Valspar sees success responding to consumers in the retail channel
Bazaarvoice gave Valspar an opportunity to spread its most engaged customers’ feedback close to the point of sale.
Solution at a glance
Connect with shoppers on retail partner sites, where intent is the highest, to help guide purchase decisions and influence sales.
Use Bazaarvoice Connections to send content to retail partner sites and to respond to customer questions directly on the retail partner sites.
By having direct access to customers in the retail channel, Valspar was able to resolve issues, answer questions, build an authoritative brand image, and show end customers that the brand cares deeply about its customers’ satisfaction.
Valspar has always been a customer-centric brand, dedicated to delivering the latest innovations, the finest quality, and the best customer service in the coatings industry. The company has shown that it listens to the consumer by adopting customer reviews on-site and maintaining an active presence on social channels.
While the company lists products and interacts with customers on its own site, its product lines are sold primarily through retailer partners. Because of this, Valspar faced a challenge shared by many manufacturers: it had limited access to potential customers where they are best equipped to convert – on the websites of Valspar’s retail partners. Valspar sought to find a way to connect with shoppers on retail sites, where intent is the highest, to help guide purchase decisions and influence sales.
While Valspar had been a longtime user of Bazaarvoice Conversations to power customer reviews on its own site, it wasn’t able to use this content to impact sales directly in the retail channel. With the Bazaarvoice syndication network, Valspar was able to syndicate its consumer content to to the website of one of its largest retail partners. The partnership provided the retailer with thousands of new Valspar product reviews on its product pages and gave Valspar an opportunity to spread its most engaged customers’ feedback close to the point of sale.
With the success of sharing reviews between sites, a request came from the retail partner asking Valspar if it would be willing to use Bazaarvoice Connections to respond to customer questions about Valspar products carried on the retailer’s .com site. Although it was clear to Jonathan Sullivan, Director of Digital Marketing at Valspar, that the Connections partnership could be hugely beneficial to both companies, he had concerns about the current team serving customers in a timely manner. With guidance from Bazaarvoice, a plan based on best practices was put into place to have the existing team answer questions on the retailer’s site.
When the partnership was launched in February 2012, it was evident that it would be a win-win. Valspar was able to meaningfully engage with its end consumers at the point of sale, helping to provide that last bit of information needed to make a purchase decision, and the retail partner was able to bring a credible brand voice into its own site.
After launching Bazaarvoice Connections, Valspar was granted direct access to consumers on the channels where it does its primary business. By responding to customer questions and syndicating reviews, Valspar was able to resolve issues and answer questions, build an authoritative brand image, and show end customers that the brand cares deeply about its customers’ satisfaction. Up to 95% of dissatisfied buyers will buy a brand again if a complaint is resolved quickly; without having to make any dramatic changes to the service team structure, Valspar was able to support a 12-hour turnaround time on all questions. In turn, these authentic answers from expert voices were able to influence a direct increase in sales on the company’s products sold on the retail partner’s site.
In addition, the experience of using Connections revealed to Valspar that it needed to more tightly integrate marketing and customer service at Valspar. Because customer service reps are responsible for upholding the brand’s message and promise on consumer-facing channels, customer service became a function of marketing. All customer service reps now undergo “brand voice guidance” as part of their initial training. The company has also identified common consumer questions and concerns that help inform customer service protocol and messaging internally, and improve efficiency of customer service – wherever a shopper could be accessing the Valspar brand.
Finally, Connections has allowed Valspar to be a better supplier for its retail partners. For instance, when the company notices a question or comment time and time again on a given product, Valspar can identify opportunities to improve product descriptions and fill in information gaps. Also, if sales decline for a particular product online or in-store, Valspar is able to reference consumer content data to see if there is a common thread of complaints, or even an isolated period of complaints, that may point to a batch problem.
Partnering with Bazaarvoice and a key retail partner, Valspar was able to achieve its goals and connect with shoppers in more meaningful ways, where it matters most. Opening up the dialog with consumers allowed Valspar to improve organizational efficiency, support its brand promise by providing superior support to its customers when they need it most, and ultimately influence sales on a critical sales channel. In the coming months, Valspar plans to expand its Connections program by offering similar support and syndication to other key partners participating in the world’s largest retail network.Download PDF »