Design team loves their profession
Helping customers provides satisfaction for Chilton Furniture staff
By Mike Mathes

If they had an award for interior design teams, the staff at Chilton Furniture would be a contender every year.

The Chilton Furniture showroom at the intersection of Highways 57, 32 and 151 in Chilton is widely known for its attractive displays. But, the real treasure at Chilton Furniture is that savvy team which makes dreaming about home furnishing projects fun and enjoyable.

Offering a blend of experience, teamwork and dedication, the Chilton Furniture staff provides customers with one of the few remaining full-service, showroom-driven interior design experiences in Eastern Wisconsin.

A team of three design associates, along with their their store merchandise manager/lead designer brings a total of 94 years of experience to this unique retail operation. On top of that, they sprinkle the heartfelt joy of working with people to create a successful and enjoyable experience for every home furnishing project.

Whether the project involves picking out a single piece, or a complete home makeover, the design team at Chilton Furniture takes customers under their wings to make the process easy.

Longevity a factor

Gail Schabach, a design veteran and Chilton Furniture team member of 23 years, said the greatest satisfaction in her job comes from making a personal connection with customers. “I love talking to new people and making new friends. There is nothing more satisfying than when you make real personal connection and develop more of a friendship than a salesperson/customer relationship with someone.”

Breaking down that relationship to a personal level makes the process more comfortable for the customer as well as the sales associate, Gail said.

Diane Bendickson has 24 years of design experience with Chilton Furniture. She echoed Schabach’s sentiments. “I really enjoy working with people and helping them solve their needs, whether it’s choosing a single piece or re-designing their whole house,” she said.

“Seeing and sharing in our customer’s excitement over what we have worked on together brings a good feeling. We are happiest when they like what we have steered them to for their finished look.”

Some of her teammates might consider Rhonda Roepke the “rookie” of the bunch. After all, she’s only been a member of the Chilton Furniture team for the past 14 years.

Like her counterparts, Rhonda gains her joy from customer happiness. “I enjoy the excitement of seeing a happy and well-pleased customer. It’s fun putting together a room or rooms of furniture and flooring and seeing the customer well pleased with the end results,” she said.

Making house calls

In-home consultations aren’t out of the question for Chilton Furniture’s designers. In fact, they are encouraged. “If you are unsure of how something may look or fit in your home, we will come and take a look, offering our professional suggestions,” Rhonda said.

For Diane, home visits are vital when talking about colors—as color plays such an important role in the end design result.

“We are always focused on making suggestions fit, whether it needs to match what a customer has or creating something entirely new,” she said. “We go there and look with them.”

The key word, again for Diane and her Chilton Furniture team is “suggest.” They bring ideas to the customer, but they realize, it’s ultimately the customer’s decision that matters on interior design projects.

Most importantly, the team understands the need to give the custmer whatever time, space or creative license is required to make the right decisions. High pressure techniques are non-existent with this sales and design team.

Teamwork helps customers

Despite their individual experience and longevity, the design team members are humble enough to understand others might have good ideas to contribute to the design discussion.

“We area always consulting with each other for ideas to help our customers,” Gail said. “Another sales associate may see something that can work which we don’t see.”

Diane said that adding a few more opinions helps customers get a better feel for their desired design result. “We value each others opinions and suggestions. It’s really good to bounce ideas off each other.”

The team also leans on each other to communicate customer needs when a

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