May 2018

Every business lays claim to offering superb customer service. Small office supply businesses that have survived the Costco wave, the Office Depot/Staples wave and now the Amazon wave can probably lay claim to actually providing a high level of service – but the words themselves are empty now, so let’s talk about what it really means to the customer to do business with a truly “customer-centric” provider.

Several years ago, started coming up at the top of the list on surveys regarding customer service. This shocked us because there is no human touch with Amazon, and we are all about providing a level of care and understanding that can only come from human contact and conversation. But Amazon was so consistent in its delivery schedule, so advanced in its webstore, and so brilliant at getting favorable press – they actually redefined the customer’s definition of “customer service.” This rocked our world. We made sure our web store was great, we made sure our customers could track their deliveries, and we kept our level of service through personal contact as high as we could.

Today, several major news outlets broke a story that Amazon has an unstated policy that a customer who returns too high a percentage of their purchases (anecdotally, it seems to be around 10%) – or returns purchases for atypical reasons – can get banned from Amazon, even if they own outstanding credits, gift cards, etc.

We take customer returns seriously, too – and a 10% credit rate is high. But our interpretation of what a high return rate means is very different, and the difference is key to understanding what real customer service can mean to a consumer. Amazon sees a high rate of returns, and they think “abuse and fraud,” so they ban the customer. We see a high rate of return (honestly, not very often – but it happens) and we think “we could do better for this customer.” We meet with them, we understand why the items were returned, and we figure out how to help that customer buy the right item the first time. Returns are expensive for us but they are also expensive for the customer – we’d rather solve the problem with the customer than solve the problem by rejecting the customer.

So when we talk about extraordinary customer service, it comes from a deep place of commitment. We walk that talk. Demand that your supplier is focused on your bottom line, not just their own.

We’ve all seen the $100 office chair online, so a price tag of $500+ on a chair can be a bit overwhelming. If working a typical work week, you spend over 2,000 hours at your desk every year, so you want something comfortable, stylish and functional. But is the high price tag worth it? Check out the factors below for why that shiny, new chair costs what it does.



A lot goes into designing a quality office chair and researching how to make it work best for the user. Scientists, engineers, and doctors are brought in for consultation. Some chairs require years of research and testing to develop the desired high quality product.


The materials found in higher quality chairs will cost more to produce. Many less expensive chairs feature fiber and other cheap cloth, while more expensive chairs will feature highly durable fabrics, textiles that will stretch for comfort and support without losing resilience, leather, breathable eco-friendly faux leather, or polyurethane. More padding, sewing, and seat adjustments are also an additional cost for production.


Ergonomic means “designed for efficiency and comfort in the workplace.” Simply put, an ergonomic chair will be more comfortable, adjustable and user-friendly. It is important to consider ergonomics, especially if you’re sitting at your desk 40 hours a week. Sitting for long periods of time can have negative effects on your health and can lead to organ damage, muscle degeneration, and leg disorders.

A high quality chair will provide features that allow you to be comfortable and adjust the chair to your perfect fit. This will give you better posture and help prevent the negative effects of sitting.


When you search for a chair online or at a big box, you will probably have limited options. There may be a few chairs to choose from and the color options will likely be limited. When you search for a chair from a furniture dealer, however, you will be opened to hundreds (if not, thousands) of options. This includes seat adjustments, arms/no arms, headrest/no headrest, fabric, color, upholstered or mesh, etc. You may want a smaller or larger seat so the chair fits you properly. You get the luxury of building a chair exactly how you want it, which is much more difficult to find in a store that mass produces their chairs at the lowest cost possible.


While most of the inexpensive chairs only have a warranty of a few months, or no warranty at all, many of the designer chairs are protected against defects and function failures for the whole time you own the chair. If purchased from Keeney’s, our furniture technicians will even come to your office to honor the manufacturer warranty for your chair if something goes wrong.

Purchasing a new office chair is a big commitment. While the upfront price tag can be daunting, the durability, comfort and look effect your everyday life. If you’d like assistance picking out a chair that fits your body, your needs and style, contact our furniture team today!