We recently spoke with Clint Perez, senior director of marketing for LivingSocial. The online marketplace, located at www.livingsocial.com offers users targeted deals for local restaurants, events, shopping, home services and more.


First, give me a little background on LivingSocial and what opportunities it offers for flooring contractors.

One common challenge shared by most small and mid-sized businesses is the lack of resources they are able to dedicate to marketing. This is where LivingSocial can help. Our updated merchant center gives flooring merchants the ability to see who is purchasing the deal, analyze social media insight and perhaps most importantly, deliver results that are both real and measurable. Through the merchant center, merchants also have the opportunity to respond to customer feedback via a private channel to help build long-term relationships with their customers.


How does a flooring contractor became a LivingSocial vendor and part of the site’s featured deals?

Any merchant interested in more information about running a deal with LivingSocial can contact us here: https://getfeatured.livingsocial.com/getfeatured/us. Our team of marketing consultants will reach out and work with merchants to craft an offer specific to their needs, so that it achieves the merchant’s goals, while providing real value to our shared customers.


How can flooring contractors make sure they do not become maxed out on their resources from being featured on the site?

We continually look to improve upon how we can increase flexibility to serve the needs of our merchant partners. We are now able to offer merchants more options than ever before to create a single offer or a series of offers, along with greater choice around start dates, expiration, and options to control customer volume.


What are some best practices for handling a customer who clicked on one of these deals?

Preparation is crucial. When you run a deal, you will see an increase in call volume from customers with questions about the deal, your services and available dates. Some customers may want services immediately. If you can’t accommodate these requests, try to set clear expectations as to when they can be serviced. Also, it is useful to inform customers of any pre-service instructions before your visit, such as moving furniture, clearing floors and removing pets.


How should the flooring contractor prepare his or her staff to handle an increase in consumer communication during the initial stages of the offering?

When preparing to run a deal, it is important that your employees are able to accurately answer any questions related to your deal. You can probably expect questions about the specific services that are covered in the deal, as well as clarification of fine print.

Anticipate an increase in phone calls and emails the first few days of the deal. You’ll want to consider having additional help on hand to answer customer questions and scheduling, or creating a dedicated email address for handling new appointments. As customers often research companies prior to buying a deal, it is also a worthwhile exercise to review the company website and social media platforms to make sure that details related to services are available and all company contact information is accurate.

LivingSocial is a great tool when looking to expand into new markets. Determining the geographic range that your company is capable of servicing requires careful consideration of the time and resources necessary to ensure you are able to provide your customers with quality service. A good impression helps drive repeat business.


Can you share some tips on training employees to upsell additional services?

Employees should assume that customers will not be very knowledgeable about the specifics of floor installation and should be able to educate them to help make the best decisions regarding additional services available.

Also, it is helpful to ensure the staff is able to communicate the details related to any existing loyalty or referral programs—they are a great way to expand your customer base. Be sure to have employees capture customer contact info to create the foundation for an ongoing relationship.