Before the pandemic, working from home for most people only happened when there were extenuating circumstances: the kids got sick, you were getting repairs done on the home, or there was a mid-day appointment and your home was closer than your work location.
Over the past month, we’ve certainly learned a lot. Some days, or even weeks, have been busier than others. We have created schedules only to have them broken, and we have participated in more video meetings than we can count. The transition may not be everyone’s favorite, but we’ve included some learnings that may help you during your at home work days to make them better!
Have a start and end to your day
Having a clear start and end to your day can help with balance. Start your day with a 15-30 minute video call with your team. During this call, talk about what you accomplished the day before, what you are working on today, and if you need anyone’s help with tasks. This meeting should be one of the first conversations you have during your day. It is an easy way to see your co-workers each day and help everyone stay on the same page.
The end of the day can be a bit trickier since you’re not at an office and need to physically leave to go home. One way to signal the end of the work day is to send a picture, gif, or video in your team’s communication channel. It could be a funny gif about going home, theme songs to well known TV shows, or funny end of movie credits or bloopers.
Create the Right Work Space
With your workspace being steps away from the bedroom or living room, it can be hard to stay focused. Creating the right workspace for you will help combat that and let you focus during the day. If possible, dedicate a single room or area in your living space as your “office.” That could be a spare bedroom, empty corner, dining room table or a basement. If you have a job where you will be on the phone or meetings frequently, try to pick a space that has a door that you can close.
In addition to picking the right space, do your best to choose the right furniture! Nothing is worse than sitting in an uncomfortable chair. With more than 40 hours per week dedicated to work, choosing the right furniture is beneficial both physically and mentally.
Lastly, your work space should also be free of clutter and mess. Treat this area as if you had coworkers. Don’t leave dirty dishes at the end of the day, and make sure you tidy up before closing down the computer. Here are some other tips on creating the ideal home office.
Keep the Company Culture Alive
Staying connected to co-workers outside your departments can be difficult while everyone is working remote. Here are some ideas that you can do to help stay connected to coworkers until you can be back in the office together.
Have a company bingo or trivia night. These are easy to organize and host. Send out an invitation after work hours or do it over a lunch break. Make sure everyone has the materials and enjoy! This is a fun, non-work activity to do to bring co-workers and families together.
Have a way to signify “wins.” At our company, every time we do something good — make a sale, save a client, have a personal win — we use our team chat and send a celebratory GIF to the team’s chat feed and let everyone know what you “won.” It is fun to see everyone’s success until you can get back in the office and hear the drum in person.
Other ways to keep culture alive is to have a group fitness challenge. A fitness challenge is a great way to motivate your co-workers to exercise and come together at the same time. It doesn’t need to be fancy, simply do a walk, bike or run challenge and have people log their miles. At the end of the challenge, have everyone submit their miles and the winners will receive prizes. To spice it up, you can have people submit pictures or videos to your team chat.
Not Everything Needs to be a Video Call
One of our partners said it best the other day “not everything has to be a video call.” While chatting over video is great and it allows us the opportunity to see each other and share screens, it also confines us to a single spot.
If your meetings are able to be taken via phone and not video, jump on that opportunity every once in a while. Throw in some headphones and take a walking meeting outside. The benefits are great. It will help you get up and move around, and walking is proven to help you think!
Schedule your day
When working from home, it can be very easy to get distracted. While breaks are beneficial and welcome, distractions like social media, TV or house chores can easily consume your day. Making a schedule at the beginning of your day will help minimize the distractions, especially if you have kids.
First, communication is key. If you have children or family members that need your attention during the day, communicate and set clear upfront expectations of when you will be available. This will help minimize disruption.
Next, fill your calendar up! When you have pockets of time during the day, add tasks on your calendar to specify what you are doing. You can block 30 minutes for lunch; an hour window for working out; or if you have kids, time to help them with their school work. Share this schedule with yourself, your family and your team so everyone can see when you’re working and when you’re not. Circumstances are different now, and it’s ok if you don’t work your normal 9-5 hours.
Last, we all know that things happen that are beyond your control. But, if you communicate clearly and outline your day, you will be able to control your time as much as possible.
Breaks are Ok and Welcome
Since working from home, many of us have found ourselves working more. With your laptop sitting only feet away, it is easy to pick it up and do some work while watching TV at night or after you put the kids to bed. They need to feel like you have to be working, or the thought of “I can spend 30 minutes on that and knock that out” have to stop.
Breaks are ok and welcome. There will likely never be another time where all of your family is together in the same house as much as this stay-at-home order. Make sure you take full advantage of it. Instead of taking lunch at your desk, eat lunch with a family member. Is the weather nice in your area? Take a 30-minute walk or bike ride in the afternoon. Spend the night playing games or watching a movie. Taking breaks and stepping away from the screen will ultimately make you more productive.
Best Buy veteran brings over a decade of experience helping home furnishing retailers increase sales; tasked with expanding reach of company’s AI-driven technology for increasing online engagement, conversion and sales.
Indianapolis, IN – April 1, 2019 –Best Buy veteran Ezi Irizarry has joined PERQ as Enterprise Business Development Director for its home furnishing division. PERQ serves 175 clients in the home furnishings industry with its suite of AI-driven technology solutions that help power the consumer experience and increase online engagement, conversion rates and in-store sales. Irizarry will be focused on evangelizing PERQ’s unique value proposition and expanding the company’s reach in one of its key markets.
“Ezi has a long and impressive track record of providing home furnishing retailers with solutions that move their businesses forward in today’s challenging digital-first marketplace,” said PERQ National Sales Director, Doug Stump. “We are excited Ezi has joined the team and know his relationships will help more retailers in the furniture industry adopt and utilize PERQ to make their sites and businesses more competitive and more successful in an ‘Amazon’ universe.”
Irizarry spent over a decade at Best Buy where he created programs that leveraged deep data and unique marketing and incentive initiatives to drive traffic into home furnishing stores, dramatically increasing sales; and, as ecommerce altered the landscape, his efforts focused on fortifying the viability of these brick and mortar businesses.
“I am very pleased to join the terrific team at PERQ. They are innovating the home furnishings industry like no other,” said Irizarry. “PERQ helps retailers quantify and engage every visitor who comes to their websites so that the sales teams can build a relationship with them while they shop from their homes. And, they are the only company in the industry that can prove that they generated in-store revenue from the consumers that shopped online. I am excited to start helping more retailers realize the significant benefits that PERQ offers.”
The PERQ Marketing Cloud for home furnishing retailers is a first-ever integrated suite of AI-driven technology products and extends the power of PERQ’s data-rich, AI-driven shopping tools with the addition of comprehensive, personalized digital marketing solutions, targeting shoppers across the entire research phase. It also includes a mobile and web-based CRM system specifically designed to help home furnishing retailers easily manage in-store sales flow and gain complete transparency into specific website behavior of leads so that sales personnel can build relevant relationships with prospects before they come into the store. PERQ’s Marketing Cloud also helps furniture retailers optimize their digital advertising strategy and get 100% transparency into their online spend, including overall revenue from consumers that engaged with online advertising and the store’s website before buying. Easy-to-use, implementation of PERQ’s products is completely turnkey. About PERQ
Founded in 2001, PERQ (www.perq.com) solutions are used by more than 1,000 businesses in the home furnishing, auto retail and multifamily industries. PERQ’s artificial intelligence-powered digital marketing software helps clients better engage with consumers, capturing unique user data that is leveraged in personalized marketing campaigns to increase conversion and sales. PERQ’s brands have been named to the Inc. 500 Fastest Growing Companies in America list on three separate occasions. PERQ won the Gold Stevie® Award for lead generation software and Product of the Year in the Big Business Awards (2017). In 2018, the company won the Gold Stevie® Award for Entrepreneur: Founding Team of the Year and a Best in Biz Silver Award for Fastest-Growing Company of the Year – Medium. PERQ has also been named on the Indy Star Top Workplaces three years in a row (2016, 2017, 2018).
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
One thing I’ve found quite eye opening over the last few months is that a lot of retailers (across numerous verticals) believe customers who are on their website are “ready to buy now.” The bold reality is that 50% of customers AREN’T.
In fact, customers who are still shopping around actually visit your store’s website more frequently before they determine that they’re ready to make a purchase. Consumers are coming and going from your website. New data suggests that sessions and frequency increase as those consumers continue to conduct research.
Long story short, your consumers (when researching) are all over the place. As they continue to visit your website, leave and visit again, they’re cycling through various parts of the standard purchasing funnel.
It’s very rarely a seamless “top of the funnel” to “bottom of the funnel” journey. Consumers might go back up the research phase after just encountering the consideration phase and then back down again. This is especially true for shoppers who are about to make a large purchase or investment.
Consumer shopping behavior can be unpredictable
Because consumer shopping behavior can be quite unpredictable at times, it’s incredibly important to listen to what they’re saying through the actions they take on your website. How long has it been since they visited your website? Did they stay a long time? Have these consumers been visiting far more frequently than usual? These are important questions to address, because they provide more insight than you would think.
Consumers can’t, and often won’t, speak to us directly, so we need to guess their wants and needs based on the data you can collect online. I’m not talking about a name, phone number and email address.
Instead, you can use your website to leverage the power of interactive software, coupled with artificial intelligence (or A.I.) to make the best marketing and consumer outreach decisions. Interactive software, like PERQ’s Online Guided Shopping Solution, can help align the best experience to each individual consumer’s actions.
Obviously, this can be a tad frustrating when you take into consideration the number of consumers who DO linger on your website without making a purchase. If they’re in the research phase, and they’ve gone through multiple experiences, how do you target them in a way that isn’t aggressive and allows the consumer to have the freedom to browse? Email nurture can help.
Email nurture is when your store “nurtures” its relationship with specific consumers who have indicated that they’re potentially going to purchase, but who are still on the fence with other stores as well.
For those consumers who have gone through different stages of the shopping funnel (and your website), email nurture might be a great way to hook them back in and really solidify that relationship. Just like A.I., email nurture is about giving consumers the right message, at the right place and at the right time. In this case, however, the outreach is even more catered based on the data collected through the interactive experiences.
“Email nurture is about giving consumers the right message, at the right place and at the right time.”
For example, if a customer who’s already went through the “new customer welcome” experience and through a “What’s Your Design Style?” assessment, it’s clear that they’re already engaged with your store. However, they might still look at their other options. In order to push them toward a purchase, your store wants to keep those consumers as engaged as humanly possible. You want them to come BACK to your website and ultimately, step foot into your physical store.
With the last step being a “design consultation,” it’s clear that they’re already somewhat invested in your store. A relationship has been forged, but you don’t want to come off too strong. A good way to continue engaging those consumers is by sending an email that advertises a possible next step based on the information they provided.
One good email to send out (in this case) would be “we see you just completed a design consultation, so you have a good idea of what style of furniture is suitable for your home. Why not come to the store to see the furniture selections in person?”
Use Consumer Behavior Data to Pay More Attention to Needs
By catering to a consumer’s specific needs, you stand a better chance of getting that online visitor to revisit your website, schedule an appointment and come into your store.
Taking the time to listen to your consumers can and will have a HUGE impact on your relationship with them. Even if you don’t know precisely what their next steps are going to be, you can make educated guesses based on their previous actions and their current behavior on your website. The information these consumers provide you (from the website) will help your store to guide them toward their next purchasing decision.
I’ve been following PERQ in the news for a while, and from the start, they’ve been making an impression on the Indy community and making moves in the technology industry. I’ve always been intrigued by their story, so when I heard about an open position for a B2B Email Marketing Manager, I applied. Having never been to the PERQ office, I was in awe walking in for my first interview. From the minute you walk in the door, you feel the excitement. You are immediately greeted with a buzz of people talking on the phone. You see groups collaborating in conference rooms, engaging with each other in one of the many open areas, and you meet with employees that truly love the work they are doing.
On the wall are huge murals immediately capturing your attention that act as a constant reminder of the PERQ core characteristics: Savvy, Grit, Magnetism and Competitive Greatness. In the “Player’s Lounge” there is a cereal bar and a soda machine — and a few steps away is an on-site gym.
And drawn on one of the walls is a HUGE game board that says, “The Game of PERQ”. The intrigue continues. What is the game? What are they talking about? I had to know more.
The Game of Business
Since joining the PERQ team, I now realize the Game isn’t just a game board on the wall that incentivizes employees for their accomplishments. This philosophy infiltrates the entire company and it’s a “Game On!” attitude that every PERQ employee embodies. It’s about playing the game of business with an incredible team, giving back to the community, and delivering value to our customers.
Although I’ve always considered myself to be a team player at my previous jobs, I’m encouraged by this overall “Game On!” company perspective. I think it will allow me to work in sync with my teammates toward the same goals — allowing us to help our clients be successful.
What is an Online Guided Shopping Experience?
As I complete my first week, I reflect back on what I’ve learned so far, including what an online guided shopping experience is and how it brings value to customers. This information should come in handy as I continue to get, “Congratulations on the new job! What does PERQ do exactly?” I’ll be able to give them the 4-1-1.
An online guided shopping experience can include a variety of interactive tools, like assessments, quizzes, an appointment scheduler and more. Businesses use these assets to make sure visitors stay on their website longer while gathering helpful information about shoppers moving through the buying funnel. In turn, our clients see more time on site, receive more (better-qualified) leads and an increase in revenue.
By capturing valuable information about the shopper as they research and explore a website, the sales team has the details needed to continue the conversation in-person and more easily close a deal.
Indianapolis, IN – January 22, 2018 – PERQ, experts in online consumer engagement and behavior, today announced the appointment of Patricia Crawford as Vice President of Multifamily Sales. Crawford brings over two decades of experience in the multifamily sector to PERQ and will be responsible for accelerating awareness of the company’s award-winning, innovative online guided leasing platform among multifamily owners and managers.
The rental market in the US is in a rapid growth mode: currently over 37 percent of people in the US already rent, and there is a need for 4.6 million additional rentals by 2030. However, the online presence of multifamily operators has not met market demand for a more intuitive online experience.
PERQ’s unique platform has been designed to empower multifamily websites to act like a top-performing leasing agent versus a one-dimensional, simple online brochure. PERQ’s interactive experiences are designed to create a two-way, online conversation, providing rental process assistance while educating potential renters – culminating in more leases through higher web conversion.
Multifamily brands using PERQ report a 550% average lead lift from their websites and are able to collect 5X the volume of consumer data on each lead. And implementation is simple – just a single line of code needs to be added to an existing website.
“I’m excited to introduce this truly revolutionary platform to the industry and show them how simple it is to create meaningful, engaging conversations online that lead to higher conversions,” said Crawford. “This is an exciting time in the multifamily market – as we are seeing a dramatic shift from owning to renting among both millennials and baby boomers as they embrace the notion of being more mobile and less attached. PERQ’s products address the needs of today’s apartment seekers: an online experience that is engaging and personalized – and ultimately leads to higher conversions. ”Crawford’s career includes leadership positions at LeaseHawk, CoStar Group (owner of ApartmentFinder) and Network Communications; and she currently serves as Regional Liaison for the National Apartment Association (NAA).
Crawford is entrepreneur-minded – at ApartmentFinder, she identified technology solutions to solve challenges in the rental space and helped the company grow from just four print publications with a disjointed online presence into a well-known resource with presence in over 110 markets and across all media channels, including online and social media.
“Patricia is the perfect fit to lead our expansion in the multifamily vertical,” said Andy Medley, CEO and co-founder at PERQ. “She has the drive, expertise and experience that’s necessary to introduce the PERQ solution to rental management companies. The time is right for innovative engagement and conversion software in the space. Patricia has built a strong reputation in the space, and we’re excited to have her on our team, leading the way in this exciting new venture.”
PERQ (www.perq.com), a marketing technology provider, boosts website conversions by creating and delivering interactive experiences to the right consumers at the right time. Founded in 2001, PERQ solutions today are used by more than 1,000 businesses across the United States. PERQ’s brands have been named to the Inc. “500 Fastest Growing Companies in America” list on three separate occasions, and its online guided shopping solution is a 2017 Gold Stevie® Award winner for lead generation software and a 2017 Ventana Research Digital Innovation Award Winner for Marketing.