While there are plenty of people who thumb their nose at IKEA, I’ll tell you why I’m a devotee.

Outside of the fact every piece of furniture I’ve ever purchased from them has been solid and allowed for easy construction.

The customer service is superb. It reflects on the image of the individual and the company.

About 8 months ago I purchased a motorized desk that can go from seated to standing. About 2 months after purchase, the power supply died. Got all my documents, went back to IKEA, they handed me an entirely new set of motorized legs, a new controller, and a new power supply. No questions asked because they noted there was a recall on the power supply.

About 3 months ago, the power supply went down again. Same issue. I’ve been working so hard and dealing with so many other things around the Office, and the desk is a perfect size for 2 computers, I kept neglecting to go back and try again.

I kept telling myself “the longer you wait, the tougher it will be to get this piece replaced”.

That, and the low level of the desk wasn’t doing anything for my posture and a stiff neck that’s been developed over the years.

I’ve been bringing my expertise and image skills to a local company for several months. When working there, I’m at the mercy of their office furniture. Frankly, it’s cheap, often used, and nothing even remotely ergonomic.

It simply had reached a point of no return for me. I found the need to stand much more often while working, and so decided I had to get off my derrière and try to get another replacement for my home office.

So back to IKEA I went, but there was a catch this time

I could not find the receipt anywhere. It’s buried somewhere deep within the bowels of places where receipts go to perish, but no luck finding the slip.

So I put on the brave face and sallied forth. Power supply in hand, no documents, and patiently waiting in a long line. Got to the counter, greeted by the rep, smiled and said “I’m hoping we can get something done here”.

I had prepared myself for the worst, even noting an Assistant Manager there on the floor who had helped me the previous time. If any guff was coming from the CS rep, I’d ask for him and explain the predicament.

She looked at the part, said “Oh, THAT’S from the power desk!”. Took it from me, said “I’ll be right back”, returned in about 60 seconds with a new one.

No questions asked. No issues. Zero. She remembered the recall and was surprised another one went bad. She said “if it happens again, bring it back and we’ll keep replacing it until we get you the right part”, noting the first replacement could have come from “the same batch”.

Jaw, meet floor. It turned into a big smile walking out the door.

As noted, this wasn’t the first time I’ve dealt with IKEA customer service, and every time it’s been positive.

A smile, a greeting, looking me right in the eye and making me the momentary center of their world, (as it should be), attention being paid, and making the customer happy.

I tell this story because many times I speak to and work with companies of varying sizes, seeking to instill in both management and the work force the importance of their image every single time they interact with the customer. ANd when working with management, the absolute necessity that is their responsibility to teach it to their team.

When you put on that uniform, that badge, that hat, that bib, whatever the clothing, you ARE that company. Your image is their image, and the other way around.

There is no alternative.

Companies around the world, and I’m sad to say especially here in the United States, need to snap to and take a lesson from companies such as IKEA. They are Swedish based and pride themselves on customer service, charitable works, and delivering a good product for the price.

Image. Integrity, Responsibility. Leadership.

The hallmarks of every business and every individual seeking to succeed.

That should all come naturally, to the point where you don’t need step-by-step instructions.