart solution receives national recognition from retail industry


Smart Furniture provides better customer service through self-service

Chattanooga, Tenn., April 1, 2004 – Smart Furniture, an innovative web-based custom shelving and display company located in Chattanooga, is one of 45 companies recognized nationally for exemplary customer service in a book published by the National Retail Federation (NRF) and sponsored by American Express. The book Customer Service Excellence 2004: Exemplary Practices in Retail was released in mid-January. A research team from the University of Arizona’s Southwest Retail Center for Research and Excellence reviewed more than 200 submitted practices and 1,020 consumer comments to assemble this casebook of 45 service practices. The researchers found the concept of 'self-service as better service’ to be a one of the innovative practices that emerged from their study. Smart Furniture was acknowledged within the book's Cross-Channel Service category for their exceptional self-service oriented, customer-focused, web-based practice.

In addition to being profiled in the book, Smart Furniture CEO Stephen Culp was selected to present his company's customer service excellence case study at "Retail’s Big Show 2004," the 93rd annual NRF Convention and Expo held in New York City. Culp presented alongside mega retailers Dell and Saks Fifth Avenue. The panel was introduced by John Theiss, Vice President Sales & Marketing for American Express. "Smart Furniture did a terrific job presenting," says Theiss. "We appreciate having selected their company's practices as unique and different."

According to the book's principal investigator, James Tensor, "The rise of online retailing has brought this practice area (customer self-service) into high relief in the past several years, as leaders like Amazon.com take steps to improve access to order information and innovators like SmartFurniture.com and Finestationery.com add online configuration engines that permit product customization."

Kathy Mance, Vice President of the NRF Foundation, was delighted to have a smaller retail business perspective in the mix. "Smart Furniture has an interesting story, and I hope their inclusion in the book helps to spread awareness of their business and the inventive way they create customer satisfaction," says Mance. "I look forward to watching Smart Furniture's growth in the coming years."

Located in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Smart Furniture provides patented organizational, workspace and display solutions for customers in all 50 states and Canada via the web at SmartFurniture.com. Combining the most functional aspects of web technology and industrial design, Smart Furniture saves both company and customer three precious resources: time, space, and money. On the forefront of the accelerating migration to “smart” products, Smart Furniture sets a benchmark in design, mass-customization, and the customer service experience.