Providing a great customer experience has never been more important than it is today. Kyle Cox, CEO of Blindster, the nation’s largest online window treatment retailer leads the way.
Recent events have shown how an unexpected health and economic crisis can dramatically affect customer behavior and many unprepared retailers have been forced to lay off employees or even shut up shop due to loss of business.
According to a McKinsey study, 70% of buying experiences are based on how the customer feels they are being treated. The current situation has highlighted the need for a robust and deliverable customer service strategy. One company that is leading the way with a strong customer-centric approach is Blindster, the nation’s leading custom-made window treatment retailer.
Blindster was founded by Kyle Cox, a Houston-based entrepreneur with a passion for customer service. Kyle started out with the vision of improving the style and privacy of people’s homes with blinds and shades while putting customers at the heart of his business. The company has grown significantly since the early days of working out of a garage, but the customer-focused values remain the same.
Launched in 2010 with only $5000, Blindster has grown to become the largest retailer of private label, custom-made window treatments in the nation. This spectacular growth has been made possible by Blindster’s commitment to its customers. By offering fully customizable blinds online, comprehensive customer support, installation, and after-sales care, Blindster has built a loyal customer base and is uniquely positioned to maintain its lead in the window treatment space – whatever challenges may follow.
Kyle explains his business philosophy: “Customer satisfaction isn’t just our goal, it’s the lifeblood of our company. Time and time again companies start out with an emphasis on customer service only to lose sight down the road, forgetting that happy customers are the reason for their success. At Blindster, we will always strive to exceed the expectations of our customers. We truly mean it when we say, “We don’t just want customers today…we want customers for life!”
Once Kyle decided on his customer-first mission, one of the company’s initial tasks was to create a user-friendly website. His goal was clear; to make it easy to find the company’s products and allow customers to get help from expert consultants when needed. Today, this is achieved with an easy to navigate website which features instructional videos on measuring and installing, complemented by first class phone and online chat customer support.
Unlike other businesses who choose to cut costs in this area, Blindster has opted not to outsource its customer support to an offshore contact center – all calls and live chats are answered by a well-trained onshore customer care team. A first-hand knowledge of Blindster’s high quality custom blinds, shades, and shutters has proved invaluable for customers.
Another unique way Blindster helps customers choose their products is by offering free samples. Ordering them is quick and easy, it’s as simple as selecting a product category to view and ordering the available sample colors.
An important aspect of an online retailer’s operation and reputation is its return policy. Blindster have put in place a clear policy of how a faulty or mismeasured product will be handled. If a customer’s blinds do not fit, even if they made a mistake in measuring, they can contact Blindster within 60 days and they will be remade in the correct sizes free of charge. What’s more, if customers are unhappy with their purchase for any reason, they can inform the company within 60 days of receipt and they will be offered an alternative, or the products can be returned for a refund. The policy is easy to locate on the website and the customer care team go the extra mile to fully resolve such incidents should they occur.
This investment in the customer experience pays off. According to a Gallup study, a fully engaged and satisfied customer results in 23% more increased profit, revenue and growth potential compared to the average customer. Regular competitions such as one where customers can submit photos of their blinds for a chance to win $500 in merchandise keep customers engaged in a fun and enjoyable way. It’s no coincidence that Blindster has experienced such phenomenal growth with their customer-driven approach.
With increased internet access and social media usage, online customer reviews continue to influence customers’ buying decisions. According to research, 90% of consumers now read online reviews before contacting a business and 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. The Blindster website features more than 4,000 reviews, which speaks volumes for the kind of relationships the company has cultivated with its customers.
Despite a drastically changing world caused by this pandemic, remarkably Blindster has experienced an increase in sales. With more people working from home and restrictions placed on the number of professionals allowed inside, 70% of Americans have decided to tackle a DIY home improvement project. With Blindster’s online help, homeowners are feeling empowered to order and fit blinds and window coverings themselves.
As the pandemic unfolded, Kyle took on a servant leadership role. With a desire to keep in contact with his customers and serve the community, Kyle initiated the company’s COVID-19 Program. For every sale on Blindster.com, the sum of $2 was given to United Way’s COVID-19 Response & Recovery Fund. The fund helps with crucial services such as donations to food pantries, rent and mortgage assistance, shelter facilities and more.
Kyle’s compassionate approach to business and life has not gone unnoticed. In October 2020, Kyle was named gold winner for Executive Excellence: Business Role Model of the Year by The Customer Sales & Service World Awards®, the world’s top achievement awards program for sales, service, support and business development. Kyle serves as an excellent example to his employees on how to manage a business while proactively helping others around him.
By focusing on its customers, Blindster has grown from a small, family-run operation into the nation’s largest and much loved custom-made window-treatments e-retailer. An outstanding achievement in today’s uncertain world.