Changing expectations of customers mean window treatment retailers need to continually modify their approaches to marketing and selling. Technology is driving much of this change as customers look for greater responsiveness and a more seamless, accessible experience.
As you look to get the most out of your marketing and sales efforts, here are three important considerations to keep in mind. The good new is that these changes in technology can be a tremendous asset for you. Here’s how:
- Customers are looking.
Homeowners have become increasingly sophisticated regarding the use of online tools to research and get home improvement ideas. And there are more people looking online than ever. According to one report from the Home Improvement Research Institute, home remodeling searches have more than doubled this year. In addition, spending on house improvement is growing twice as fast as in other retail categories. And window blinds, shades and shutters are no exception.
However, these customers often need help choosing and implementing the right window treatment options for their home. They are looking for guidance from an expert and have likely already combed the aisles of their area big box home improvement store, only to be disappointed in the selection and lack of knowledgeable help. They are looking for YOU. The key here is to put yourself where these potential customers can find you — which means targeted marketing leveraging CRM tools, search and an active approach to social media.
- Timing is everything.
Once you connect with a prospective customer, the clock is ticking. Technology has raised expectations for responsiveness, so getting back to prospective customers quickly to answer questions, respond to requests, and schedule sales calls is vital. Customers are used to getting questions answered right away with a few taps on their smartphones.
The same goes for the sales process. Having to go back to an office to work up numbers, estimates, etc., seems oddly outdated to many homeowners who have so much information at their fingertips. By focusing on technology that allows you more time to communicate rather than gather product, pricing and ordering information, you can generate accurate window treatment estimates on the sales call, closing the communication gap and lead to closing more sales.
- Information can be overwhelming.
People are inundated by marketing messages every day through every channel. So you have to focus your marketing efforts where people who are most receptive to your message are paying attention. When you do have their attention, it’s essential to put a focused, compelling reason to connect with you.
In the sales process, walking into a home with stacks of samples, books and brochures now might suggest to the customer that this is going to be long and painful process. Again, technology can help you simplify the process. Having access to information on your computer or tablet can streamline this process, making it seem less daunting and time-consuming. For homeowners, especially younger homeowners, the technology is part of their expectation.
The key to adjusting to these changes is leveraging technology, such as accurate, cloud-based window treatment point-of-sale software, that ties all of your efforts together. With tools that provide you with access to the latest product, pricing and ordering information, you can spend more time connecting with customers and helping them realize their vision for theirs windows and their homes.
To learn more about how Solatech Focus and other tools can help, talk with us.