Could you share any statistics, metrics or other feedback from this engagement?
The site has a number of different ways that customers can reach out to us, whether it’s for quotes, rental units, scheduling service, or pricing parts. We don’t have the ordering piece quite set up yet, but that’s not really our fault or the fault of Shanahan Design. As I said earlier, we need to go through an approval process. I do think that within the next 18 months Shanahan Design will get us to the point where we’ll be actually able to sell parts online. I know that sounds so 2000’s, but for us, that’s a pretty huge thing.
Shanahan Design was able to get the call to action that we needed. Last week I had to do a presentation for management on this very thing. Prior to redoing our website, our conversion rate or our call to action was at about 0.5%. Of course, turning that 0.5% into sales drove the numbers down so much that it really wasn’t something that was easily measureable.
Now, for last quarter, January through March, we were at about a 9.5% conversion rate. The increase has been huge. We don’t have a clean way to actually relate that to the bottom line, but what I can say is that in that first quarter we ended with over $200,000 in sales. For something that we’re not selling directly on the Internet, that’s pretty impressive.
One of the things that I was asked last week was that if they wouldn’t have contacted us via the website, would they have still come in? I don’t know that. I do know that out of that group that we looked at, 21.6% were actually new customers. That’s huge. Again, our business has typically been about 75% business-to-business [B2B] and 25% business-to-customer [B2C]. Obviously with this site, we are going to see more of the B2C market. If we can do $200,000 in the first quarter, which typically is not our busy season, we could probably add $1 million in sales through just what we’re doing right now on the web. That’s pretty cool. We’re right now about a $400 million to $450 million a year company just in our nine states.
What distinguishes Shanahan Design from other providers?
I guess the best thing is that Shanahan is easy to work with and really listens. In the past, we’ve worked with a number of companies that thought they knew everything and that we were the dumbest people on the face of the earth. Shanahan Design, on the other hand, was very easy to work with. They ran with a lot of our ideas. If there was something they thought would work, they would bring that to the table but not try to overwhelm us.
Shanahan Design is in California, which means that we are at an hour difference, but we have some people on the east coast, a three hour difference. If Shanahan Design needed to be on the phone at 5:30 in the morning or 8:00 at night, they would do that. They were very accommodating that way.
Finally, if any problems were to develop, Shanahan Design would be there. In the past, other companies would say that they would fix the problem and send us an estimate on what it’s going to cost. Shanahan Design would say that it’s just part of the project and go ahead and fix things. Working with Shanahan Design is not like working with an attorney, where you are being charged by the minute. That wasn’t the case with Shanahan Design.
They were really organized. We used separate software to keep on track of everything, and at the end of our weekly calls, they would put action items out there and send us a little email telling us what they are going to do.
The other piece that I really liked is that Shanahan Design is a pretty small firm; I love working with vendors like that because we usually get better service. If we’re just a small fish, nobody really cares. That’s one thing that I think is really great about Shanahan Design. We were able to get a lot of their dedicated time.
Is there anything Shanahan Design could have improved or done differently?
I can’t think of anything that was really critical. I would say that if all of a sudden Shanahan Design had 15 projects going on at once, the size of the business might cause problems.