How do we evolve the direct to consumer countertop sales in 2020.
Think about how to transition more to online and less direct consumer interaction.
Here is a quick story about my experience before this all happened to us.
I actually never met a sales person when I had my countertops done back in 2015.
Here is how it worked.. I looked for a company that was not afraid to publish a price online that seemed reasonable. When I called them to discuss what I was looking for they were very clear about the process and how the pricing worked.
I looked at some colors and textures of material that I found online and collected a few colors that interested me.
Planning prior to company interaction
I took some basic measurements, drew the shapes of the countertop pieces, applied the measurements to the drawing and emailed that to sales.. Based on this the sales person was able to estimate the square footage and give me a ballpark price based on levels of materials that I also provided.
In this case they sent me to a slab distributor where we were able to see many slabs in person in a large warehouse and my wife and I could see all the various materials. I was able to direct my wife to material that was in our budget based on the information provided which helped us stay focused on what was reasonable.
Based on the material and the specific requirement of my project I was given a price as long as the measurement that I provided was not off by too much the price would remain the same. This was reasonable. I said the sf was 52 and they came back with 55. I selected an undermount sink that I wanted and they provided this as well.
All kitchens are not created equal
My specific design had one section that was very close to being too large to avoid seams on the slab I selected. The sales person notified me that the specific slab I chose would have required a seam but material was available that could avoid this as it was available in a slightly larger size. This then meant that I would have to either go look at the slab or trust them that the slab was acceptable. My response was I will trust that you would not put anything in my house that you would not put in your own, and agreed to proceed without seeing the actual slab.
At this point an onsite template was required and installation. These 2 events were scheduled on the one call and within 2 weeks our new countertops were installed.
This limited exposure to staff and the process was very easy. The slab yard was in a busy city but only 5 other people were at the slab yard looking at material at the same time. I was only exposed to 1 person at the front desk that asked who my company was and handed me a form to complete once I had selected material.
When all was said and done we were very happy with our new granite countertops.
- Providing PPE (personal protective equipment) such as masks, gloves and sanitation sprays and wipes for staff that enter the home and provide this for your worker when interacting with the customers.
- If you have onsite material. Limit the number of people that access your indoor slab yards. Move natural material to outside yards when possible.
- Request Appointment only for onsite visits to manage the number of customers at your location at one time.
- Define the process on your website to increase customer confidence and that interacting with your countertop business will be a safe experience.
- For customers that are not able to take measurements encourage them to send you photos of the project where you may estimate the surface square footage based on cabinet sizes and recognizable items in the kitchen.
- I suspect a large portion of the population will have a level of germafobilia on the other side of this pandemic. Even if they don’t they will appreciate that you have adopted policies that put the general customers safety first.
We are FireUps.
We specialize in direct to consumer marketing service for customer countertop fabricators.
Marketing a custom Countertop shop will have new challenges as life gets back to "normal". Our Solution is powerful in that we can react in realtime to these new variable and provide data points around how we are reacting to these new market conditions. we can quickly adopt and change our business processes to ensure that we are meeting sales objectives. We do have market exclusivity factors so be sure to contact us soon if you would like to join us in the post March 2020 countertop industry.
The only way to react to the changing market is to track your customers. To use marketing to understand what your customer is reacting to and change your practices and message to attract your customer. I do this in real time and provide statistics that we can make business and message changes to increase market share. All these principles can then be applied to any other channels that you use to drive the local consumer. We have been using these practices for the past 12 years to grow many custom countertop shops around the country.