Friday, May 26, 2017

Memorial Day 2017: Honoring Service and Sacrifice

Memorial Day has been set aside as a day for all of us to honor and remember the sacrifices made for our country by our military and recognize their service.

Traditionally, here at CPS, we recognize and thank members of the CPS family who have served our country.

Memorial Day 2017: Semper Fi
Last year, we celebrated Bob Musa son's recent graduation from US Marine Corps Camp Pendleton Boot Camp. Mike has moved on to his permanent duty station in North Carolina; congratulations!

Remembering the service of:

Bob Strickland, US Air Force

Bob's father, Robert Musa (US Marines, retired & yes; that's 2 generations!)
Chris' father, Michael Lott (US Navy, retired)
Michelle's father, Robert DuBois (US Air Force)
Michelle's husband, Jerry Stone (US Navy)
Sean's father, Chris Miyazaki (US Air Force, retired)
Troy's brother, John (US Air Force)
Zoe's father, Charles Miller and brother, Wilson Miller (both: US Army)


Did you know 50% of today's high school youth aren't aware of World War II? Why not take the time to encourage friends and family to remember -- with a bbq, picnic, visit to a memorial park or concert, joining a parade or running a race to support various fundraising efforts?

Let us know who you are remembering this Memorial Day!

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Homebuilder #1 Referral Driver: Keeping Buyers Informed

Eliant, the home building industry's largest firm specializing in managing the consumer experience, notes in a recent Builder & Developer article that the single largest referral driver is how well the builder keeps buyers informed regarding the status of construction!
Keeping Your Buyers & Homeowners Informed 24/7
That statistic is part of a very interesting article by Bob Mirman, Eliant's founder/CEO, as he points out similarities between hospitals and home builders.

Hospitals & home builders, you might ask? Drill down a bit: patients and home buyers are anxious, worried, confused and scared as they're involved in an unfamiliar environment. Not for the same reason but.. still concerned. Mirman suggests empathy goes a long way towards making everyone feel comfortable.

Mirman's second point is the value of contact when delays are encountered -- or anticipated.  He suggests asking: do your employees proactively reach out -- and how?

The third and most critical point is the impact of status updates -- and isn't that the case with most consumer-facing businesses? Mirman noticed and appreciated the daily calls from the assigned staff internist.  He knew he'd get the latest information and didn't need to worry about voicemail, missed calls or miscommunication through a 3rd party.

Think about your operations: how do you keep buyers up-to-date

We'd like to suggest taking a look at CPS' FieldCollaborate with its Portal.  Your buyers have access, 24/7, in real-time, to stage-of-construction photos and schedules.  It's their "piece of the pie" automatically generated from use of FieldCollaborate's construction scheduling application.  Tie it to your website and other than taking photos, no extra work is needed on your part.  Status updates are automatic, always visible and right there, 24/7 -- on their desktop, laptop, phone or tablet! 

Referrals can be a key sales driver; we've just learned that status updates are the #1 key referral driver!

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Giving Your Customers a "Wow!" Experience

Much of today's marketing focus is all about the customer experience.  Great experiences will engage and capture customers.

SalesTouch: Adding Wow! to surprise and delight consumers
It's said: give your customers a "wow" experience and they will tell friends, family, work colleagues and share on social media.

So...how to create that "wow"? Recent ICX (Interactive Customer Experience) Summit participants offered some thoughts:

  • Ben Putland at Grand Visual: Consider how the technology is being used to enhance a story (vs. being the story itself) 
  • Eric Vazquez at Encore Event Technologies: Consumers with a natural sense of curiosity want to engage with technology
  • Paula Suarez at Dickey's Barbeque: Consumers want to interact with technology, but that technology has to make sense.
Take a look at the SalesTouch interactive touchscreen system installed at The John Marshall multifamily property in Richmond, VA.  Curious as to where you might eat if you lived at the property?  Can't you almost taste that pizza?

We like to think this presentation offers a Wow! experience for the home shopper.  Technology enhances the list of restaurants by providing a visually engaging experience.  Consumers want to find out what's close by -- and technology encourages their curiosity.  Using touchscreen technology makes sense because it takes a straightforward process such as the restaurant story in Richmond, enhances it with interesting copy and visuals and encourages exploration.   

We think John Marshall home shoppers find a unique, engaging experience that surprises and delights them -- and we can help you deliver Wow! moments, as well! 
 


Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Interactive Touchscreens: All About Consumer Engagement

Consumer engagement is a very broad topic but... it's considered the lifeblood of an organization's marketing strategy.
SalesTouch: Making the Shift to Decision Simplicity!

How would you define it?  We suggest it is the interaction between a brand and its customers.  

When consumers make purchase decisions -- especially large dollar purchases like a new home -- they are doing more than buying a product; they are making a statement as to how the product resonates with their identity and lifestyle. 

How does your marketing collateral engage home shoppers and move beyond just product?

Harvard Business Review article, To Keep Your Customers, Keep It Simple, suggests using a "decision simplicity index" to ask how easy is it for consumers to gather and understand information. The easier a brand makes the purchase decision journey, the higher the decision-simplicity score.  

Shifting the orientation toward decision simplicity, it is argued, is a significant change requiring marketing teams to rethink how and what to communicate.  Too much (information, product samples, views, floor plans....you name it!) can produce an excess of input leading to indecision.  Too much choice, in other words, often paralyzes decision-making.

Take a look at the Tehaleh SalesTouch interactive presentation image, above.  Can you see how it would resonate with identity and lifestyle -- as it defines what you will see as you engage: active lifestyle, family, outdoors, shopping/dining and homes.  Aren't you encouraged to jump in and explore?  Hasn't this SalesTouch interactive system simplified and personalized the journey toward purchasing at Tehaleh?

Take advantage of CPS' experience in developing engaging interactive presentations focused on presenting information simply, yet powerfully.  We can help your home shoppers get more engaged!

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Warranty Management: Developing a Strategic Advantage

Today, it seems that everyone is talking about improving the quality of customer engagement.


Use Warranty as a Customer Engagement Touchpoint!
There are many possible engagement touch points: have you considered your warranty operation as an opportunity to enhance your relationship?.

Back in the day, warranty was introduced as a tool to attract customers. Companies wanted to show buyers that they were willing to guarantee their products.  Soon, the idea caught on and everyone was providing a warranty on their products and.. home builders were no different.

Home builders found, as did others, that managing warranty was a task in and of itself.

Claims management, vendor logistics,... before they knew it, warranty seemed to be a monster that had a life of its own.

Today, however, warranty management, if properly conceived and administered, offers an opportunity to increase your strategic advantage.  It can improve customer engagement and, through today's social media outlets, provide a direct customer voice.  What home shopper wouldn't be encouraged to see a Facebook post highlighting a successful warranty claim?

Successful warranty operations can become both a strategic advantage and a referral source!

How?  An article by Aditya Baliga in Industry Week, suggests a key element is to develop a holistic and streamlined warranty process.  Some key elements:
  1. Warranty Analytics -- Do you know your Top 10 issues? How about their reasons?
  2. Claims Processing -- Have you done everything to improve the process and minimize costs?
  3. Automation -- Go Mobile! and let your homeowners submit requests directly, as an example.
CPS has been helping home builders improve their customer relationships for -- over 30 years.  WarrantyWatcher can provide the analytics you need as well as expedite both claims processing and vendor notification using automation.  Give us a shout out!



Thursday, May 4, 2017

Builders: Mobile Power for Your Warranty Vendors & Homeowners

A recent Retail Customer Experience article by Tom Goodmanson suggests successful brands are always evaluating plans for creating improved customer experiences and building customer loyalty. Today, many find home building to be more brand-focused and retail-oriented than ever.
Offer Mobile To Your Homeowners!

What better time to evaluate and solidify customer strategies than early 2017? Goodmanson makes several 2017 predictions including: mobile customer service will close the gap between consumer expectations and reality.

Combine those thoughts regarding customer service (Go Mobile!!) with the anticipated tsunami of entry level buyers, highly driven by millennials who are already mobile-oriented, and it suggests that adding mobile to the new home experience makes sense for 2017.

And, the experience doesn't stop in the sales center!

Today's home buyer has high expectations regarding their home and the post-sale warranty process in terms of timeliness, quality and reliability.  Make sure your warranty/customer service organization is capable of responding to those requirements -- as well as the goals of improved customer experiences through mobile access.

Let your home owners submit warranty requests using CPS' WarrantyWatcher software from your website using their laptop, smartphone or tablet - and provide the same access to review request status and overall problem resolution history. Vendors have the same cross platform and browser functionality -- from desktop to devices.

CPS has been helping builders offer improved customer service for over 30 years -- let us show you how WarrantyWatcher can improve your customer's experiences!

Monday, May 1, 2017

More on: Marketing to Millennials

Interesting recent article from Quosol regarding your sales and marketing approach to Millennials.

Did you know Millennials are now almost 25% of the US population? That's about the same as the Boomer population -- we're experiencing one of the largest demographic shifts in modern history.

Quosol suggests Millennials think and act differently than the rest of the population -- and that we all need to learn about how to sell to this increasingly important marketing demographic. Several key thoughts emerge as key to making sure your organization is Millennial-savvy:

  1. Millennials have grown up with a focus on them -- and social media has only intensified that by putting them under a microscope.  It's the gate keeper between the sale and them.  As a result, communications need to be relevant and personal. It's about capturing their attention!
  2. Millennials do their research -- and 80% of their purchase decision is made before they become a lead. 60% say they are often or always loyal to brands that they currently purchase -- often putting quality over price.
  3. Millennials are beyond tech savvy -- technology has been a part of their entire life (some were playing with cell phones instead of traditional toys!). You'll need to marketing in ways that are their way of communicating -- employing digital as a part of the sales process.                   
CPS' Social Media Wall: Putting Technology to Work!
30% of Millennials use 4 or more technology devices a day & check their smartphones at least 43 times a day!

We suggest incorporating CPS' Social Media Wall --  an engaging, ever-changing display of shared customer experiences encouraging businesses and their audience to create a new type of digital story. Take marketing messages and display them side-by-side with consumer generated content, such as photos and videos, from popular social media sites like Twitter and Instagram. 

The result? Technology providing a shared, creative process fostering an ongoing, engaging customer experience -- exactly the type of sales experience your Millennial audience rewards!