[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]Just because your showrooms are temporarily closed to the public, doesn’t mean fewer consumers are shopping online. Even if these shoppers can’t make purchases now, your brand can make an impact for future sales. Lean into digital sales and help empower your sales team during COVID-19 by utilizing our Digital Sales Guide.
The new Digital Sales Guide is a resource for your retail teams on how to generate sales opportunities during times of lower store traffic. The guide outlines how to leverage your website to obtain and manage quality leads, along with tips and tricks on how to utilize video consultations, text messaging, email nurture and automation to communicate with shoppers.
Our Digital Sales Guide offers immediate guidance, right away, at no cost. Check it out to learn how to increase your sales during COVID-19, by visiting this link.
COVID-19 Digital Sales Guide[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space][vc_column_text]
Additional Home Furnishings Resources:
[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]In the season opener of The Bridge, co-hosts Andy Medley and Muhammad Yasin sit down (a few weeks before the COVID-19 pandemic) with Matt Weirich, CEO and co-founder of Realync, and Jordan Easley, their Director of Operations. The pair at Realync, a multifamily video leasing and engagement solution that enables leasing teams, talk about a topic that is now top of mind for many businesses: “How do I connect with rental prospects when they can’t visit in-person?”
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Video touring, whether it be pre-recorded or live, gives a human interaction that static images can’t compete with. “A video can be used to establish that first connection between a rental property and a consumer who’s looking for a new place to live,” says Weirich. “Video tours allow these consumers to experience a space on their own time and to see the exact unit they could be living.”
If you want to learn more about how Realync is bridging the gap by using video touring, check out Season 2, Episode 1 of The Bridge podcast now. The Bridge season 2 is available wherever you get your podcasts including, Apple Podcast, Google Podcast and Spotify. You can see all of the episodes, on your podcast app of choice, by visiting this link.
Connect with Matt
Connect with Jordan
Learn More about Realync
Connect with Andy
Connect with Muhammad[/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_empty_space][vc_column_text]
Additional Multifamily Resources
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If you’re a new listener to The Bridge podcast, welcome! For those of you who are returning, thank you for your support! You got us into the top 20 marketing podcasts on iTunes!
The world of social distancing and self quarantining are the new normal in the midst of the Covid-19 outbreak and if you’re like us, you’re looking for new podcasts to listen to. We’re back with an all new season focusing on digital sales and best practices for enabling your sales teams.
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In Season 2, we’re also introducing a new co-host, Muhammad Yasin. We’ll talk to industry experts as well as sales leaders to share tangible insights and real stories all focused on helping you thrive in this uncertain new world.
The Bridge season 2 is available wherever you get your podcasts including, Apple Podcast, Google Podcast and Spotify. You can see all of the episodes, on your podcast app of choice, by visiting this link. Subscribe on your favorite platform to never miss an episode.
Connect with Andy Medley
Connect with Muhammad Yasin
Check out the new podcast by Fabian Rodriguez
[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]No amount of automated marketing or AI technology will change the fact that customer service must remain at the top of your company’s priority list. If you’re not providing a quality shopping experience from start to finish, it won’t matter how many leads you generate or how much organic traffic you attract to the website. Unsatisfied customers will bust your bottom line over time.
“Customer service is No. 1 for us. Making our customers happy and excited about their purchase is what we are here for,” says Kelly Mullins, who oversees Marketing & Online Sales at Railway Freight Furniture based in Georgia. “And, we want them to come back and shop with us again … and send their friends and family! People want to feel like you truly care about what they need.”
Mullins says delivering that level of customer care starts on the website, where most people begin their shopping. They expect instant yet personal responses when reaching out to a business.
“It’s so important to be engaged digitally, because that’s where most start their buying decisions,” Mullins says. “They will have questions and want to talk to someone, and you have to be ready to help get their business.”
Create a Concierge Website Experience to Service Customers
Helping the customer starts with maximizing your company’s website, often a customer’s initial interaction with your brand, so it’s engaging and delivering information that’s relevant to each individual shopper.
“It’s important that your first touchpoint with the consumer, you’re getting across the information you want to, because that first touch sets the stage for everything else,” says Michael Norris, Chief Marketing Officer at Youtech, a full-service digital marketing and advertising agency with offices in Chicago and Scottsdale, Arizona. “It’s important to have a really good digital footprint, since that’s where people start their search, and then a really good response time after that.”
Make it easy for them to window shop and collect information on your products until they’re ready to visit in person to make a purchase. Create a concierge experience that serves customers with personalized, targeted content and leads shoppers to the next best step in their buying journey, based on where they’re at in the process. Offer appointment scheduling tools so they can book a tour or in-store consultation and receive VIP treatment. Then, be sure to follow up quickly with online leads or have a system in place to automate the initial response so they feel acknowledged.
“In today’s digital world, if customers want/need help or have questions, they want answers now! On their time!” Mullin says. “PERQ has helped us tremendously with this. We already talk to our customers on social media and email, but now we have a way to talk to the customer while they’re browsing on our website. It takes a lot of time and effort, but is a great way to engage with our online customers.”
As they shop around and interact with the website, put in place software to capture data about each online lead, so your sales team can use those personal details to close the deal. Knowing things like what kind of pets they own or their favorite pastimes helps you better understand what they need, and subsequently provide the customer with better service.
Your Customer Service Reps and Digital Sales Teams Drive Your Business
Customer service representatives and those who staff your digital sales teams will likely be the main people who directly interact with consumers before they come in to visit in person. Make sure they’re prepared to adequately answer all questions that come their way and appropriately direct shoppers to the right next person, because those initial interactions often determine how a consumer views your company overall.
“The people who they talk to are ultimately going to be the people who drive your business,” Norris says. “That customer service is so important, because customers now go and leave reviews online based on their experience and what they felt. It’s so important to make them feel good every step of the way, that they have a positive-enough experience they want to go and leave a review. People only leave reviews if they’re really happy or really mad. There’s really no in-between.”[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space][vc_single_image image=”29445″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center” qode_css_animation=””][vc_empty_space][vc_column_text]
Utilize AI Technology to Improve Your Customer Service
With consumers accustomed to getting an immediate response when online shopping with big brands, technology helps smaller companies meet those expectations and give leads the instant gratification (and the information) they seek.
Once a lead comes in or a consumer submits an inquiry, it’s critical for your sales team to provide an immediate response acknowledging their request and quickly follow up with additional information.
“People are used to very snippy-snappy results nowadays,” Norris says of consumer expectations across the many industries his digital advertising agency serves.
Businesses use technology to not only instantly respond but also personalize the response through automated email or text messaging. By capturing customer data as they engage with a website’s AI-powered experiences, like a chat-to-text Q&A tool or interactive quiz, lead information can be funneled directly into a CRM through a marketing cloud.
From there, schedule personalized email or text nurture campaigns to continuously nurture the lead that shows you care about their search for the perfect purchase. Cater to their needs based on what they look at on your website and the data they hand over as they shop around. Provide helpful content, offer a scheduled meeting with an expert on your staff or include an incentive to get them to take action — and to buy from you when they are ready.
“Getting all of that information into your CRM and then into an automation system is important, because that will allow you to follow up in both an efficient way for you and in an effective, personalized way for the potential client,” Norris says.
Meet Customers Where They Shop
Consumers now have more ways than ever to communicate with companies they do business with, from online chat and messenger apps to emails and text messages. To provide top-notch service, you must communicate in the customer’s preferred format.
“People are going to have issues that extend beyond just an FAQ page or what your website can answer,” Norris says. “Having different channels of communication are important. If a customer wants to email you, they are going to expect their response to that email. Same thing, if a customer reaches out on social media; or if they call, then they want to talk to a real person.”
Norris says consumer expectations remain steady across all of the various industries his digital marketing agency serves: they want quick, helpful customer service when they have questions or encounter a problem.
“I mean, in the end, people are all people,” Norris says. “Generally speaking, people buy the same ways.”[/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]For more consumers, texting has become the preferred method of communication. In today’s world of immediate satisfaction, texting often provides an instant response. Multifamily properties are starting to favor texting because of its effectiveness in reaching out to consumers quickly to answer their questions. Marketing research shows companies that text customers get 7.5 times more responses than with emails.
Clients we spoke to believe leveraging an online tool that drives prospects to text with the community is most effective because they can answer a rental prospect’s question while they are on their phone. It’s much easier to use than just an online chat option that requires users to stay logged onto an internet browser to get a response or continue a conversation. Once a prospect leaves a live chat platform, the property often lacks a way to follow up with that consumer, who must start the process all over when they initiate another online chat session.
Ask a Question Multifamily Tool Easy for Rental Prospects and Leasing Teams
With PERQ’s new Ask a Question tool for multifamily properties, our conversational “smart” form helps prospects quickly ask questions right from your website, which can feed right to your leasing team.
Your leasing team can quickly qualify and contact your most engaged leads, answer prospect questions using text messaging, and help prospects choose their dream home with photo or video message.
Ask a Question integrates into the PERQ Marketing Cloud, giving you continued access to helpful prospect data such as desired move-in timeframe, favorite floor plans, interests and more.
One client who recently introduced the chat to text feature on their website is finding consumers are highly engaged and more likely to convert than the average online visitor. “They’re further along in the cycle,” he says. “The interesting thing though is it seems like it’s all ages of demographics who engage. Everybody wants to text now.”
Leverage your Multifamily Website to Engage Visitors through Chat/Text
The Ask a Question tool collects prospect questions right from your website, helps you to quickly qualify and contact your most engaged leads through text, and helps you progress toward your occupancy goal, even in these trying times where COVID-19 limits our face-to-face interaction with rental prospects.
“As a whole, text message conversations used for follow-ups and initial conversations have been received by our customers and sales staff as a benefit, if not a preferred method,” says one PERQ client. “Conversations, pictures, quotes, reviews, emojis, etc. can be sent directly to the device that the customer uses all day and lives in their pocket! Why wouldn’t that be the way businesses talk to their customers?”
Ask a Question helps multifamily properties build relationships with rental prospects. By starting the conversation online and following up by text, you’ll turn more of your leads into leases.[/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_empty_space][vc_column_text]
Additional Multifamily Resources