It’s unquestionable that consistency is an essential part of excellent customer experiences. Consumers want to know what to expect from a business and tend to buy more from brands they’re familiar with. But maintaining that consistency across numerous locations and businesses can be a logistical nightmare.
Hunter Douglas, which sells customized window treatments through dealer networks, faced this challenge. Headquartered in the Netherlands, with operations in more than 100 countries, the company sells products through a network of dealers that range from small, family-owned businesses to big-box stores.
The company’s United States division wanted to create a consistent brand voice and aesthetic across its corporate website and dealer websites to help consumers become more familiar with the Hunter Douglas brand. The company also wanted to make it easier for dealers to showcase their offerings in a personalized but consistent manner.
“The dealer network is vital to our existence,” says Jamie Rivera, director of marketing programs at Hunter Douglas North America. “So we have to make sure that we’re helping our dealers maintain a pipeline of leads for their stores.” Last year, Hunter Douglas selected ChannelNet, a digital marketing firm, to help members of its 2,300+ dealer network update their websites with a new content management system and marketing automation processes.
Some of the sites were more than 10 years old and were not designed to serve the needs of today’s mobile-first customers. In addition to making the sites mobile friendly, personalization was a critical part of Hunter Douglas’ strategy for helping drive people to a dealer, Rivera explains.
“These dealerships are independently owned and they are run by people who are passionate about their business and we wanted the sites to reflect that,” Rivera says. “And because these are very personal interactions—you’re inviting a consultant to your home—the more customers can see who the dealers are and what they’ve done for other people, the better.”
The template for the new site therefore includes a “Meet the Team” page and dealers are encouraged to include a gallery of their work and an FAQ that includes answers to questions like “what is the best way to work with you?” The CMS also allows dealers to pull in and display online reviews of each dealer from Google. And when Hunter Douglas has a national promotion, it can automatically update the sites of participating dealers with the offer.
Through ChannelNet, Hunter Douglas also provides help desk services and training sessions on domain set-up, content entry, image editing, metrics, and reporting. Since the new template was rolled out earlier this year, about 25 percent of the dealers have upgraded their sites and dealers have reported an increase in Internet sales leads as high as 20 percent.
Looking ahead, Hunter Douglas plans to further support dealers by sharing insights from its corporate site about visitor behavior for retargeting strategies in addition to other learnings. “Consistency in messaging is key,” Rivera says. “As a manufacturer, we want to come up with tools that will help our partners be successful, because then we’ll be successful as well.”