Cats and furniture aren’t typically a great mix. (Rihaij/Pixabay photo)

Cats and furniture aren’t typically a great mix. (Rihaij/Pixabay photo)

Column: Couch attack leads to paw-sitive customer experience in Shuswap

In Plain View by Lachlan Labere

“That’s why we can’t have anything nice!” I said to my wife as she giggled on the couch, watching as two small yet destructive paws reached up to the empty cushion beside her.

Prompting her laughter, and my semi-serious exclamation, was the effort being made by our uncoordinated cat to remove a thread pulled up from the upholstery. I’m not sure if he was responsible for that bit of damage, but he certainly has left his mark on this particular piece of furniture since we bought it close to a decade ago.

Recently, after some consideration, we decided to find a replacement. No, not of the cat. The couch.

While I know you can buy anything online, including furniture, I had no interest in pursuing this avenue for a purchase as daunting and, I guess, as personal as this. Choosing to shop local, we spent some time couch surfing, so to speak, looking at and sitting on options. I also spent some time perusing online reviews, not just of products of interest, but also regarding customer service. That turned out to be a bit of a rabbit hole. In my experience, be it at municipal council meetings or with online reviews, people who speak up the most are those with legitimate concerns (and/or an axe to grind).

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Having spent ample time bouncing from sofa to sofa in several Salmon Arm stores, I can’t say staff at any one of them let me down (despite how annoying I might have been). Furthermore, I would say each outing happened to be in line with most of my customer service experiences in town which have been largely positive. Sure, some have been more outstanding than others, though not necessarily because a particular business went above and beyond to help (which certainly does happen in Salmon Arm). It’s often the seemingly small details that leave a lasting impression – especially when they’re consistent. Like the little bowl of baby avocado rolls that would show up for my hungry son when he was a toddler whenever we’d visit a particular restaurant. Small thing, lasting impression. (Thank you Toshi Sato).

After much deliberation, a couch purchase was made locally. It fit the bill for what we wanted, and the customer service was spot on. Especially when I mentioned to the salesperson that I was looking for something that might be good for a family with a cat, to which he replied, with a laugh, “Cats aren’t good with anything.”

Someone who gets it.

@SalmonArm
lachlan@saobserver.net

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