Sofaworks was a UK-based retail business for all kinds of sofa – leather, fabric, corner and recliners. Previously operating as a family-owned business that sold its own products, from 2002 it switched to sourcing products from all over the world at lower cost. From February 2016, the company rebranded to become Sofology, seeking to differentiate itself from the competition by moving towards a ‘coaching style’ to sales that focused on customer requirements. This contrasted with a commissioned-based approach. This new approach included the use of an iPad for taking orders. The rebranding also involved the use of a mascot, Neal the sloth. The change of strategy followed a review based on customer feedback that suggested a lack of differentiation from other furniture retailers. In response to the change of business strategy, the learning and development strategy had to change too. This involved retraining around 500 retail staff to develop coaching behaviours with the customer, based on how interactions with customers reduced the pressure for a sale but allowed them to ‘enjoy’ the experience of making a choice about a sofa. The coaching approach to selling is more open and empowering for the customer. As customers leave the store, they score the service, and this affects the level of team bonus in the store. The results suggest improved sales, higher staff engagement and the employment of more female staff.
Swipe to navigate through the chapters of this book
Please log in to get access to this content
- Learning and Human Resource Development
- Macmillan Education UK
- Sequence number
- Chapter number