5 customer experience strategies from RH



focuses on customer experience to build a brand that people love.


Buying furniture and home accessories is a pretty normal experience. Customers browse online or stroll through an unassuming showroom, order their pieces, and get on with their lives.

RH (formerly Restoration Hardware) turns that on its head by creating an immersive experience that builds a lifestyle brand, not just selling products. RH’s unique approach to membership, social media and physical stores has resulted in a loyal following and incredible growth.

Here are five customer experience strategies from RH.

1) Build loyalty through a membership model.

RH takes a unique approach to furniture brands with a membership model required for all purchases. For $175 per year, customers can save 25% on all full price items and 20% on all sale items. The discount encourages customers to commit to the brand and creates a sense of exclusivity and luxury. The annual fee is easily amortized with a purchase and is worthwhile for the customer. Rather than feeling like a number or another shopper, RH members feel part of something bigger and have a sense of loyalty and ownership to the brand.

RH states, “Our aim is to provide customers with the best possible experience – from shopping in our galleries, sourcebooks and websites to our white glove delivery.” We look forward to providing the highest level of quality and service. “ By focusing on loyal customers as members, the brand is able to deliver a targeted and quality experience as customers (literally) participate.

2) Blur the lines of traditional retail.

While many brands are shrinking their physical spaces, RH is building large, freestanding galleries to showcase its products. But these are not typical furniture showrooms. RH Galleries bring in natural light, landscaping, stunning architecture and even restaurants to create an experience that evokes emotion while also showcasing the products. Every aspect of the experience should feel different than what customers are used to from other brands.

RH Galleries offer a beautiful and enjoyable shopping experience, but they are also places people love to explore and visit when they are not ready to shop for furniture. This approach is crucial in an industry where customers don’t often buy repeat products in close proximity – the goal in buying a well-made piece of furniture is not having to buy another one for a while – but RH Galleries makes sure that the brand remains relevant to customers.

3) Reward loyal customers with complementary services.

Joining the RH membership program isn’t just about discounts. Members also receive services to take the experience to the next level. Members can access free design services, where an interior designer offers an in-person or virtual consultation to discuss their needs, style, and make recommendations. Designers offer customers personalized product, textile and color options for a room or their entire home.

This strategy delivers two benefits: it streamlines the customer experience by integrating design services, increasing the likelihood that customers will be satisfied with their purchase, and enhancing the typical shopping experience. RH shows he cares about his customers and products by making sure they receive the custom care and styling to make their homes beautiful.

4) Bring the magic back to retail.

CEO Gary Friedman has been open about his willingness to change the status quo, stating, “I’m interested Bring the magic back to physical retailwhatever investment requires money, creative commitment and time.”

RH’s goal is to add magic to every customer interaction, transforming everyday or overwhelming shopping experiences into special activities that make customers feel excited, encouraged and empowered. It’s not just about going to the store or browsing a website to find a new sofa – it’s about creating a magical experience that draws customers in.

5) Use digitization to improve the shopping experience.

RH is known for its immersive in-person experience, even mailing physical catalogues, but its digital platform contributes to an engaging shopping experience. Much like it transformed physical retail, RH aims to reimagine what a website can and should be. The site walks a fine line between providing an immersive experience while being simple and easy to navigate.

With videos and detailed photos to showcase the products, the site sheds light on the designers and the reason behind the designs. Rather than simply promoting products, RH tells a story and sells a lifestyle.

It is noticeable that RH is missing from all social media channels. It’s a step to control the narrative, make the brand more exclusive and attract potential customers to the RH experience in store or online.

RH understands the power of customer experience and creates an immersive and connecting experience at every turn. Rather than cutting corners and drastically cutting costs, RH relies on customer experience to build a brand people love.

Blake Morgan is a customer experience futurist and author of The Customer Of The Future. Sign up for their weekly email Here.

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Blake Morgan is a customer experience futurist. Blake is the author of two books on customer experiences. She is the author of the new book The Customer Of The Future: 10 Guiding Principles For Winning Tomorrow’s Business (HarperCollins). Her first book was More is More: How the Best Companies Work Harder and Go Further to Create Stunning Customer Experiences. Blake’s clients include Comcast, Genentech, Accor Hotels, Accenture, Parker Hannifin, Ericcson, Omron, Verizon, Adobe and more. Blake is a visiting professor at Columbia University and an associate professor in the Rutgers MBA program. She writes for Forbes and the Harvard Business Review. Blake is the host of the Modern Customer Podcast and a weekly customer experience video series on YouTube. She has worked with Accenture, Intel, Verizon Wireless and many others. She lives in the Bay Area with her husband, their two children and two dogs.

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