Magazine article CRM Magazine

Canadian La-Z-Boy Stores Draw More Customers with Splice Software's VIP Voice Invites: Personalized Voice Messages and First-Class Treatment Help a Furniture Retailer Increase Sales and Decrease Costs

Magazine article CRM Magazine

Canadian La-Z-Boy Stores Draw More Customers with Splice Software's VIP Voice Invites: Personalized Voice Messages and First-Class Treatment Help a Furniture Retailer Increase Sales and Decrease Costs

Article excerpt

Like most retailers, La-Z-Boy Furniture Gallery has never shied away from sending out invitations to sales events, but recently was having trouble convincing people to show up. "We'd tried all the various ways of reaching out to our customer base," says Richard Williams, operations and marketing manager at four of the company's 200 North American stores, all in Canada. Whether it was by email or snail mail, "[the challenge was in creating] a balance between irritating someone by sending them so many invites and continually keeping in touch."

In search of new ways to engage buyers, Williams reached out to Splice Software, which provides its clients with authentic human voice recordings to more effectively communicate with customers. Among the services Splice offers is the VIP Voice Invite. Splice's VIP Voice technology uses samples from human actors to create a lifelike, smooth simulation. The program also takes into consideration factors such as gender, age, and nationality, as well as information such as products purchased, when deciding which voice is most appropriate for a customer.

"One of the biggest things for marketers is to make sure that they're not just broadcasting a message," Tara Kelly, CEO of Splice Software, says. "When you think about why you hate telemarketing, part of it is that the timing is always really bad. But it's also that it's totally generic and there's nothing in it for the customer. With La-Z-Boy, we've been able to develop reciprocity. We believe that you should offer [customers] a gift, thank them for participating. Make it a richer experience ... so that when you ask for something, you're giving something back."

With this in mind, Williams scheduled events in his stores, three of which are in Calgary and one in Winnipeg. It took less than four weeks to set up a call system with Splice. Drawing from a database of registered customers, the software determined which 28,000 people to invite to each event via the VIP calls. …

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