Ashton Bespoke’s Customer Journey

The Customer Journey 

In order to deliver on our client’s aspirations, we must take the time to understand them. Our clients come to us in several different ways, either directly as a homeowner or as the interior designer on a project, or it could also be their architect. Now more than ever it is a buyers’ market. Not only are we aware of our online reviews, as businesses we need them. We feel passionately about what it is our clients say about us. Not just of our furniture but how they were treated. Much of sales is an emotional process and if we recognise that people buy people and view the project as a relationship rather than a transaction then we have the ingredients for success.  

The Direct Customer 

This kind of client is quite special. They tend to come to us because they have seen a feature in a magazine or a post on social media and something about it has felt right for them. They are taking a chance on us based on research and gut feeling which is what makes them special. Undoubtedly word of mouth is paramount in this industry. When a close friend can physically show you furniture that you can touch and hear about how their project was handled, quite often as buyers that is enough for us. 

The Designer 

These are the incredible creative people who have the vision to know what will work in a space. They have listened to clients brief and imagined rooms that have made their clients gasp with delight. Now comes the tricky part; we need to breathe life into these ideas and think about the practicalities, the materials, the function, and understand how this will be managed through our production facilities. That’s where our meeting room can come in to play as we can easily access our sample library. As the ideas flow, we have a visual sample of many materials the designer needs immediately to hand.  

The Customer Journey - Ashton Bespoke Sample Image - Door detail with central panel in a shagreen leather, inset bronze and black mother of pearl with outer banding in walnut veneer
The Customer Journey - Ashton Bespoke Sample Image
The Customer Journey - Ashton Bespoke Sample Image

The Architect 

Architects are also valuable clients for us as they again possess great vision, though inherently in a different way. We recognise the importance of working in a time served manner where they are able to rely on a furniture maker that can deliver on all aspects, on time and in budget. We devote so much effort to the planning stage to ensure every detail is accounted for, measured and planned so that we are the go-to people ready at the appropriate time of the project.  

Repeat Business 

Our work is not done by winning our clients and completing a project; we want to be the first port of call for all their projects. Repeat business is the holy grail for most of us and to achieve it we must deliver on time, in budget and have ensured throughout the process we have built a lasting relationship.

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Ashton Bespoke Office and view - The Customer Journey

Creative Workshop – The Ashton Difference

The importance of your brand

We want to really convey something special in our work and for our name to be synonymous with quality and tradition. So, what is in our name? Ashton was appropriate for many reasons. Ashton from old English, literally means “from the town with ash trees”. We use this wonderful tree in our logo and our premises are set against the backdrop of the Southdown’s as well as the shade of ashes in the forest on the hill above the workshop. We want this brand to really shape our way of thinking and how we approach work day to day.

The Ashton difference starts right from the planning stage. Our onsite meeting room is where we start this process of bringing our clients ideas to life. It’s a creative space that we use to imagine the design in production weighing up different materials and finishes within our sample library. Every step of the way is a collaborative process, where designers, architects and clients can realise their designs.

Workshop and sample Image Ashton Bespoke

Invest in your team

We know there is no i in team at Ashton Bespoke so our people are important. We invest in them so that our clients benefit in return. This doesn’t just mean having company outings or get-togethers – though we absolutely do this – it means nurturing talent. We want our business to evolve, adapt and grow and that means we want the same for our staff. We believe in high levels of training, investing in machinery and ensuring we have a safe workshop for our valuable team. We listen to our staff when they have training needs, or they voice their ambitions for the future.

Workshop - Ashton Bespoke Team

Traditional techniques and technology investment

Everything about the way companies are doing business has had to change recently. If we really care about our success, then businesses should always strive to evolve. This does mean finding different ways to work that can incorporate social distancing and safe practises, but it also means investing in your team. Ensuring you achieve excellence in your people by nurturing traditional artisan techniques alongside investing modern developments in tools and technology. Britain has long enjoyed the respect of the world for its high standard of furniture makers. These skilled craftsmen have honed their ability over centuries with generations passing on their knowledge coupled with innovations in tooling that enable cabinetmakers to work more efficiently. Some of these basic techniques are largely unchanged over time but now of course as with so many elements of life, we have access to incredible technology that can aid this process and achieve results that may have otherwise not been possible. The end result: British fine furniture that is valued and sought after the world over.  

Ashton Bepoke Setting and Office

Covid 19 UK – Remote Workforce

Life under lockdown

Social distancing, shielding,  self isolation; all words that regrettably have entered our daily vocabulary. The word social has always been positive, associated with the parties and events that punctuate our lives which we look forward to. The addition of the word distancing after now makes it feel like a popped balloon. There’s not much I wouldn’t do for a cold beer in a pub garden right now! This has been a unique situation which no doubt will go down in the history books. Many of us will have spent lockdown resting, reflecting, spending time with family, appreciating nature but just as many of us will have been worried, anxious and angry. I think I have ticked every box and felt every emotion.

The new normal

But there is light at the end of tunnel as we begin the slow easing of restrictions. We all  have to  find a way to live and work in these new conditions because it will be a long time until we go back to normal if at all. So how do we adjust to doing business and still manage to adhere to social distancing protocols? Well we are fortunate here at Ashton Bespoke to have the infrastructure and premises to work safely within guidance. We have carried out a risk assessment and made the changes we felt we needed to ensure the health and safety of our staff and anyone who needs to visit us on site.  

Workshop

We have a small highly skilled team of makers who are able to adequately space out across the workshop. When appropriate they have access to adequate PPE and are adhering to government guidance on hand washing and hygiene.  We have instigated staggered start times and tea breaks.  Where we can, doors are left open to avoid touching the handles and surfaces are regularly cleaned, with an extended  route  in place.   

Office based staff  

Ashton Bespoke supports flexible working practices and those involved with our project management, drawing dept,  sales, social media and marketing  are able to work from home. We are fortunate enough to enjoy superb I.T. support enabling the team to  have remote access as well as hold meetings across platforms such as Zoom. We’ve had fun adjusting to the etiquette of talking to multiple colleagues onscreen as well as engineering the most flattering camera angles!

Caroline (Sales & Marketing) with new lockdown puppy Benji

Our clients

We believe with a strong protected infrastructure behind us we  are able to service our clients safely. We carry out all appointments and project discussions electronically. Should clients wish to meet us face to face we have a meeting room that can be accessed directly from our car park and internally has sufficient space to socially distance. We have evolved and will continue to adapt to the situation as the guidance changes. 

British bespoke furniture maker launches

Ashton Bespoke – British bespoke furniture maker launches – Graham’s story

We are pleased and proud to launch Ashton Bespoke. The new name in luxury interiors but with a heritage that is steeped in three decades of craftsmanship and experience.

Graham Goodall the managing director started his adventure within the industry as an apprentice carpenter and joiner. On completing this he took a year out to go travelling and spent time in the Algarve Portugal. Back in the UK, he felt drawn to return to the Algarve with just his hand tools, not knowing what the future would hold. However before long he saw a niche in the marketplace for high quality architectural joinery, Graham’s growing reputation for fine workmanship resulted in an increasing demand for his purpose built furniture, leading to his transition to a bespoke furniture maker and rebranding as Goodall Fine Furniture.  

In 2010 Graham decided to close his company and end his  nineteen year  relationship with Portugal and returned to England. He began employment with Stephen Clasper Interiors in Surrey and found himself back in the niche market of supplying bespoke furniture for  the  high  end  residential market. Graham worked closely with Stephen over the years helping to create and manufacture unique furniture designed by Stephen. In 2015 the company’s  work received recognition, winning Design et al, IDA awards for  best  interiors, UK properties awards and SBID awards for best kitchen.  In 2016, Graham left Stephen Clasper Interiors in order to relocate to Bournemouth, Dorset, with his partner Lisa. There he worked within a couple of companies in the luxury furniture industry whose customer base was  also  primarily  with in  the high  end residential market, around  the home counties and  London.  

Ashton Bespoke Owner Graham Goodall . British bespoke furniture maker
Ashton Bespoke Logo. British bespoke furniture maker

New beginnings in Hampshire

At the end of 2018 Graham found the opportunity to  acquire  the assets of a  furniture business  just outside  Petersfield in  Hampshire. After a year of sailing under the umbrella of the  old  company’s  name,  it became apparent that the company required a new identity.  Graham wanted to bring his experience and distinctiveness; take a fresh approach and rename the business. Ashton Bespoke was born, a name that Graham felt encapsulated his vision of the business going forward. 

Images of Ashton Bespoke Workshop, Ashton Bespoke View and Ashton Bespoke Office Sign. British bespoke furniture maker

The Ashton difference

What we do here is interpret your design and ensure this is fulfilled whilst considering the client’s budget. We work in a way that stays true to your design and doesn’t compromise either the finish or the budget. This is an ‘innate’ skill at Ashton something we’ve mastered with time, experience and knowledge; born from the passion and desire to deliver above and beyond for our customer. We have learnt to use  various  materials  and finishes  that may not be readily associated with furniture making. We’ve developed an understanding of the way those materials inherently work differently to each other but in turn complement one another.  

Graham says “I have been in the industry of creating and delivering exceptional furniture for luxury interiors within the high-end residential market for some 30 plus years. I am a very passionate individual who cares about  the end result  and takes great pride in my work; nothing less than extraordinary will do. My aim has always been to work closely with the interior designer, architect and developers as well as the end client, to realise their vision. Supported by the skilled team at Ashton I’m able to deliver and exceed expectations.”   

Business beyond Covid 19

The past year has had its ups and downs particularly recently with the pandemic crisis. We are confident however that we can operate safely and continue to service our clients.  The team at Ashton Bespoke are keen to move forward and are excited for what the future brings and where we will take the business over the next year.