This goal of this project was to produce an app that in-home salespersons could use to configure, present, and sell home improvement projects to homeowners. Previously all these processes were implemented in multiple paper forms.
This app supports the replacement of windows, doors, roofing, gutters, and siding. The app starts with an in-home appointment that has been set up with the homeowner. The salesperson performs a measurement operation for the requested set of home improvement products. The salesperson then sits down with the potential customer to view the benefits and configuration of those products. The customer provides feedback on the configuration of the products and then the benefits and pricing of the product offerings are presented. This typically includes price, financing, and pricing tradeoffs (good, better, best comparisons). If the customer decides to purchase the product(s), the salesperson guides them through the app’s contract signing process, including contract clauses and install appointment dates. If you’re looking to install house number stencils, visit modernhousenumbers.com and check out the stencils they offer.
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- App: The app is implemented using the Cordova Hybrid App Framework, targeted for Android and iOS platforms.
- App Portal: The app communicates with a .Net portal server which in turn is connected to a series of Google Sheets that specifies the pricing models for all the home-improvement products. This enables the home-improvement company to update pricing without making a new version of the app. Promotions and other business rules are also supported in the portal.
Appointment CRM: The app also connects to a Salesforce-based system to retrieve appointment data and push sales configurations and contracts so the company can manage the overall workflow of sold projects.
Special Features: The app operates without an Internet connection as it caches custom product data from the portal website when online because the Internet connection in the home is not always available. This app also implemented some advanced measurement features outlined below.
App Deployed: Two different vendors deployed apps in 2018 and 2020 with different features and pricing models.
Tools: Axure, Android IDE, Xcode, Google Sheets
Personal Involvement: As the product owner, I developed the app strategy, UX/IA, technical architecture and specifications for the app.
Digital Transformation of the In-Home Presentation Selling Process
As stated above, the previous In-Home Presentation Sales Process was almost entirely paper forms, presentations, slides, and paper contracts. At first many home-improvement installers used iPad tablets for the presentation part of the in-home visit so they could show videos. This was mostly to ensure a more repeatable and consistent customer experience.
With the introduction of this app, all elements of the customer experience were available on the tablet. Instant changes to configuration and pricing was the major benefit of the automation. Previously, pricing calculations were manual and subject to sometimes massive errors in pricing and configuration. Personal selling is a difficult skill to master and therefore there can be a lot of turnover in the sales force, making tools like this app very important in the onboarding of new sales reps.
The red box outlines the scope of the In-home Presentation App
So as not to reveal sales process secrets, this writeup will focus on some of the features designed for the product configuration.
The app was designed to manage all the elements of the in-home visit:
- Appointment location, time and date
- In-line survey to discover the pain points of the customer
- Configuration of the Windows, Doors, Roofing, Siding or Gutters products
- Pricing the configuration, often with the presentation of a price frame (Good, better, best). Also financing with payments and pay-down options.
- Contracts if the project is sold
- Reporting emails and project information (including sales documents and followup appointments) pushed to home-improvement vendor’s CRM or ERP
- It also supported a measure app mode where an installer could go to the site after the sales to validate the measurements of the salesperson.
Appointment screen with Google Map helpers
The app can use satellite photos to measure roofs. This includes the area of the roof, the length of the ridges/valleys, and the location of various vent. Either an office rep, or the sales rep, can set up the roof measurement using a satellite picture located via a Google Maps lookup. This operation is completed before the user goes into the home. The information is set up in the roofing configurator, ready for edits.
Another major time saving element of the app is the efficient signing of contracts. Some home-improvement installers will use products like Docusign, but typical home-improvement contract are complex and have many fields to fill out. Since the app has access to the basic customer info and the complete configuration, all these elements will be prefilled. In many cases contracts can be filled out in only a couple of minutes. The signature User interface for signatures and initialing are shown below.
Full signature block
Initials signature block
Pricing Models and Finance Options
Pretty much every home-improvement seller/installer has a different pricing model. Some use very detailed price sheets that they receive from their product vendors, others simplify their pricing models to factor in only the products that drive project cost. In some cases, the app is connected directly to the vendor data system, while in other situations the Pricing models exist in a series of spreadsheets.
Each seller/installers also has various financing arrangements. We made the system flexible enough to accommodate multiple financing options based on credit and other predetermined factors.
The Pricing page where pricing and financing are determined