11 QUESTIONS YOU SHOULD ASK AN OFFICE FURNITURE DESIGN COMPANY
The search for the right office furniture and interior design company can be tough. There are several options out there, which you’ve probably discovered if you’ve Googled “office furniture” lately.
But before making a decision, you want to dig just a little deeper than just the company’s website. Since the company you choose will become your trusted partner, you’ll want to spend time asking them the right questions.
Not sure what to ask? No fret. Gotcha covered.
We’ve compiled a list of not only what you should ask an office design company, but also the answers you should expect before you hire anyone.
11 important questions to ask in your interview
- How long have you been in business in this area?
You want a well-established business with a good reputation in your area. The longer an office design company has worked in the industry, the more likely the company has experience that can match your needs.
- What is your specialty?
When searching for your office design partner, you want a company that sells both office furniture and designs office spaces. This company should be committed to your satisfaction, which means listening to your needs to ensure your needs are met.
- Do you have references, customer testimonials, and examples of your work I can see and share?
References, testimonials and case studies paint a picture of the type of company you will be working with and what you can expect from it. Be wary of a company that has none of the above, or only has a couple from five or more years ago.
Tip: In this digital age, companies that are committed to upholding a good reputation are also likely to have listings on Google+ , LinkedIn and/or Facebook. Check comments and reviews on each of their social sites to see if the company has attempted to address or resolve any complaints.
- Do you have your own interior design and space planning staff? What are their accreditations and experience?
A company’s staff is a reflection of that company and its standards. The staff helps shape a company’s reputation, so it’s safe to assume that an accomplished, reputable office furniture and design company only hires the best. Don’t be afraid to ask for credentials.
- What is your purchasing process?
Your office design company should have an extensive system of checks and balances in place to ensure the purchasing process runs smoothly. There should be a clear line of communication from customer to purchase manager to manufacturer, such that nothing is misplaced or overlooked. And if there’s a problem (because everyone makes mistakes sometimes), you want a company that will address the problem quickly and efficiently so your workflow isn’t interrupted.
- Who does the actual installation? Do you have your own in-house crew or do you contract out?
We’ve said it once, and we’ll say it again: When it comes to office furniture and interior design companies, you can’t beat in-house staff, especially when it comes to installation.
You want an experienced team handling your installation, not your employees or a general moving company, or even a sub-contracted office installation crew who doesn’t really care whether you’re happy with their work or not. General moving companies often lack the expertise and non-professionals will inevitably take longer to assemble office equipment and furniture. And let’s not forget post-installation customer service. You’ll want someone to call if you find something isn’t working — and that should be your professional installers.
- Are you restricted to using only certain lines of furniture? If so, what are they?
When you’re designing your office space, chances are you don’t want to be limited in your design options. Maybe you’re looking for environmentally-friendly furnishings or to match existing decor? That means you need an office furniture company that works with a wide range of manufacturers so you have plenty of designs to choose from. Often, companies who are aligned with one of the most easily recognizable furniture names have to do their best to push that particular line, when it may very well not be the best option for you.
- Do you have any in-house guarantees in writing? What are they?
Companies that put their in-house guarantees in writing are showing their commitment to good service and high standards. Guarantees and warranties create a level of trust between company and customer.
Tip: Ask the company for its policy on projects that aren’t completed on time or aren’t done properly. Know the facts before you’re caught in a bind.
- What is the corporate policy on accurate quotes and invoices?
When you’re given a quote, your invoice should reflect that same number. Plain and simple. A company should guarantee from the onset that your invoice won’t have any surprises.
- What is your idea of great service, and how do you enforce it?
Great service is when a company works to find a solution that works within budget, is delivered on time, and then done right.
To achieve great service, it’s important that your office furniture company puts strategy first. Strategy helps a company foresee possible problems and head them off before they happen. And everyone on the team, from the interior designers and architects, to the engineers and installers, must understand this strategy and follow the necessary steps to ensure your wants and needs are met.
- What happens if we have problems with the furniture after the installation is complete?
You should always contact your office furniture company right away if you find there’s a problem after installation. A great company will do whatever it takes to make it right.