Featured Articles, Sales and Marketing

Picture This: A Better Experience for Your Customers

By Frank Sciarrino

When selling countertops or any other in-home professional service, you must answer three critical questions for your customer:

  • What does it look like?
  • How much is it going to cost?
  • When will I receive it?

How do you help your customers envision the final product during the countertop sales process? Are they left to imagine what that final product will look like in their home alongside their cabinets, walls and floors? If so, you are missing out on a powerful tool that can elevate your sales process and increase your close rate: visualization software. In this digital age, customers are expecting a unique experience. They want to see what they will get before they buy it.

sales and marketingIn a recent interview with CNBC, Houzz CEO Adi Tatarko claimed that Houzz’s new 3D tool results in a staggering increase in sales. “Since we introduced that tool last year, we had over 2 million people who used it in order to make decisions for their home remodeling and design,” said Tatarko. “And these people were 11 times more likely to purchase the product and materials they saw using this technology.”

For surface fabricators, a visualizer enables customers to design their dream kitchen while increasing sales success rate in the following ways:

  1. Customers spend more. When customers start designing, naturally gravitating to those group four and five colors, they have already moved into a higher price range. They aren’t likely to walk in the door and pick a group one standard color that they know doesn’t look as nice as the group four color. You’ve upsold them without even trying.
  2. It manages customer expectations. Your customer now has an exceptionally vivid idea of what the countertop color they pick will look like with their cabinets. This will help mitigate buyer’s remorse that can happen when the imagination fails to render the final result properly.
  3. It’s a powerful marketing tool. Using a design tool is a fantastic way to interact with potential customers through your website and social media outlets. Reach those customers early in the sales cycle and push them closer to being ready to purchase.
  4. Get more leads. A good visualizer will have a creative way to make potential customers enter their contact information to interact with the tool.

When vetting visualizer software for your business, here are some features to consider:

  1. Mobile friendly. More than half of the users interacting with the software will be on a mobile device. Make sure any visualizer you choose provides an ideal experience on phones and tablets.
  2. Customizable countertop selection. Your visualizer should have a robust selection of the different countertop materials you carry, whether granite, quartz, porcelain, quartzite or solid surface. Make sure you can add your stock colors.
  3. Other room elements. Make sure the customer can change more than just the countertops. There should be options to customize the design to appropriately render flooring, wall color, appliances and cabinets, as well as the countertops.
  4. Layout options. Great visualizers allow a customer to change the layout of the kitchen design. For example, they need to see an L-shaped kitchen with and without an island.
  5. Showroom experience. Visualization software should be made available in your showroom alongside samples of surface types.
  6. Lead generation. Your visualizer should always have a lead capture function that allows you to get the customer’s name, email and phone number. Ideally, the customer verifies their information through a text message code to ensure authenticity.
  7. In-home sales: Visualizers are great tools to help you close the sale in the home, so make sure you arm your sales team with the ability to use this tool on the go.
  8. Website integration. A visualizer can be a stand-alone piece of software installed on a tablet or a computer in your showroom, but ideally, this software would be incorporated into your website, providing a well-rounded user experience for customers shopping online.
  9. Search engine optimization and search engine marketing. Your customers are starting their journey on Google. To help convert more clicks to conversions, feature your design tool as a prioritized landing page to engage consumers and drive more revenue.

About the Author
Frank is a third-generation stone fabricator with more than 20 years’ experience in the stone industry. Currently, Frank is a managing partner of Quote Countertops, a leading consumer-facing visualization and quoting platform, and president of Granite Gold Services, Inc., a provider of countertop care products and services. He regularly advises fabricators and marketing companies across the nation to help drive more sales through digital marketing strategy and technology.

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