[vc_row css_animation=”” row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” angled_section=”no” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern”][vc_column][vc_column_text]Indianapolis-based PERQ takes home the 2018 Gold Stevie Award for “Founding Team of the Year” acknowledging team’s leadership in product innovation, company culture and triple digit growth in 2017
Indianapolis, IN – June 27, 2018 – PERQ’s took home a Gold Stevie® Award for “Entrepreneur: Founding Team of the Year.” The company won for its proven innovation and growth in 2017, including a 300% increase in annual recurring revenues and expanding its Indianapolis-based team by 25%.
PERQ impressed judges with its successful expansion and roll-out of its AI-driven software that enables any website to offer personalized, guided research/shopping experiences. Originally introduced to automotive retailers in 2016 as a way to create better, more friendly online engagement with car buyers, the platform has been successfully rolled out to two other high-ticket verticals: home furnishings and multifamily.
“We share this recognition with our entire team – smart, talented, like-minded individuals that are focused on delivering innovative technology that helps our clients close more deals,” said Andy Medley, CEO and president. “PERQ has come this far because we’ve been fortunate enough to have brought together a group of people who enjoy daily challenges and understand that driving change means rolling up your sleeves and working hard.”
PERQ’s platform is driven by extensive consumer behavior data, and enables high-ticket retailers and businesses a way to bridge the online/offline gap as more consumers seek self-service options. This means, much like an Amazon.com experience, a consumer’s online journey is completely personalized and guided by their individual needs. In addition, websites know and remember who they are, including name, what they are interested in, and offer personalized options each and every time they return to the website to help move them toward a decision and, ultimately, lead them to an in-person visit.
“Today’s consumers are tech-savvy and like to be in control – they want to do most of their research online regardless of what they are shopping for – that means they expect more than an online brochure, and are put off by too many irrelevant banners and calls to action,” said Stephanie Ragozzino, PERQ’s Executive Vice President of Product. “With our online guided shopping solution, websites dynamically adjust to be relevant to the specific needs and interests of each consumer.”
“The nominations submitted for The 2018 American Business Awards were outstanding. The competition was intense, and those recognized as Stevie Award winners should be immensely proud of this accomplishment,” said Michael Gallagher, president and founder of the Stevie Awards.
The American Business Awards are the nation’s premier business awards program. This year, more than 3,700 nominations from organizations of all sizes and in virtually every industry were submitted for consideration in a wide range of categories. More than 200 professionals worldwide participated in the judging process to select this year’s Stevie Award winners.
PERQ (www.perq.com) boosts website conversion through its online guided shopping solution which leverages artificial intelligence to dynamically change existing websites to deliver the next best step in each buyer’s shopping journey. As experts in online consumer engagement and behavior, PERQ leverages over 10 million consumer data points, along with real-time visitor behavior.
Founded in 2001, PERQ solutions are successfully used by more than 1,000 businesses in the home furnishings, auto retailing and multifamily industries. Its brands have been named to the Inc. “500 Fastest Growing Companies in America” list on three separate occasions. In 2017, PERQ won the Gold Stevie® Award for lead generation software and Product of the Year in the Big Business Awards.
PERQ Media Contact
Melanie Webber, mWEBB Communications, firstname.lastname@example.org or 949-307-1723[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]
[vc_row css_animation=”” row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” angled_section=”no” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern”][vc_column][vc_column_text]When it comes to leasing more units at your properties, it takes more than simply generating leads. In order to turn those leads into signed leases, Property Management companies and leasing teams need to have a quality prospect experience on their website and a lead follow-up strategy. Follow these tips and best practices for managing and closing PERQ leads.
The internet has revolutionized the way prospective renters look for apartments. Prospects today conduct the majority of their apartment research online before narrowing it down to a select few properties that they would actually visit in person. In fact, an article in the August 2017 edition of Units Magazine found that 80% of apartment residents lease with the first property they visit. Because of this, it’s essential that your property website provides the best experience for prospects and that your leasing team has a plan for following up with leads.
All of this starts with the prospect experience on your website. Having interactive experiences on your website helps to guide apartment shoppers through your site and turn website visitors into known leads. Not only that, but it also gives prospects the opportunity to engage on your site and start to build a prospect profile.
When a PERQ prospect profile is generated from website visitors engaging with our Online Guided Leasing solution, your leasing team now has, on average, 5x more lead data to start the conversation with potential renters. The prospect’s profile information allows the leasing specialist to then pick up the conversation where the prospect left off. It references the answers to their engagement on the website rather than starting the conversation over. This helps build trust and allows the leasing team to be consultative with the goal of turning a prospect into a resident.
In this prospect profile example, the potential renter went through a few PERQ interactive experiences on the property website and the leasing team was able to find out detailed information like:
- Unit preferences to provide a floorplan match
- Floor preference
- Desired lease term
- Whether or not the prospect has pets
- Prospect’s budget information
- Preferred activities and places of interest
Using this information to follow up with leads will make your property stand out. To better utilize prospect profile data, a property should use the data the as a whole to get insights, and prioritize follow-up according to how hot the lead is.
When a prospect answers questions within the PERQ experiences and starts to build a prospect profile, this helps the leasing team determine where the potential renter is in the leasing funnel.
The Discovery phase (or the top of the funnel) encompasses the consumer that has just started looking at different communities. They’re probably not sure what property is right for them or when they’d like to move. Our New Visitor Welcome & Assessment experiences capture this type of traffic.
Next, the Research phase is broken down into two sections: lead vs. hot lead. This phase is catching a prospect who might know what area they want to live in but they’re unsure which property is best. They’re more likely to bounce from site to site, and we try to capture this type of consumer by engaging them with incentives, and matching them to your location and surrounding community. They’re considered a hotter Research lead once they’ve gone through the floor plan assessment and scheduled a time to visit your property.
Finally, there’s the lease phase. These are going to be your most serious and hottest leads. These prospects have confirmed with you on their scheduled tour and have started the process for pre-approval (before they even step foot in the office). We encourage properties to focus on leads at the bottom of the funnel first, since those are the leads most likely to lease right away.
Creative Ways to Follow Up
In addition to having a lead follow-up strategy based on prioritization, following up with leads in creative ways is also an important part of every lead management strategy. Here are a few creative ways you can follow up with leads to help your property stand out from the competition:
Personalize each lead follow up
Make sure to use personalization when following up in order to really grab a prospect’s attention. For example: if someone says they’re interested in a one bedroom unit and a city view is the most important thing to them, be sure to talk about a specific unit with the best view you have to offer
Offer personalized promotions
Include personalized incentives when following up with a lead who’s ready to move. Gear the offers toward the exact things the prospect is interested in.
Build a prospect database for lead follow up
Keep a database or use a CRM for all potential prospects and track where they’re at in the leasing funnel. Follow up periodically to see if they want any assistance as they draw closer to confirming an actual move-in date. Showing that you haven’t forgotten about them after such a long time will really impress them!
Help prospects do more research
Include reference links in your follow-up email to assist with a prospect’s research, not just links back to your property website. For example: if they say they have children, send them a list of parks and playgrounds within walking distance or talk about the school systems.
Try photos or videos for engaging lead follow up
Send personalized photos and videos to add personality and really connect with potential prospects. Record a personal message to the lead on your smartphone and hit send.
Thank you notes
Never underestimate the value of customer service and a good, old-fashioned thank you note. Connecting on a personal level is the touchstone of any creative lead follow-up strategy.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]
[vc_row css_animation=”” row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” angled_section=”no” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern”][vc_column][vc_column_text]It’s not just the quantity of leads that matter. It’s the quality of leads that grow sales conversion rates. Here’s how to maximize consumer profile data when establishing protocol for online lead follow-up.
By collecting eight times more consumer data points than traditional tools used to generate leads, PERQ clients experience up to a 500% increase in higher quality leads. Not only do companies get more details about each potential customer, all of the website leads come from people who actively engaged and interacted with their brand.
“Our technology allows you to know more about the shopper by capturing shopper profile information through their interactive experiences,” says Amy Peck, VP of Marketing Services at PERQ. “It then creates personalized experiences tailored to each shopper, which results in deeper engagement and naturally makes them a higher quality lead.”
To make the most of this influx in detailed leads, clients must decide how to prioritize and personalize the lead follow-up process. Here are some ideas on how to better nurture PERQ leads so you can close more sales.
Ways to Personalize Lead Follow-Up
Aside from the obvious tactic of including a person’s name in all follow-up interactions, there are many ways to utilize consumer data to personalize your sales approach.
“We’re delivering the results of a conversation the consumer just had with your website,” says Doug Stump, PERQ’s National Sales Director. “All you have to do is pick up that conversation and run with it from there. It offers a different level of engagement.”
We encourage clients to really examine a shopper’s profile before reaching out by email or phone. If you understand exactly what it is they’re looking for online and identify where they’re at in the buying process, you can deliver the most relevant information to help them along.
“You can take a high- vs. mid- vs. low-funnel shopper and communicate accordingly with them throughout the process,” Peck says. “This builds trust and will drive them through the phases of the funnel, all the way to purchase.”
The furniture sales team at Gardner’s Mattress & More in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, makes an effort to reach out to every website visitor. “When possible, we call each one to personally thank them for spending time on our website and to invite them to our store,” says co-owner Jeff Giagnocavo.
If the shopper indicates they prefer email over a phone call, Gardner’s owners send a personal message to the prospective customer. “The world has no time or attention spans for generic ‘Dear customer’ type greetings and communications — those are shallow and ineffective,” says Giagnocavo.
Prioritize Your Lead Follow-Up
Ideally, your sales team will follow up with every lead. Just by interacting with your website and entering information, the consumer made the first move to engage with your brand and is likely to respond to follow-up messages.
“Treat all leads equally,” advises Caitlin Berger, Client Success Manager at PERQ. She says one multifamily property company she worked with to analyze data found 40 percent of online prospects who leased with the company only went through the new customer welcome and maybe one more website experience.
“So, don’t discount that new welcome data, even though the data isn’t as rich,” she says. “But, of course, if you’re inundated with leads you have to prioritize based on the info you do have.”
While the level of personalization Gardner’s offers isn’t feasible for every company, especially when facing a sharp increase in leads, it’s a promising approach once you’ve identified the most timely and qualified leads to pursue.
“If you’re inundated with leads you have to prioritize based on the info you do have.”
To figure out which leads to follow up on first, find shoppers who indicate they’re ready to buy now and move swiftly to reach them while they’re still engaged in the process.
For the majority of buyers still in research mode, evaluate additional information gathered from interactive online tools, such as budget and personal product preferences, to decide whether they’re a good match for your company.
Be Patient but Persistent with Potential Leads
There’s an advantage to being patient when following up on limited lead data. Avoid targeting a website visitor after they submit initial information.
Even if the shopper quickly exited the website, they may return later to do further research and assessments. Think about how you shop for things online, bouncing between browsers and juggling multiple tasks at once.
“People tend to go through multiple experiences, so wait a little while,” Berger says. “You can miss out on valuable lead data you could have collected.”
On the flip side of being too aggressive, some clients are hesitant to follow up with leads more than once. “It’s OK to reach out again if they don’t respond to your first message, unless they explicitly ask you to stop,” Berger says. “They gave you their contact information. People get busy and need a reminder sometimes.”
Nurture Leads Through Entire Purchase
As Peck noted, it’s important to nurture shoppers all of the way through the sales funnel. After helping consumers perform research and narrow their choices, offer them a custom incentive to entice them to buy.
“Be creative! If they show they’re interested in coffee shops, make your lead follow-up personal and maybe send them a Starbucks gift card if they schedule a tour,” Berger says. “Deliver a specific, custom incentive that really stands out.”
Closing the sale doesn’t mean you’re done working on that lead. “It doesn’t end there,” Peck says. “Stay in contact with customers and collect critical feedback, drive referrals and positive reviews.”
At PERQ, we serve companies across three industries: auto sales, furniture retail and multifamily property rentals. While they’re all very different in terms of what they sell and their standard lead management process, our clients share many similarities.
Consumers buy these big-ticket items only after doing in-depth research and scoping out several places. They are purchases meant to last.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]
[vc_row css_animation=”” row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” angled_section=”no” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern”][vc_column][vc_column_text]Capture in-depth information from website visitors to get a better idea of what prospective renters in your market really want.
Interactive tools deliver valuable data about each person who engages with them. Every click tells a company something about the website visitor’s preferences and priorities, such as apartment amenities they value and their current lifestyle. Do they have kids? Does the renter own a pet? Do they want to live close to bars and restaurants? Would they pick an open floor plan over a nice view?
Multifamily property companies with interactive websites collect detailed lead information on prospects, while at the same time gaining broader insights into what matters to local renters. Tap into this unique market data to brainstorm ways to attract new residents and prioritize property improvements.
“It’s about getting to know the clientele,” says Caitlin Berger, client success manager at PERQ. “See what prospective renters want, not just current residents. Look to the future, and figure out how to entice more people to live there.”
Interactive Content Collects Actionable Data
Property improvement decisions based on interactive website data can include extensive projects like renovating an apartment building. Alternatively, they can take the form of small enhancements that add a personal touch to the resident experience, such as a new coffee bar in a common area.
If several people who interact on your website mention they enjoy attending local concerts, consider offering a shuttle to take residents to and from the venue.
“Adding smart technology to an existing property website allows multifamily property companies to capture specific consumer profiles.”
Many apartment websites don’t track who visits unless the prospect enters their name and basic contact information in a static form to request more information.
Adding smart technology to an existing property website allows multifamily property companies to capture specific consumer profiles and leverage that data to identify trends in the market.
Interactive tools, such as an expense budgeting calculator or a simple quiz to help potential renters pick a floor plan, create a personalized, assisted shopping experience that encourages online visitors to engage with the website and divulge personal information as they do research in their hunt for the perfect home.
“What I love about PERQ is they have different ‘experiences’ the prospect can do online,” says Casey Rusk, regional manager at Watermark Residential, a multifamily development company that features PERQ’s Online Guided Leasing Solution on all of its property websites across the country. “When they do two or three experiences, you will have more information than when a prospect enters a guest card on a typical ILS.
“For example, by the time they’re done using the software on our website, we have their name, phone number, email address, price range, pet info and desirable features.”
Find the Right Fit for Renters
The Community Fit experience gives the most salient feedback on what’s important to the people looking at a property’s website. Pulling in real-time Yelp data from the surrounding area, the tool educates visitors on the community’s offerings relative to interests they select, such as kid-friendly activities and pet care. Companies with multiple properties in the area can utilize this interactive experience to show which of its locations best matches the website visitor’s preferences.
It’s a win-win scenario for the prospective renter and multifamily property managers. The website visitor gets help with research to narrow down places to live, while the company gathers data it can use to develop new amenities or plan events.
“They can do stuff geared toward those interests, like enhancing the property by adding a dog park or a pet wash station, or planning a friendly get-together for pet owners,” Berger says.
“Multifamily properties must constantly evolve to meet the demands of new renters.”
Multifamily properties must constantly evolve to meet the demands of new renters as local demographics and rental trends change. Website data delivers real-time feedback to take the guesswork out of property improvements.
“Capture data on what’s most important to the prospect, be it a good view or more space or better amenities,” Berger says. “And use that information to make decisions.”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]
[vc_row css_animation=”” row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” angled_section=”no” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern”][vc_column][vc_column_text]What entices a consumer to click on a Call-to-Action feature on an auto dealership’s website? Is it the color of the button? The position of the banner? The appearance of the sidebar?
While the color, position and appearance of your dealership website CTAs play a key role in who clicks or converts on an auto website, a true jump in conversions happens when those well-designed and properly positioned CTAs help guide the consumer through the buying journey instead of leading them down a rabbit hole.
Andy Medley, PERQ CEO and Co-Founder, compares it to picking your own ending to a favorite childhood story adventure where the hero must choose to run, fight or negotiate. “That’s what AI does,” he says. “The technology serves up the next best CTA based on where you are in the buying process. AI is behind the scenes, thinking about what the next best step should be.”
To determine how CTA characteristics affect click conversion rates, PERQ analyzed more than 8 million CTA renderings from more than a half million visitors on auto dealership websites. Here are a few key takeaways:
77% of Online Consumers Not Ready to Buy
Auto dealerships want to employ effective CTAs to increase engagement, generate more leads and close more sales. However, most auto websites today offer only three tools: a trade evaluator, a credit app and a buy now button, Medley says.
“If you are treating those consumers like they are ready to buy, you are outsourcing your sales to third-party sites.”
“The problem is that those are all in the buy phase,” says Medley, whereas the PERQ analysis found that 77% of online consumers say they are not ready to buy and are still gathering research about what’s available.
“As a result, you’re basically focusing on all of those consumers in that phase and telling the other 77% of the traffic to beat it. There’s nothing for you here,” he says. “If you are treating those consumers like they are ready to buy, you are outsourcing your sales to third-party sites or to sites that actually have tools available to allow the consumer to research and educate themselves.”
Improving Your Website Calls to Action to Increase Lead Conversion
Move Sidebar, Optimize for Mobile and Declutter
The position of a CTA sidebar on your website does matter. The CTA click conversion analysis found that moving the sidebar from the top left of the page to the bottom right produces more than a 200% lift in conversions.
Think optimizing for mobile isn’t important? Think again, Medley says. “If your site is optimized for mobile, you will see a 50% increase in conversions over desktops,” he says, including a 95% lift on banner clicks and a 167% lift in sidebar clicks. “Make sure your CTAs are optimized for mobile.”
Auto buyers, on average, shop only once every six years and many don’t even know where to start. However, Medley advises auto dealers to fight the urge to throw every choice at them by adding more CTAs to their websites. “It just confuses consumers,” he says. “Deliver the right button to the right person at the right point in the buying journey. This is what AI helps you do.”
Personalize the Car-Buying Experience
The CTA banners, sidebars and buttons should adapt to each web visitor and keep them moving through the buying journey. It should remember who they are, what they searched for, whether they asked for a trade value, and where they are in the buying process.
“Don’t deliver dead-ends. Provide a connected experience where all of the CTAs are working together,” Medley says. By delivering a personalized website experience, you’ll simplify the buying process, engage consumers longer, and ultimately close more deals.[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space][vc_column_text]
Additional Auto Resources: