“Thank you for holding; your call is very important to us.
To talk to a bot and eventually get nowhere, press one.
To get redirected to a million different departments, press two.
To stay on hold endlessly, press three; or, stay on the line.”
Ryan Levits, the Director of Business Innovation at Ashley Furniture in Texas, was in a tight situation. Ryan told us that his job consists of “identifying and fixing friction points both in the customers’ and employees’ journey.”
And this was a big friction point for both.
Traditional sales calls trapped customers in an endless loop of waiting, holding, getting transferred, or being sent to voicemail. Salespeople constantly had to step away from in-store clients to take a phone call or catch up on their backlog of voicemails.
Ryan was determined to fix the problem, but he was becoming frustrated and quickly running out of ideas. Some of his salespeople had tried texting their customers, but that solution had bred a new set of problems.
“That was scary for us because (A) we couldn’t monitor the conversations and (B) the salesperson was giving out their personal number which, when I was a salesperson, I didn’t like to do because I’d get those midnight calls from an upset customer,” Ryan told us.
Ryan mulled over this problem for months, but it seemed like he was getting nowhere. That’s when he thought of Podium. Ashley Furniture had been using Podium to text review invites to their customers, and the results had exceeded all expectations.
“We had a 10% to 12% increase in foot traffic that we attributed purely to Podium’s Reviews tool.”
If we could skyrocket reviews with a simple text, Ryan thought, what else could we unlock by texting our customers?
Ryan began implementing Podium messaging tools into his team’s daily routine. When customers contacted Ashley Furniture via Facebook, Google, or text, Ryan’s team could manage all of those conversations from their Podium Inbox .
“Customers are obviously very happy because they don’t have to deal with a bot answering,” Ryan said. “They get an immediate response from a real person who can solve their problem right away.”
Salespeople also stopped feeling like they were on call around the clock. With a central inbox, anyone at the company could now pick up a conversation with any customer.
“Customers get an immediate response from a real person who can solve their problem right away.”
Suddenly, communication was easy and frictionless. The team was no longer limiting their text conversations to reviews; they were responding to inquiries, resolving issues, and taking orders. They even started using Podium Payments to send and collect payments via text.
“Customers that use Podium Payments are significantly happier versus having to drive all the way back to the store and deal with another salesperson,” Ryan said.
Months later, Ryan can lean back, stretch, and rest assured that it’s smooth selling with both employees and customers.
Ashley Furniture strives to show customers they care, and Podium makes sure they get the message.