Let’s just say today’s buying process for flooring leaves something to be desired. Anybody that has never been followed up with after a quote, had no idea when the materials they purchased would be delivered and had install crews leave a job to go to another one can all attest to this.
Now I wouldn’t say that is the rule as there are some dealers out there that deliver a modern experience that today’s consumer has come to expect as they’ve been conditioned for it by companies like Amazon, Apple and Zappos.
I was on a call with an executive from a large company with stores all over the country who said something that is talked a lot about within the tech industry but struck me nevertheless. He would rather disrupt his organization himself than wait and be disrupted by the consumer.
Let that sink in for a moment…He already knows it’s coming. Instead of keeping head down and enjoying the good times that are rolling right now, he is opting to shake things up within his organization to equip his team with the tools necessary to compete for the consumer of today. The same, technology empowered consumer has already disrupted major industries in real estate, healthcare and now retail.
– He would rather disrupt his organization himself than wait and be disrupted by the consumer.
Speaking of retail, I’m not going to dive deep into that water as it doesn’t take but a quick google search to pull up hundreds of articles about the near death experience that is happening there. Real estate and healthcare have all embraced technology to help them create new efficiencies, elevate their customer service, close more deals and ultimately help more people.
Now I’m going to throw two experiences at you…
Customer walks through the door and is greeted by a sales rep with a smile. The sales rep asks “what can I help you with today” or “what brings you in today”. Customer tells sales rep they are redoing their living room floor and after some research online decided they want to go with hardwood. Sales rep walks them over to the area of the store where there are hardwood samples and after a conversation the customer asks to take a few samples. The customer takes a few samples and the sales rep jots their name down on an upsheet and sticks it in a folder (from research we know, 48% of the time the sales rep isn’t going to follow up with the customer, but in this scenario I’m going to say they do). After an unknown period of time the customer decides on which product they want, they call the store and schedule a measure. Rep goes out to the customers home with a tape measure, pencil and paper. Scribbles a quote and hands it over to the customer. The customer mulls it over and decides to pull the trigger. They drive back in the store to sign a contract, purchase the material and schedule the installation.
Customer walks through the door and is greeted by a sales rep with a smile. The sales rep asks “what can I help you with today” or “what brings you in today”. Customer tells sales rep they are redoing their living room floor and after some research online decided they want to go with hardwood. The sales rep responds “That’s great! I would love to grab a little bit of information from you as we are going to discuss several different types of hardwood and at the end of the conversation I’ll be able to shoot over an email with that information so you can digest it”. While the sales rep is walking the customer over to the hardwood section she is capturing information like name, phone, email, advertising and what they’re interested in on a tablet in a CRM. The customer takes a few samples and the sales rep makes a note of which samples and schedules a follow up with the customer in the CRM for two days from now. Two days later the sales rep is reminded to follow up with the customer and schedules a measure for the customers living room. The rep takes their tablet out to their home and using a stylist digitally draw the room in measure software. Snap a picture of the living room and markup the measurements in the software giving the customer a visual of what to expect. The rep then works up a quote in their CRM, delivers it to them via email and sets a reminder to follow up the following day. The sales rep follows up, the customer decides to pull the trigger, the sales rep then sends over a digital contract for the customer to sign electronically, accepts payment digitally and schedules the installation. The customer is then notified of when the material will be delivered.
Which experience sounds more like what you’re doing today and which one would you prefer as a customer?