Lessons in Customer Engagement by Laz-Z-Boy and Build-A-Bear

Over the past two weeks, I’ve been awed as a consumer by how two stores have focused on the customer experience – La-Z-Boy and Build a Bear. Yes you read that correctly. What do these two stores know about the customer experience?


La-Z-Boy – not your grandma’s sofa

We were shopping for a couch and had gone to several furniture stores. On a lark, and because it was on our way to another store, we popped into the store. While it does have the recliners it’s known for, they do have more contemporary styles available.

Though we preferred a black leather couch we went with a fabric love and sofa seat combo. Yes. Recliners  included! After two weeks with the love seat we realized we wanted the black leather sectional.

In speaking with the store manager he offered to make the exchange, minus the delivery cost. No restocking fees at all.

When we went in to finalize the paperwork, his reason for making the exchange? His purpose was to make sure we had the couch we wanted without any regrets.

Build-A-Bear – for the child in every one of us

I had once remarked to my husband how parents get sucked into this store  while we were in Disneyland. Particularly the cost. But that was before I walked in to get my niece the new Chewbacca animal (geek alert). Because every two year old girl must have Chewie.

From the start, the store is designed to give every child a special experience with the animal and have a part in its birth. Select the animal, sounds it can make, clothing it warts and how plush or firm to fill it. The best part, allowing the child (ahem this 40ish female) to step on the pedal to bring their animal to life. I can imagine the joy as a child sees the shape forming as the stuffing is blown into the shell.

The finale? Creating the birth certificate! Your “bear” is literally born with a name, birthdate and “parent”. I don’t know about you but I bet having a part in creating your own stuffed animal “child” makes it that much more special for the child.

Customer engagement is key

Every employee is key in how customers interact and experience your brand. From the store manager to the build a bear employee, they engaged me and focused on my experience with their brand.

I’ll most likely consider La-Z-Boy for my furniture needs and possibly start a tradition of getting a gift from Build-A-Bear for years to come.

How does your company build engagement with your customers? What everyone was have you had?

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