We’ve been customers of Ikea for over 15 years – sometimes satisfied, sometimes not. I suppose that eventually we will replace most of our cheapish Ikea furniture with stuff thatÂ RossellaÂ won’t be embarrassed to inherit, but for the time being, given budget constraints, we still buy Ikea. The Ivar unfinished pine modular shelving has mostly migrated out to the garage (after I spent hours this summer cleaning, sanding, and staining shelves coated in a decade’s worth of Milanese grime – I thought we were going to use them in the house!). The Billy bookcases are still in use, though by now they’re so old that Ikea doesn’t even make them in this color (pine) anymore. At least all this old stuff is no longer in the fancier public spaces in the house; my office and theÂ taverna(basement den) have become the repositories of our less-presentable furniture.
Anyway, my point set out to be about customer service at Ikea. Which has markedly improved. A few years ago we got very angry about some customer service failing, I forget now what it was. As we stood arguing at the counter, a non-Italian Ikea manager observed, and came over to set things right, going the extra mile to make us happy, and showing the staff that this was the correct approach. I supposed that Ikea HQ had detected customer unhappiness in Italy, or this particular store, and sent someone from Sweden to make improvements.
During our latest visit, we saw that they’d taken great strides in staff attitudes. All the floor staff were knowledgeable and enthusiastic, in spite of being swamped with customers. It appears that Ikea have finally found the secret to training Italians to provide good service; this is knowledge they could sell, if they chose.
They could start withÂ Telecom Italia, who continue to lose marks on both competence and politeness…