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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Mobility: What Benefits Are Available for Construction Operations

Did you see last week's blog highlighting the value of mobility tools to the construction industry?

Nile Lars suggested, in an Insights.Wired article, that mobility solutions add real value to the construction process.  Generally, construction-related businesses are managing multiple projects, in a variety of locations, with most staff working remote -- and all participants have a need to communicate status, results and financials.  Depending on the project, you might also want to add in vendors to the mix, as well.
FieldCollaborate Mobile:  Anywhere/anytime schedule access

Lars suggests several key benefits available throughout the entire construction life cycle:

-- Improved communications as mobility keeps the field and corporate office connected.  Easy sharing of data and images as everyone has anywhere/anytime access.

-- Better workflow processes as a result of real time data.  Field managers, for example, can indicate a task has been completed and approved for payment and, using mobile devices and an integrated system, accounting can issue payment.

-- Increased productivity.  Think improved efficiency, no more double data entry, missed phone calls, lost faxes and the like!

-- Ability to integrate systems and outside staff. Now that field managers and corporate staff have anywhere/anytime access to data, why not offer access to your vendors?

And, mobile tablets and smart phones offer the ability to go beyond data: field managers, for example, can capture onsite images, videos and audios to back-up activities onsite as well as distribute to corporate staff.  Document sharing is becoming more and more popular, as well.

Mobility enables  field staff  and vendors to be active participants throughout the enterprise -- saving time, enhancing communications and strengthening workflow processes.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Mobility: Optimizing Construction Operations, Offering a Strong ROI

Are you a Wired Insights reader? This innovation-centric site is designed to focus discussion on the next generation of business tech.  Recent articles focus on the evolution of cloud-based computing, wearable technology, the gap in professional skills in today's college graduates -- quite a range!

FieldCollaborate: Mobility means Anywhere/Anytime access!
Back in February 2015, Nile Lars published Why Mobility Has A Great Significance in the Construction Industry to suggest that -- despite the dollar value associated with construction projects-- there's still a significant amount of inefficiency in the construction cycle whether you're looking at mass transportation projects or new home construction.

Lars suggests mobility solutions add significant value to construction projects.  Effective use of mobile solutions, according to Lars, optimizes operations and provides a strong ROI.

Where's the real "bang for the buck" when evaluating mobility? Accessing back office data from anywhere -- in real time.  

We'll talk about specific benefits in another article; talk to us about FieldCollaborate and the Mobile component available for both iOS and Android tablets and smart phones.  Grab the Mobility efficiencies and positive ROI  for your organization!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Move-in/Monthly Payment Calcs: Gain the Rent vs. Buy Information Edge

There's a great sales agent takeaway in a recent BuilderOnline article: the monthly house payment on a median-priced home is more affordable than the monthly fair market rent on a 3-bedroom property (in 76% of the US counties included in the study).

Put rent vs. buy information in your agent's hands!
Are you sales agents trained and capable of taking this important piece of information and making it an effective part of their sales presentation to potential buyers?

Training: we'll leave that up to you and the many well-qualified sales trainers.

Capable of taking this data and displaying it in a meaningful way so potential buyers recognize the value of home ownership?

CPS' CRM 2.0 can help! We've been displaying move-in costs and monthly payments for almost 30 years -- they've always been an important part of the sales presentation.

Take a look at the magnifying glass on the right; if you'd like to incorporate this into your agent's sales process, let us know!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Does automated line management make the line move faster??

We've talked about lines before: no one likes them and... they're all around us!

Businesses take lines seriously. They have to: no one wants grumpy customers annoyed about waiting and sometimes abandoning the purchase, entirely, because of a line.

Waiting isn't as bad -- there's Friday's Brews & Bites!
That's where queuing management comes into play -- and it isn't just about shortening the line.  Queue theory, a 100-year old field of study, has transitioned from the purely mathematical to more of a psychological analysis of lines and their impact.

Automated line management systems are available to make the wait process more efficient.  Typically, an effective system can provide a 15-35% improvement from end-to-end.  Everyone likes the idea of less time in line but ... reducing a 3 1/2 minute wait by 25 seconds doesn't always register as a significant improvement to the average consumer.  It's still a wait.

Just as important -- it not more so -- is perceived wait time. There can be up to a 40% decrease in perceived wait time with a good automated line system keeping customers both occupied and distracted by marketing and informational messaging.  It's play-off season; who wouldn't mind waiting when they knew they'd see the latest game score? Or, learning about Friday night's free wine tasting!

What's your business doing to keep your lines moving -- and your customers happy?  Take a look at CPS' QuikLine solution!

Friday, April 10, 2015

What Can You Do with This: 91% of New Home Buying Decisions Made by Women?

This somewhat amazing, depending on your perspective, statistic begs you to ask: Is My Sales Strategy Focused Enough on What Motivates Women to Buy?

Relevant, relatable and... more details available!
The Blog has talked previously about the role women play in decision-making purchase decisions (not just in homes, either). Women are key decision-makers in consumer electronics, cars, furnishings, etc. purchases.

Have you thought about your marketing & sales strategies in terms of how they recognize and respond to women's values and needs?

Did you know women are the "most" connected consumer?  Men aren't the only geeks in your audience, in other words!  Are you taking advantage of the latest electronic means to connect?This doesn't just mean FaceBook and suggests mobile, not mailers, for example. Downloadable apps, interactive sales offices, web site Chat.

And, studies suggest women see information, products and even themselves in terms of how they relate to others. Marketing messages resonate more when they tell relevant stories.  And, studies suggest the story's details matter.

Take another look at the  interactive touchscreen image designed for Minto Florida at Harbour Isle. Doesn't this image tell a dynamic story?  Yes; we're in a new home sales office but it's much more than that: family, comfort, generational interaction.  Wouldn't you want to find out more about how to be in this photograph? Just by looking at the menu, you already know that details are available to help in your decision-making.

We'll be talking further about women and marketing, your connected audience and the power of relevant and relatable stories!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Lines: there's more than checkout at the end of that wait!

Lines...we can probably agree that they'll always be with us.

Businesses are putting queue theory (a mathematical process developed over 100 years ago) to work to make the line wait process both faster -- and more tolerable for their customers.  In addition, effective line management can enhance a retailer's bottom line, too!

Take the line out of waiting!
There's nothing worse than a customer, irritated with either the time or process, leaving a line, abandoning their purchase.  All the marketing dollars spent bring the customer into the store plus the time, energy and money spent to make the shopping experience as good as possible...lost! That's backlash and reneging in retail-speak.

Perry Kulkin, in a customer experience blog, notes 38% of customers wouln't return to a store with long or badly managed lines and 81% of dissatisfied shoppers will tell others about an unpleasant checkout line experience.

That's where automated line management systems help: both in expediting customers through the checkout process and reducing the perceived wait time through technology such as digital signage.

Effective line management also provides for increased sales volume with end-of-the line impulse purchases.  In-line merchandising has been said to "take the line out of waiting" with the ability to continue shopping while being processed through the checkout experience. When coupled with  call-forward electronic queuing (or automated line management), in-line merchandising rewards the retailer with up to a 400% increase in impulse sales, according to Kulkin.

And, line queuing management is where digital technology really shines as it can easily transition digital signs from reminding the regular shopper about Monday's sale to suggesting Friday night's wine tasting to the occasional drop-in customer.  Different messages, different profiles, different times of day -- easily managed through a comprehensive line management system.

CPS offers QuikLine -- an automated line management system geared towards enhancing the customer experience and the retailer's bottom line.  Let's talk about how your checkout process can be more than the end of the line!

Monday, April 6, 2015

Customer Journey Planning...Nurture Your Customer's Experience

Are you familiar with the concept of Customer Journey Planning?

Think of the customer journey as a roadmap detailing how a customer becomes aware of and their interactions with your brand.  It's the sum of all the experiences your customers encounter when experiencing your company.
What are you doing to Nurture Your Customer's Journey?

In other words, this roadmap has a lot of ground to cover! And, unpacking the customer journey will help you nurture (and, ultimately, maximize) the customer experience.

Here's a sample: imagine you're a retail coffee shop:

     -- Your potential customer is driving from home to work and sees your store (that's the first opportunity to understand the customer experience: signage: is it visible, prominent, enticing?). Or, was there already a missed opportunity via website, FaceBook, Twitter?
     -- The customer walks in (opportunity: can they easily locate the door, is it easy to walk in and see what is available?)
     -- Your employee greets the customer (opportunity: does this greeting actually happen and is it friendly, knowledgeable and helpful?)
     -- Then, the product is ordered and delivered (opportunity: how readable is that menu? is it easy to place an order? what is the packaging? appealing? maintains temperature?) and paid for (opportunity: how is the payment processed? easily? latest technology?).
     -- The customer leaves with your coffee (opportunity: did your server offer food? are there POS items? anything else enhancing the exit process?).
     -- Any followup to this purchase? (opportunity: a receipt with survey info? customer loyalty program? any motivators to generate return visits?)

That's just one scenario -- and, if you're not maximizing the opportunity to understand your customer's mindset, you might be selling both your product and brand short.

Of course, every customer's journey will be slightly different; you'll want to note actions, motivators, questions and obstacles.  Take another look at the Whole Foods Customer Comment Board at the start of this blog: how does this enhance a customer's journey?