In an age when most retailers are spending their time gathering large amount of data on their customers through surveys, social media and just plain begging to leave feedback, Lululemon Athletica Inc is taking a polar opposite approach to listening to their customers.
They are literally listening to their customers, doing things like placing the folding tables close to the fitting rooms to be able to hear complaints first-hand and in real-time.
Lululemon is an apparel chain that sells high-end yoga and athletic wear. They have created a rabid fan base for their product by creating scarcity with their product. They also have an obsessive "Big data gives you a false sense of security," says Ms. Day.
We agree. Gathering data without having a plan to execute makes your organization information rich, but execution poor. While many retailers are slicing and dicing the data into pie charts and performance reports, Lululemon is already taking care of its customers.
The Lululemon's formula led one analyst at the WSJ to remark,"This is just confirmation bias. They are doing well, so they think what they are doing is brilliant. It can't be that simple."
Only it really is that simple. Know your customer, take care of their needs. Lululemon's knows it can't be everything to everyone, but they can be the best yoga apparel outlet to their niche market.
Measure, manage and improve the customer experience -- you need all three to make it work. How you measure is just one piece of the formula. You have to also commit to managing and improving.
Lululemon chooses to measure by foregoing data gathering, but by listening to their customers in real-time, they are still gathering data. And they execute.
Here is the article as it appears in the WSJ. A short video is embedded.