By Frank Sciarrino
It’s late at night, your shop’s closed, but you’re still technically open for business because your customers are on their smartphones looking through your website, comparing you to your competitors, seeking specific answers to any number of questions.
How will this new countertop surface look in my kitchen or bathroom?
How much is this going to cost, including installation?
How soon will the countertops be installed?
The easier it is for customers to obtain the answers, the sooner installers can realize growth in the businesses — if they adapt to the changing customer mindset with the use of digital technology tools.
Let’s start with the first question: How will this new countertop surface look in my kitchen or bathroom? Customers are extraordinarily visual. When they’re buying furniture for their home, most every major furniture retailer has an online tool that allows the customer to see how a new couch or coffee table will look in their family room. Guess what? The same technology is available for countertop installers and their customers.
The Kitchen and Bath Visualizer offered by Quote Countertops gives customers a virtual design experience with multiple kitchen layouts, and hundreds of materials and accessory items from which to choose: edge profile customization, sinks, faucets and more. They can even modify their vision by changing cabinet colors, door styles, flooring and the color of the countertop. This type of technology helps put customers at ease and reduces their anxiety when they see their vision come to life, driving them to purchase.
Quote also provides a simplified solution for customers to calculate square footage and shop for countertops from any device at any time. What’s more, it’s a lead generation software, bringing customers to you after they’ve seen their dream come to life on your website.
Now that you’ve captivated your customers, you can move them more quickly to purchase. Now’s your opportunity to bring more value to their experience with upselling opportunities that increase the size of the purchase — and your profit.
Among the software options to guide installers in the upselling process is the popular Hot Sauce app with more than 50 offerings available, including higher-priced custom edges, steel supports, sinks, plumbing, accessories, and the Granite Gold Countertop Protection Plan.
Technology puts customers in control of the buying process, and that’s what they seek. With the right technology and software, you literally put the power of buying in the palm of their hands or at their fingertips by helping them find and see the answers to their questions as well as the options available to them. It also makes the sales process for installers much simpler than ever before. Most installers don’t take advantage of technology and don’t offer upgrades and add-ons. They’re missing out on additions to the bottom line without any added overhead. Consumers buy options if they’re presented with them.
Software is also available for improving processes in the shop and field. Speed Label can track countertop inventory. Job Well Done improves digital communication between the field and office. DataBridge is great for automated data entry to reduce errors and redundancies.
Now, leveraging modern technology isn’t the complete solution. Pairing it with digital marketing will give you a distinct advantage. Otherwise, how are your new customers going to find you? They’re looking online, and just having a website isn’t enough to attract them. Like arriving on the job site with all the necessary tools for the install, digital marketing done right includes a toolbox full of resources to draw customers to you. Your digital marketing toolbox should include: search engine optimization; search engine marketing; content; customer reviews; mobile marketing; social media; email marketing; and web analytics.
About the Author
Frank is a third-generation stone fabricator with over 20 years’ experience in the stone industry. Currently, Frank is a managing partner of Quote Countertops and president of Granite Gold Services, Inc. He regularly advises fabricators and marketing companies across the nation to help drive more sales through digital marketing strategy and technology.