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WFCA Gold Standard: Virginia dealer credits teamwork, education, dedication to customers, community

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA.—Standing out and being among the best is a given for success, but when you do business in a community recently ranked the best place to live in the United States, you truly need to do be the best there is. So is the case for Carpet Plus, a single store operation owned by Duane Cassis and his wife, Cindy Adams. Their dedication to being the best flooring store possible earned them the Gold Standard Award for excellence in retailing from the World Floor Covering Association (WFCA).

WFCA established the award last year to annually recognize one of its members for doing business in an exemplary fashion, and sets a gold standard for other flooring retailers to emulate. Ike Gulesserian of San Leandro, Calif., was the winner of the first Gold Standard Retailer award.

“Carpet Plus stood out for a number of reasons—from the way they answer their phones to their post-sale follow-up rituals,” said Chris Davis, WFCA’s president and CEO. “It was apparent to all the judges Carpet Plus has a relentless focus on serving its customers and making sure they receive the highest quality products and services.”

While “a lot has changed” since Cassis opened the business with one installer working out of a storage space 23 years ago, one thing has not: “We have always strived to offer the best possible service to our customers. We simply try to treat everyone the way that we would like to be treated.”

In addition, Cassis and his staff, which now numbers nine plus his wife, and “a very select group of sub-contractors as our other installation crews,” recognize the type of business they operate. “We are helping people with their homes. It’s very personal to them and we try not to forget that. We work with each individual to understand their needs and then guide them through the design process. Our salespeople have installation experience and that really helps when finding the right product and making sure it’s installed in the right manner.”

Davis added, “At Carpet Plus they believe salespeople don’t sell products. Rather, their prime consideration is to work with the customer to understand her needs and guide her through the design process.”

This process is not just what helped Carpet Plus win the Gold Standard, “Our customers have repeatedly expressed their appreciation to our salespeople for their no-pressure approach,” Cassis explained.

No-pressure is not the same as non-professional. If anything, when it comes to Carpet Plus, this philosophy of taking an individual approach to each sale translates into an ultra professional operation. “There is a strong emphasis on professionalism,” Davis said, “meaning the staff is highly trained and up-to-date on products, benefits and features.”