Why data experience is the new customer experience

La-Z-Boy talks data at Domopalooza

La-Z-Boy has been around for nearly 100 years. However, in the 1990s, recession and various competitors manufacturing overseas hit the company hard and it decided to switch up its marketing to attract more affluent and younger buyers, as well as women.

Now, with around 161 stores across the US, the retail strategy is simple: To provide an exceptional team store experience to empower its team to provide an amazing customer experience (CX).

La-Z-Boy business intelligence and data manager, Erika Janowicz, said at Domopalooza its products are a high ticket purchase, so excellent CX is vital. 

“Customers want to come into our stores to feel the furniture, and to get comfortable with their purchase. This requires a rapport between team and customers,” he said at the virtually streamed event. “Exceptional CX is also required to nurture brand loyalty and customer loyalty, no matter the ticket price.”

To do this, La-Z-Boy decided to focus on staff retention. It looked at its data and found its salespeople perform 10 per cent better in their second year with the company, compared to the first. By their fourth and fifth year, they perform 30 per cent better.

“We know our service grows exponentially better the longer our sales people sales with us,” she explained. “But with 29 million different variations in our furniture to choose from, that’s a lot to learn and feel comfortable explaining to our customers.

“With better data and information we can better track and train team members and streamline and simplify our offerings.”

A year ago, the company launched Domo in stores featuring dashboards with market and store information updated daily to give the team more time to help customers. It managed to transform four hours of information gathering into four minutes of data consumption.

“Nurturing a data-driven culture stems from the sophistication of performance data,” Janowicz said. 

Each store can now easily see its targets, where is sits in rankings, how it's tracking, as well as order information and issues. This has freed people up to concentrate on customers, as well as designing new loyalty programs for suppliers such as designers. 

“There is a science and art in creating a dashboard and consuming and reading that dashboard," Janowicz said. “The data experience is the new customer, as well as user and employee and digital experience, it’s the new personal touch. The key to personalisation and dashboard success is understanding how to prepare it for everyone to enjoy. 

"Tech and human interaction is a cohesive bond. We can and should continue to use data to predict customer behaviour and become more personalised and maximise efficiency. Automated processes should learn from human ones. 

“Your BI team should give your consumers a good payoff, and always focus on the end result, which is the customer.”

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