February 27/March 6, 2017: Volume 31, Issue 19
By Nicole Murray
Las Vegas—Retail experts believe the key to generating repeat business and developing long-term relationships with customers lies in maintaining consistent contact even after the job is complete. My Flooring Warranty says it offers the tools to help floor covering dealers accomplish that goal.
How it works: My Flooring Warranty takes customers’ data into a portal and strategically plans points of contact so the retailer remains top of mind with the customer. This is critical given today’s rapidly advancing digital social media environment. By maintaining contact long after the initial purchase, My Flooring Warranty is essentially looking to influence the conversation in the hopes to generate more business down the road.
“The typical buying cycle in this industry is approximately eight years,” John Mapes, director of development, told FCNews at Surfaces 2017. “If a consumer does not hear from your company for seven years, that is a major issue. “We answer one of the biggest questions a consumer can ask, which is, ‘How important am I to you now that I have given you my money and the service has been completed?’”
Contrary to its name, My Flooring Warranty does not offer extended insurance of coverage for products retailers sell. In fact, according to Mapes, the company operates “out of sight,” meaning the consumer believes she is interacting directly with the retailer. “When people first hear about us, they very commonly misunderstand exactly what we do. We do not offer extended warrantees or advertising in any way.”
The My Flooring Warranty tool is all predicated on timing. The company conducted research showing patterns in the flooring replacement cycle and delivers a specific communication to the consumer accordingly. As Mapes explained: “Let’s say one year after a new rug has been installed, most consumers begin thinking about getting a new kitchen floor, so that will be the main gist when we make contact. Then two years later, most customers are thinking about cleaning that brand new kitchen floor based on warranty requirements so then that becomes the focus.”
Retailers currently using the tool recommend sending a satisfaction survey to the customer one week after the service has been completed. According to Mapes, the typical completion rate is 60%. There is then an added incentive by attaching a prize chosen by a third party.
Those dealers who have used the system attest to its results as well as the support the company provides. “My Flooring Warranty walks our sales staff through accessing our service provider’s portal, keeping everything easy and intuitive to use,” said Michelle Niemeyer, marketing director, Coyle Carpet One Floor & Home, Madison, Wis.
Others agreed. “The program has truly revolutionized the referral marketing relationship between service providers and flooring retailers,” said Jim Bardwell, formerly marketing directory with Pro-Care of Nashville who now serves as executive director of sales, marketing and education for North, Central and South America, FiberProTector. “If you want a turnkey system to maximize your referral marketing efforts, then you owe it to yourself to check out this amazing program and get enrolled.”
My Flooring Warranty primarily targets purchasers of soft surface products but it will be extended to include hard surfaces—products that typically entail a much longer replacement cycle.