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How could technology help you be the Caring Coach?

 15 March 2019     Donald Cooper 

‘Caring Coach’ is a term I created many years ago to describe any business that helps customers to wisely choose and effectively use the products or services they sell. In these days when people are faced with so many choices, options and so much confusion, consumers need Caring Coaches they can trust to help the do what’s best for them in every part of their lives.

For example, L’Oreal – the world’s largest cosmetic company – now uses AI (artificial intelligence) technology to help online customers find and effectively use the right skincare product.

There is such a wide range of products on the market claiming to reduce the signs of skin aging, it can be a challenge for the consumer to know which product is right for her. L’Oréal created a new tool designed to help her narrow down the choice.

Launched under the company’s Vichy anti-aging skincare brand, its SkinConsult AI app allows the user to upload a close-up selfie to the web site, which it then analyzes for the seven signs of aging. The algorithm then recommends products and a routine to help address those aging signs, as well as those it predicts may show up in the future.

Hair salons are now using virtual imaging to show clients what a particular style will look on them. Paint stores use similar visualisation technology to help customers see what their rooms will look like in different paint colours. Simply upload a picture of your room into the system and electronically ‘paint’ the walls and trim in a variety of colours to see the results.

Dr. Scholl’s used technology to develop an in-store ‘foot mapping’ kiosk that helps customers find the right orthidic product to support their feet and improve comfort and mobility.

An office products distributor I know offers his clients a free software package that helps control inventory supply and expense.

In-store and online virtual change rooms allow customers to ‘try on’ outfits to see how they look without the bother of undressing and re-dressing several times.

Whether you’re a manufacturer, distributor, retailer or service provider, what are your customers confused, stressed or concerned about and how could you use technology to coach them to more wisely choose and effectively use what you sell? With technology changing so rapidly, this should be an ongoing project for someone. So, who will take this on in your business? When will they start?

Here’s a little something to think about:

The importance of asking the right questions. Many leaders believe their job is to have all the right answers. Actually, leaders need to be much better at asking the right questions.

Asking great questions is fundamental to finding out what’s really going on in the business, building employee engagement and benefiting from the wisdom of your team. Develop the skill of asking great questions – and then listen to the answers before acting.

Whatever happened to ‘simple acts of kindness’? Not to long ago, a No Frills grocery store manager in Alberta told Linda Rolston, a disabled customer with mobility issues, she would have to shop somewhere else because she was too slow in packing her groceries at the check-out.They banned a disabled customer from their grocery store. What were they thinking? What were they feeling?

When Ms. Rolston complained to the company’s head office, they offered her a measly $100 in compensation on the condition she sign a release promising not to take action against the company or speak out about the incident. She turned down the offer and now TV news and social media have picked up on this stunning lack of compassion nationally and internationally. So, now we have a new definition of ‘mean, cheap and stupid’.

Phoenix AMD
Stearns and Foster
This HGO article was written by:
Donald Cooper
Donald Cooper

Donald Cooper has been both a world-class manufacturer and an award-winning retailer. Now, as a business speaker and coach he helps business owners and managers throughout the world to rethink, refocus and re-energize their business to create compelling customer value, clarity of purpose and long-term profitability.

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