Image Source: Lowe’s Innovation Labs

Learn from Lowe’s – how robots can help your customers DO BETTER

Have you ever gone to a DIY store, felt completely lost, and found yourself roaming the aisles searching for a shop assistant to help you with increasing desperation? Well, you need not search anymore.

Imagine instead, stepping into a DIY store and the first one to welcome you is a robot. It comes up to you, says hello, and asks what you’re looking for in one of five different languages. Instead of roaming the aisles trying to find the exact match to the screw you need, it scans the one you brought with you, recognizes it exactly, and leads you directly to its location in aisle six, saving you a whole lot of time and hassle. (It also simultaneously scans the entire store doing the inventory so that the managers will know exactly which shelves to fill up later that night.)

Sound like science fiction? Well, now it’s science fact.

Lowe’s DO BETTER Stores

These super helpful robots actually do exist. They are called Oshbots and they assist shoppers everyday in several of Lowe’s home improvement stores in North America thus enabling Lowe’s customers to DO better.

Making your customers DO better is about enhancing their performance, competencies, and results. If you make your customers DO better you help them become bigger, better, faster and stronger as the song pretty much goes. DO better is a very powerful customer motivation. It drives human beings, and thus also your customers, in their everyday decisions and it is one of the four customer motivations that build up The Fundamental 4s model, which shows you the customer motivations you need to honor in order to design extraordinary customer experiences in our exponential world. (You can download a free copy of the ebook here).

Fundamental 4s Model - CX

The Fundamental 4s Model

Happy customers, happy business

The super helpful Oshbots are not the only DO better technologies developed by Lowe’s Innovation Lab. They’ve also created the Holoroom, a 3D visualization tool that enables customers to design their dream kitchen or bath in a few minutes and then virtually step into their very own creation to see how it would look via virtual reality glasses. And thanks to a recently announced partnership with Microsoft, Lowe’s customers will soon be able to design their kitchens by using the augmented reality headset – the HoloLens – to see what a renovated kitchen would look before even starting to work on it

Takeaways

So, even if you don’t run a large DIY chain, what lessons can you extract from Lowe’s innovative use of exponential technology to create DO better customer experiences?

  • Convenience is a powerful DO better tool. Oshbots make it faster to find what you’re looking for while Holoroom and Hololens make it easier to understand how objects would fit in a room, avoiding the tedious, time-wasting process of returning things – or, even worse, wasting money on items the customer will be unhappy about. Consider how you can enhance the customer experience by digitizing elements.
  • By digitizing the customer encounter you can extract valuable insights. Oshbots collect data about their customers at every encounter. In this way, Lowe’s, as a company, can DO better by analyzing the data to further improve the customer experience.
  • Digitization enables Individualization. Oshbots understand and respond to multiple languages. Imagine how useful this technology is in our increasingly multi-cultural society. It is a service that recognizes our customers’ individual differences and makes them feel more appreciated. 
  • Man-machine cooperation is more powerful than man or machine alone. The Oshbots don’t replace human employees. They assist them. The robots are great for routine tasks, but cannot assist the customer in complex decision making. But by using robots for the routine tasks, the human employees’ time is freed up to engage more deeply with the customers. So, consider how you can create the right mix of man-machine cooperation to enhance the customer experience.

Technology is irrelevant if it does not support your customers. What Lowe’s does really well is to deploy a technology that helps them take an unapologetic customer perspective while pioneering a really cool experience that completely changes how people go about home improvement shopping.

Lowe’s provides a great DO better story, but it is not the only one. For more examples of DO better companies, we recommend our sweet, short and to the point ebook The Fundamental 4s. If you have any questions feel free to reach out to the authors Laila Pawlak (@DARE2dk) and Kris Østergaard (@KrisOestergaard) on Twitter!

 

DARE2 is a innovation and experience design consultancy based in Copenhagen, Denmark. Our Massive Transformative Purpose is to inspire, enable and connect people to scale positive impact in the world. In doing so, we help international companies and startups design extraordinary customer experiences through a deep understanding of customer motivations and the exponential development of technology.