Arkansas-based James+James Furniture started out in the garage of the founder, James Smith, and quickly set itself apart from the competition by crafting quality, customizable pieces for any style.
James Smith says, “People started asking if we could build different things. The answer was always, ‘Yeah, we can build that.’ They can get exactly the size that they need and exactly the right color with exactly the right options.”
But while James+James Furniture and its reputation grew, the company’s online customer interactions stagnated. Smith says, “We had a chat thing that was just like you could stay in the chat window and chat. And it didn’t give very much engagement at all, so we turned it off,” Smith says. “With 80 percent of our customers on a mobile device, no one wants to sit there on their phone with the chat window open.”
That all changed when James+James Furniture found Podium.
James+James Furniture stumbled upon Podium accidentally. On a family trip to a trampoline park, Smith received a text message from the park requesting a review and quickly became intrigued by which service it used to do so. He soon learned that text-based review requests were just one of Podium’s many features. “I was like, ‘Oh, this is cool.’” Smith says. “And so I clicked it open and the interface was awesome. I was like, ‘Oh man, we need this.’”
James+James implemented Webchat to give customers a convenient way to reach out. Podium proved instant ROI for the growing company.
During the first full month of the company’s implementation of Podium, James+James Furniture saw impressive results. Customers not only used Webchat and other Podium features, but it even influenced purchase decisions.
“I think about 27 percent of our customers that bought from us in February used Podium at some point leading up to that purchase,” says Smith. “About 27 percent of people used it, which was surprisingly high. And the average person that used Podium spent 15 percent more than the average person that didn’t.”
Beyond the impressive results, Webchat also added a personal touch to every interaction. “As somebody is now in your text inbox, that’s a very familiar friendly place,” says Smith. “So I think it helps you earn some trust with the customer because it’s not like they’re emailing with some nameless entity.” Podium gives James+James Furniture one more way to put an extra personal touch on its already personalized business.