Since the dawn of their existence, electrical distributors have continuously sought new means to expedite orders, improve sales and expand their customer base. Many, in the past few years, have realized they need to embrace new technology to help grow business more effectively. Pierre Barbeau and Jim Barnes co-founded Moblico in Kansas City in 2010 with a vision to help businesses work smarter, better and faster with mobile. “We created a platform to help businesses do more with mobile—improve customer service, improve sales and streamline processes where possible,” Barbeau, CEO of Moblico, said.
Early in 2011, the company started providing texting services to distributors.
“It took a while for distributors to catch up to where we were, but in the last three years distributors started coming around to understanding that the customers they serve are heavily influenced by their consumer experiences,” Barbeau said. “The more people get used to using their phones in the consumer world, the more they expect immediacy and ease of use in their business world transactions.”
The generational shift in the workforce is also having an effect on the ways distributors conduct business. “The number of millennials, who are technology savvy, in the workforce is rising,” Barbeau said. “With distributorships, we’re seeing a lot of families handing the reins of their businesses to their kids. All that’s happened in the past few years has been a genesis for us. There’s greater adoption and demand for the services we provide.”
Moblico offers products particularly suited for distributorships that want to streamline communications to increase productivity and improve customer engagement and retention. “We can help remove friction in certain places in business with better communication technology,” Barbeau said.
“We can also help distributors transact with their customers anytime and anywhere. Customers can order products wherever they are, which leads to more sales. Increased sales means you can offer more products and services.”
Moblico’s Hybrid App Framework combines the best of your mobileresponsive website with any HTML5-based content in a thin native app container. This product also integrates with the mobile-optimized marketing features driven by Moblico’s Marketing Engine. This turn-key solution helps distributors engage, retain and monetize customers through their mobile phones.
Hybrid app features for customers include:
- Locations near me
- Click-to-call and click-to-text
- E-commerce and quick order form
- Truck stock
- Scan to cart
- PT calculator
- Document access
- Stock check
- Product search
- Warranty search
“The mobile app has a lot of features and it gives customers instant access to what they need when they need it,” Barbeau said. “Behind the scenes, the marketing engine provides the distributor with a web-based portal that is connected to their application to see who’s using it, where they are, when and how they use it. Distributors can use this information to tailor the experience customers are having with the app.”
Distributors can create a different app experience for each customer by controlling the content, who can see what content and when they can see it.
“You can determine what you want to communicate to each customer,” Barbeau said. “You can also run ads in the application. It’s a very powerful app solution. It becomes a marketing machine for your organization.” Broadcast and Business Texting Talking is out. Texting is in. People would rather text than call and they are more prone to open a text message than an email. Moblico’s
Broadcast Texting helps distributors
deliver information, such as branch hour changes and special event schedules, to their customers instantly, with 98 percent of those text messages read within 90 seconds. Distributors can also use this product to inform customers about weekly promotions, sponsored product specials, incentives and discounts. Broadcast Texting also helps distributors build a customer and employee opt-in database of mobile phone numbers to maintain open lines of instant communication.
Moblico’s Business Texting allows distributors to use the landlines they already have for sending and receiving texts and photos, which helps increase speed of service. This product can be used to quickly check inventory, request a product quote, place an order and schedule a pickup or delivery. Distributors can also troubleshoot problems in the field more easily when they have pictures to review.
“You can give your customers time back and more time to spend on site by increasing your speed of service and productivity with texting and pictures to landline,” Barbeau said. “It’s easier for a branch to handle multiple messages than phone calls and it’s a more effective way of communicating and tracking digital messaging with guys in the field who can send you pictures of what they need.”
With Digital Direct, Moblico brings the location-specific accuracy of direct mail to digital advertising by displaying internet ads to people using networked devices, like computers and mobile phones, at targeted businesses and/or residential addresses.
“Digital Direct can help you locate contractors and target them with digital advertising,” Barbeau said. “Distributors who offer their contractors marketing support services can then in turn offer this great product to help contractors target businesses and consumers in their area and find home and business owners and other potential buyers of their services.”
Integrating one or all of these products into business operations can help distributors create a more compelling customer experience. “An electrician’s reality is that there is more pressure than ever to be more efficient,” Barbeau said. “As a distributor, you can help him do that by giving him the tools to communicate more effectively and the ability to get the information he needs when he needs it on his phone or by texting the branch. Giving customers tools to help them at their jobs will only reinforce their loyalty.”
Moblico’s robust suite of services helps distributors go farther faster with digital marketing communications.
“We have a comprehensive suite of products to really help distributors leapfrog the competition cost-effectively and time-efficiently as opposed to what it would cost and the time it would take building it themselves,” Barbeau said.
For more information, visit moblicosolutions.com.