Debbie Monetti (right, holding the trophy) and Lisa Newman (left), owners, Mount Vernon Carpet One Floor & Home.

Mount Vernon Carpet One Floor & Home, an independently owned shop in Mount Vernon, Wash., took home the World Floor Covering Association's Gold Standard Award for excellence in retailing. The prize includes a $5,000 check, press recognition, a trophy, acknowledgement on the WFCA website and a customized WFCA seal for the store entrance. The award was presented in-person by representatives of the WFCA at the store.

“There were a number of stand-out components of Mount Vernon Carpet One’s entry,” said D. Christopher Davis, WFCA president and ceo. “Most notably, their new business is comprised of 75% existing customer referrals which speaks volumes on their customer service and retention program. I noted in their submission that their #1 asset as a company is their ‘customer base.’ They view the business through the eyes of the customer and keep their focus not on product or sales but on ‘people.’ This retailer has also set up some standout marketing programs for their customers including in-home consultations with designers, customized flooring décor packages and ladies night out events that include wine and massages.”

In response to receiving the award, Debbie Monetti, co-owner, Mount Vernon Carpet One, stated, “We work very hard everyday in our efforts to consistently create an outstanding customer experience. Taking advantage of the diverse educational programs, scholarships and the relevant research and resources provided by the WFCA has been and continues to be a critical component in our efforts. When we ran our final numbers in 2011, the average close rate for our design consultants was up 28% and there is no doubt in my mind that WFCA and Carpet One’s programs had a lot to do with it.”

“Winning the Gold Standard Award was a powerful validation and a great honor for our team. It gives us added encouragement to continue to creatively and consistently raise the bar,” she added.

To receive the Gold Standard Award, companies are reviewed and judged based on:

Knowledge –ensuring a knowledgeable management and staff who work to remain actively informed on the industry;
Customer Service –providing courteous service and offering customers help throughout the purchase and after-purchase process;
Quality of Store Image –a clean, professional, well maintained store must be presented at all times;
Code of Conduct -the facility must adhere to the WFCA Code of Conduct.

In addition, companies must also be a member of the WFCA, have been in business for at least three years and have a clean Better Business Bureau report. To enter, applicants filled out a multiple page submission form and presented multimedia marketing materials and other collateral that were factored into the review process. The deadline cutoff for submissions was Dec. 31, 2011.

Companies interested in entering or nominating an entrant for the 2012 Gold Standard Award can visitwfca-pro.orgfor more details.