Staying Customer-Centric: The Acceleration of Consumer Expectations

May 15, 2020

How LL Flooring is leaning into three customer-centric strategies amid COVID-19.

Innovation and customer-centric strategies go together like peanut butter and jelly. In a perfect world, all of our efforts would be hyper-focused on how they will eventually improve our customer’s experience with us, right? Easier said than done.

We sat down with Anne Carson, Director of IT, eCommerce at LL Flooring to understand how they’re championing customer-centricity, even amidst COVID-19. From eCommerce to leadership and humanity, one of the US’s top hard-surface flooring organizations is prioritizing their go-to-market strategy by continuing to put their customers at the center of all that they do.

How have you seen your teams innovate your eCommerce solutions in the last 6 weeks to remain customer-centric?

Anne: As an organization, we’ve really focused on our ability to adapt. For eCommerce, our adaptation has been about speed across three key areas:

Consumer expectations.

All of us are feeling it – consumer expectations are shifting. As shopping becomes a completely virtual experience, we’ve had to adapt to a new consumer experience, wholly based on our website. Flooring is typically a significant purchase for a customer and a tactile product. We know that consumers, in normal circumstances, prefer to come into the store and speak with a sales expert about flooring options. When COVID-19 began to take shape, we had to look at our in-person experience and devise a way to create that online. We started by asking ourselves – How can we best leverage sales consultant knowledge virtually and make it as frictionless as possible?

The answer is, we leaned into our digital experience. We rolled out enhanced sales support on our site. We’re changing things daily and testing as much as we possibly can. We’re supporting these efforts with advertising, running radio advertisements that let people know our online experience is just like being in the store. This is an effort to connect with our customers – let them know that even if they can’t come into the store, we’re here to help this decision feel like you’re there, with us.

Increased volume.

Moving digitally meant our site traffic was going to increase exponentially. Alongside the front-end consumer experience innovation, we have been monitoring our infrastructure closely, ensuring the site can handle traffic the like of a Black Friday event or even more. In turn, our conversion tracking and nurturing has received more attention. We’re tuning into consumer traffic and the journey to conversion.

Again, we’re testing. We know consumers are looking for a way to meet their needs while finding a deal amidst economic uncertainty. In response, we have been offering free samples, additional promotions, and more streamlined shipping options. 

Lumber Liquidators Flooring on customer-centric strategies with technology and virtual reality

Innovating with tools.

We are really leaning into digital experience tools. We’re using these tools to enhance our consumers ability to visualize their new flooring choice and narrow their selection. Two of these are:

  • Picture It Floor Visualizer — where customers can easily upload a photo of their room at LLFlooring.com and select an LL floor to preview how it looks in that room.
  • Floor Finder Tool — customers are guided through a quick question-answer process (based on type of room, floor color, floor type etc.) to give the user a collection of floors that match their style profile. 

As a leader, how are YOU driving improved digital experiences today?

I like to help teams operate within a culture of calculated risk when it comes to new ideas, especially in times of uncertainty – test them, measure them, and then scale if they are successful. I’m also making sure we are working cross-functionally to create a consistent, overall improved experience. Customers really do expect companies to collaborate on their behalf so in a lot of ways, our teams need to be their voice. 

In 10 words or less, what is your advice for others out there on how to stay intensely customer focused?

Be human-centered and empathetic

Test and measure ideas

Work cross-functionally


Now, more than ever, we are challenged to lean into our customer-centric priorities. Like Anne shared, this is a time of cross-functional collaboration for an overall improved experience. Customers will remember how you connected with them during this crisis. Emerge with more loyalty and increased business. Huge thank you to our friends at LL Flooring.

How are you adapting? How are you remaining customer-centric?

Download our Top 3 Strategies for Winning COVID-19s War on Customer-Centricity

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Jim Garrity

Jim Garrity, our Senior Account Manager, is an Agile evangelist who collaborates closely with his team and clients to constantly improve delivery. Jim is always up for a challenge — creative sprint, anyone? — and is as passionate about employee experience as he is about client satisfaction.

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