November 7/14, 2016: Volume 31, Number 11
By Terry Wheat, president, RFMS
There is a critical need to improve the buying experience of a floor covering consumer. Flooring retailers are not just competing with big box stores; they are also going up against other channels—many of which offer an enhanced buying experience.
So how can technology bring an enhanced buying experience to a floor covering store? By giving the salesperson mobility, visualization tools and immediate quote turnaround. Mobile Order Entry by RFMS (MOE) does all of that and more. Following is an overview.
Mobility: This certainly includes measuring a home, estimating product quantity and coming up with a total selling price—all while on site. However, an often overlooked area where mobility is sorely needed is the showroom itself. Typically, a sales professional will walk back to their desk several times during a visit, leaving their customer on the showroom floor each time for several minutes. The purpose? To look up product, pricing and inventory information. MOE responds to this problem by giving sales professionals the ability to access this information while staying engaged with the customer on the floor.
Visualization tools: In order to visualize products at their residence, customers are usually provided with a number of samples to take home with them. This is an effective method but it might not always be possible or practical. In an area recently hit by massive flooding, one store experienced a 400% increase in walk-in traffic. Providing all of these customers with samples was impossible. Using visualization tools, however, all of those consumers could have been given something that would assist them in visualizing the products. The sales professionals use MOE to take a picture of each product the customer is interested in, associating that picture with the proposal which is then emailed or texted to the client or printed and given to them. Of course, the photo feature is also a great way for estimators to document existing job conditions prior to install.
Quotes on the spot: Providing customers with an immediate quote, whether it be right after a measure or before the customer leaves the showroom, is always better than responding back to them in hours or days later with a price. Granted, the quote may be subject to measure or other requirements. But wouldn’t it be much better to give the customer a professional document, including pictures, a room plan, notes, etc., at the conclusion of your conversation? This instills confidence in the customer and dramatically improves the efficiency of the sales professional, who no longer has to worry about handling paperwork. Their focus is on the selling process rather than a stack of handwritten quotes that need to be entered.
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