Testing the Waters with Artificial Intelligence

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Crafting a beautiful hardwood floor for a client is just one aspect of our industry. The challenges of logistics, advertising, scheduling, training, market positioning, and value propositions set apart an established hardwood flooring company capable of providing employment opportunities and a sustainable retirement plan for its employees and owner from a solo flooring installer. While creating the perfect hardwood floor is essential, ensuring business operations run smoothly and efficiently is equally important. A successful flooring company must navigate a complex landscape of suppliers, distributors, contractors, and customers. It requires extensive training, expertise, and a deep market understanding to position the company for long-term success. Ultimately, the ability to deliver beautiful flooring while managing the business side of operations separates the best from the rest in the hardwood flooring industry.

As the hardwood flooring industry evolves, businesses increasingly rely on technology to streamline operations and save time. At Perennial Hardwood, we always have been open to constructive criticism and constantly seek improvement. That’s why we recently have started implementing ChatGPT, an Artificial Intelligence (AI) service that is currently free and highly popular. This service has proven extremely valuable in helping us manage our emails, polish our writing, and create marketing content with minimal effort. All of these improvements are not typically a strong suit associated with the stereotypical contractor.

Here is an example of ChatGPT’s response to: “Write me a 100-word blog post on why hardwood floors are a good decision in Fort Collins, Colorado.”

If you’re looking to upgrade your home’s flooring in Fort Collins, Colorado, hardwood floors are an excellent choice. Not only do they add a touch of elegance and warmth to any room, but they’re also durable enough to withstand the region’s harsh weather conditions. Hardwood floors are easy to clean and maintain, making them ideal for busy households. Additionally, they can improve indoor air quality by minimizing dust and allergens. With a wide range of options, including traditional and modern styles, hardwood floors are a timeless investment that will add value to your home for years to come.

It took one second to create this original blog post which, for magazine constraints, was not asked to be 500 or 1,000 words. ChatGPT essentially uses a massive database of information to piece together an original article. We have typed large emails when dealing with a detailed or particularly problematic client to have it fix our formatting, punctuation, sentence structure, and flow. Recently we had a several-paragraph email for an insurance agent run through ChatGPT, which was able to clean it and alter it to a precise piece using insurance jargon and a touch of professionalism and friendliness that I sometimes lack.

Here is another example of asking ChatGPT for basic advice on dealing with an upset customer.

“Please help write an email to an unhappy client that all work is warrantied, and we can set up a time to address any concern.”

This is the response:

“Dear [Client Name],

We are sorry to hear that you are not satisfied with the work we recently completed on your hardwood flooring. Please know that we take your concerns very seriously, and we want to do everything we can to make sure you are completely satisfied with our services.

Please be assured that all of our work is warrantied, and we stand behind our craftsmanship. We would be happy to set up a time to address any concerns you may have with the work we completed. Our team takes pride in our work, and we want to ensure that you are fully satisfied with the final result.

Please let us know the best time for us to meet with you and address your concerns. We appreciate your business and look forward to resolving this matter to your satisfaction.

[Your Name] [Your Company Name] 

At Perennial Hardwood, we’ve always been open to constructive criticism and constantly seek improvement. That’s why we’ve recently started implementing ChatGPT, an AI service that is currently free and highly popular. This service has proven extremely valuable in helping us manage our emails, polish our writing, and create marketing content with minimal effort. All of these improvements are not typically a strong suit associated with the stereotypical contractor.

Here is the response when I asked ChatGPT what percentage of leads does a flooring store close:

There is no definitive answer to what percentage of leads a flooring store typically closes, as it can vary depending on several factors, such as the quality of leads, the sales process, and the competition in the local market.

However, some industry estimates suggest that the average conversion rate for flooring stores is between 20 to 30 percent. This means that out of every 100 leads, around 20 to 30 will end up becoming paying customers.

It’s important to note that there are many factors that can impact a flooring store’s conversion rate. For example, having a well-trained sales team that can effectively communicate the benefits of different flooring options and guide customers through the buying process can increase the likelihood of closing more leads. Additionally, offering competitive pricing, a wide selection of products, and excellent customer service can also help convert more leads into sales.

Ultimately, the conversion rate of a flooring store will depend on a variety of factors unique to each business. By continually analyzing and optimizing their sales processes, flooring stores can work to improve their conversion rates and increase their revenue over time.

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And the response to this one only took a few seconds: “Give me a list of 20 unique names to call our new colors in a new private label hardwood flooring line.”

  1. Cinnamon Swirl
  2. Moonstone Grey
  3. Autumn Blaze
  4. Vintage Oak
  5. Coastal Driftwood
  6. Midnight Maple
  7. Sand Dune
  8. Rustic Charm
  9. Smokehouse Oak
  10. Forest Glen
  11. Wild Cherry
  12. White Sand
  13. Honeycomb
  14. Urban Loft
  15. Rustic Elegance
  16. Arctic Frost
  17. Summer Breeze
  18. Nordic Pine
  19. Driftwood Grey
  20. Mountain Retreat

As with any industry, the flooring industry constantly evolves, presenting unique opportunities for contractors to leverage emerging technologies. In particular, small contractors or companies with limited resources, such as a small sales team or no dedicated marketing staff, can benefit significantly from time-saving technologies like ChatGPT. While it is unlikely that technology will ever fully replace the skilled craftsmanship of flooring professionals, it is clear that those who master innovative systems and tools will have a significant competitive advantage. In the years to come, the industry’s most successful and respected leaders will likely be those who possess expertise not only in traditional flooring techniques, but also in cutting-edge technologies that enhance the customer experience.

Travis Fritzel is the owner of Perennial Hardwood in Fort Collins, Colorado. He can be reached at travisfritzel@perennialhardwood.com.

Editor’s Note: While tools such as ChatGPT can be helpful as a starting point for some marketing and communications assistance, be cautious with using it on the technical side. The NWFA technical department says that it is clearly noted on the ChatGPT app that ChatGPT can be inaccurate, and may provide inaccurate information about people, places, or facts. Oftentimes AI will creatively make up answers to technical questions if the answer does not exist. These answers may be inaccurate, or even contradictory to factual data that does or doesn’t currently exist. Before using this or similar AI tools, considerations include plagiarism, copyright infringement, data privacy, bias, and the above-mentioned potential for inaccuracies.

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