“We Really Do Give A Damn…” LUSH Cosmetics Shares Its Secrets Of Customer Service Success
Everybody who is anybody no doubt knows about LUSH Cosmetics and its unrivalled passion for customer service in retail. A superbly unique high street brand that specialises in producing fresh, natural, handmade beauty products, LUSH has undoubtedly made a name for itself as one of the most customer-oriented retailers in the UK, as demonstrated in 2013’s Which? customer service poll when it emerged with a top satisfaction score of 88%.
Whilst LUSH’s unique and innovative products may be enough to lure customers in (they’re green, they’re clean, they’re vegetarian and completely cruelty-free), it is only by treating its customers in a certain way that the brand has managed to sustain its success and growth and keep customers coming back for more. By providing tailored in-store help and advice, retaining complete and utter transparency regarding sourcing and production, and honouring its company values of trust, honesty and simplicity, LUSH has managed to establish a special kind of relationship with its customers that few other companies have been able to replicate.
We managed to get some time with LUSH co-founder and product inventor, Rowena Bird, who shared some LUSH secrets as to how it has revolutionized not just the beauty world, but the world of customer experience.
Your staff is renowned for being knowledgeable, helpful and attentive! What characteristics do you seek out when hiring new customer service LUSHies, and what is the typical training process they go through?
We look for people who like people, have an energy and a passion for Lush and all we stand for, then we train them. We spend a lot of time creating fun and interactive training days for everyone to go on. Training is divided into sections – hair days, skin days, etc… plus the managers give on-floor shop training. It is vital that our teams understand the products they are selling so they can find the correct product for each customer and not just sell them the latest favourite.
Your customer satisfaction rates are always through the roof in retail surveys. What are your own ways of measuring your customers’ satisfaction with your products?
We listen to our customers and our shop floor staff and make changes when necessary. No one knows better than our floor staff what our customers want.
The LUSH shopping experience is said to be very enjoyable, dedicated and personalised. How do you ensure that this is the case?
Training, training, training. Managers do think about how many staff are needed on the floor at different times of course, and we like to make our displays look as spectacular as possible. We also ensure the layout is child buggy friendly. As for the aroma – that’s just a consequence of selling a naked product!
How do you go about organising your customer service channels so that all of your communication platforms are monitored equally?
Passion again. The managers are encouraged to have a shop Facebook page and help is given if needed. We do have a dedicated team in Poole, but the shop manager will find someone in their store who loves the medium and it becomes their thing that they do for sales and communication.
How could LUSH’s overall customer service approach be summed up with a phrase or sentence?
We really do give a damn!
What is one of the biggest customer service lessons that LUSH has learned throughout its lifetime? What advice would you give to other companies just starting out?
Listen to your customers – without them you have nothing.