Thursday, September 30, 2010

Our Turn to Be the Customer!

For forever at LILL HQ we've had a monthly potluck lunch tradition where those with birthdays in the month choose a food theme and everyone contributes something to a potluck meal. It is something everyone looks forward to each month. In fact we like potlucks so much it was a major factor in the design of the office lunchroom layout - including the massive 6' x 20' island. We just had to make sure we had enough room for everyone's treats each month...

About a month ago we added to this tradition by including a handbag design party for staff as part of the potluck. Now, each month during the potluck we draw names of a few styles staff can choose from to design. Then everyone pairs up to take turns being the stylist and the customer to help each other design and place an order. My hope in adding this was that the staff who primarily works at headquarters vs. in the field directly with customers would get a sense of what it was like to be at a party or to work as a Store Stylist or as a LILL on Location Rep. My goal is to use the staff bag parties to help us make better decisions about fabrics, styles, selling processes etc to improve our overall customer experience - and the big bonus - each staff member would be treated to a new LILL product each month.

What I didn't fully count on was how much fun it would be to change hats and just be the customer for a change. I'd forgotten how much fun it is to mix and match fabrics for myself - I'd become accustomed to the instant gratification of the ready-made and hadn't actually designed one for myself in a while, and especially not a party setting. By the time I was done selecting the combination for my Hadley bag, I was giddy with excitement and couldn't wait to see how my bag and those of other staff I helped design would turn out. I could see the same excitement on the faces of the rest of the staff. The wait was over last Friday when we got everyone back together to ohh and ahh over the finished products. I must say we created some really beautiful bags that fit each person to a tee. It was the quintessential LILL experience. It gave everyone who participated a renewed appreciation for the LILL products and experience as the customer sees it. I definitely think it accomplished the goal and more. Check out the photo of some of our staff with the bags they designed...

We had our second potluck bag party yesterday - this month's bag choices were special occasion bags. Erinn was the big winner as almost everyone designed that style. In a few weeks we'll present everyone's finished products. There were so many fun combinations, I can't wait to see them completed! I just love being the customer!

Happy Designing!
Jen Velarde

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great post! Would love to see close up photos of all the different bag designs by the Lill family!