“Homeowner and end-user expectation has changed. People rightly expect a higher level of professionalism. Being able to draw on information about jobs from quotes to appointments, to worked jobs, from the moment you pick up the phone or they walk into the salesroom, doesn’t just save time but creates a far better impression of your business”, says Elliot Martin, Sales and Marketing Director, MPS.
The South West-based retailer, signed up to EVA, the Emplas Virtual Assistant earlier this year. A few months in and it’s become a cornerstone of not just MPS lead management strategy but also a key general administration tool.
“We had been using SAGE, which is really an accountancy tool but we were trying to force it to do stuff that it wasn’t really designed to do and didn’t really give us the visibility that we were looking for, so we switched to EVA four months ago”, continues Elliott.
“It was initially about lead management but has become much more of a general tool because it also allows you manage the flow of work through the business and if you have teams operating from different locations, they can all access it and see exactly what’s going on.
“That allows us to work more effectively and deliver a better customer experience.”
Introducing EVA – the Emplas Virtual Assistant
EVA – the Emplas Virtual Assistant was launched by Emplas last year. It features lead generation and management software, automated quotations, remote placement of orders and subsequent order tracking, facilities to check invoices and CE Marking.
Accessed through Emplas online portal installers can log-on from any PC, laptop, tablet or mobile phone, to access a secure quoting and order processing system - and track those orders in real-time.
Price generator tool
“What we have found useful and helpful in generating sales is the price generator tool, which we have added to our website”, says Elliott. “We decided that we wanted to be more effective at capturing business out of office hours by making it easier for customers to build a better understanding of the options available to them.
“The price generator tool allows our retail customers to do that, giving them an indicative cost, out of office hours. We then drop them a line back and its generated a high volume of leads.”
Effective lead monitoring
This also automatically uploads and registers the enquiry to the EVA lead management tool. It’s designed to give retailers full visibility of exactly where the lead is from initial enquiry, quotation and ultimately through to conversion into business and completion.
“We know exactly where we are all of the time”, continues Elliott. “That’s advantageous in that we can see straight away where a job is, how it’s progressed, plus pull in the documentation relating to that job whenever or wherever we are – in the office, or on site. You simply log-in form any browser.
“We also colour code jobs, which makes it very easy to get an overview of where we are, also allowing us to also track where each of those leads have come from.”
Cut the time it takes to produce professional quotes
MPS has also exploited EVA’s Quotation Pack, software, which creates detailed and professional quotes in a matter of minutes, pulling in relevant certification, accreditations and product specifications from minimal data input.
This in automatically pulls-in the customers’ logo, and their details as relevant including accreditations and memberships of professional bodies, specific to them.
All they then need to do is input the relevant quote details including price, how long it’s valid for and then select the product specification from a tick-box menu. The system does the rest cutting the time taken to create a professional to a couple minutes.
“It’s another very helpful tool”, continues Elliott. “It links in with the lead management software so quotes go straight onto the system but it also allows you to turn a quote round very quickly.
“You specify the requirement, the design and then it pulls in everything for you - our terms of business, our memberships of professional bodies, the drawings, it gives the consumer 15 or so pages, - it’s an almost complete schedule of work.
“This really important. People are a lot smarter today. They know us and will come to us because we have been trading for the last 27-years but they’ll also get two other quotes. We turn ours around within 48 hours and its presented professionally, not scribbled on a compliment slip.
“The other plus is that it’s there as an automatically generated pdf, we email as well as post it out, so customers are happy to give us an email address and if they do walk in off the street and say they haven’t got it, it’s there ready to pull off again.
“If you’re doing it on paper, you only have one copy, it might be with salesman somewhere else, you end up having to scrabble round for details - it doesn’t create a professional impression and that’s now so key in retail.”
The quotation pack also allows Emplas customers to draw on legally checked and regularly updated, terms and conditions created for T&K Home Improvements, which guarantees that they stay on the right side of trading regulations.
“What we’re doing through EVA, especially through the quotation software and the lead management tools is to bring control and visibility to lead management and our internal process, which makes that interface with the customer far more joined-up and professional – that’s key to winning business.”