Steelcase has a wide array of products and amazing showrooms in which to showcase them, but they wanted to make visits more personalised, more memorable and more effective from a sales point of view with better preparation and better follow-ups.

Also, given the extent of Steelcase’s range, no showroom could accommodate everything Steelcase would like to put display.

So we were asked to recommend ways to address these challenges – using digital to make the analog world better.

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We looked at showroom visits as a three-part journey and chose the Central Hong Kong showroom as a pilot. Our aim was to provide a hyper-personalised, enhanced showroom experience – to enable Steelcase to learn about visitor preferences and provide a smart follow-up to set the foundations for conversion.

In the first stage – pre-visit – we designed and built an online tool to help showroom managers to record names and details of upcoming showroom visitors, select the showroom location, book dates and times, draw in company details (industry, employee numbers, work environment needs, history of product interest) and note dietary considerations to help showroom staff prepare layout and refreshments for visitors in a personalised way.

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During the visit itself, expected visitors are asked to check in on a tablet. If there is a group visiting, unexpected members of the group can enter their name and contact details at that time – the information is fed back to the client’s Salesforce system.

Each visitor is then issued with a mobile device. With furniture items labelled with NFC tags, the mobile device is used by visitors to tap on the items they like. Items are collected on their mobile device, allowing visitors to view the item in different colours, browse associated items and review all collected items at the end of the showroom tour – either on their own, or collectively with their group.

To expand the range on view in the showroom, visitors can also tap on images of furniture displayed on the showroom wall.

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This approach increases the real estate of the showroom virtually – beyond its physical parameters.

The collection of items on the mobile device not only allows customers to review and narrow down products of interest, it also allows Steelcase to follow up via email with more information on office solutions of most relevance to visitors, and to record those interests in Salesforce for future use.

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