Thursday, November 20, 2003

In IKEA I Trust?

The world press was surprised when Swedes recently ranked trust in IKEA, the purveyor of affordable stylish furnishings, as higher than their trust in the Swedish government, politicians, media and trade unions. Even higher than that ubiquitous Swedish institution, Volvo, maker of safe family cars.

Have you shopped lately at IKEA? Their products are accurately described, reasonably priced, simple and durable, and you can view all inventory at their cheery showrooms or in colorful catalogs. Product prices and info are clearly marked and explained. Customer service is responsive, friendly and fast. Store hours are customer-convenient. Delivery service is reliable. Young kids can be left for 30 minutes, free of charge, at the supervised Chucky Cheese-style ball pit. The food is good at their brightly lit cafeteria restaurants. IKEA stores are what retailers call destination shopping....people look forward to a visit as an experience and a fun family activity.

When was the last time you got that kind of service, reliability, convenience or respect from a government institution, politicians, media or trade unions? Such organizations could learn solid lessons from smart retailers like IKEA.

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