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Custom apps for small business- how a CPQ tool can change the game

Custom apps for small business: how a CPQ tool can change the game.

Most contractors and tradespeople aren’t known for delivering Apple-like customer experiences. Because let’s face it: owning a small business without sophisticated marketing strategies or dedicated customer service reps is tough. Most small business owners are CEO, bookkeeper, brand promoter, and all things in between, with barely enough time to do customer projects, save anything else.

So, even if it means potential new business, quoting prospects is a time-consuming chore and often, a loss to contractors. Every hour spent quoting is an hour not doing work.

What if prospects could walk through an easy, yet sophisticated process by themselves that both created a quote and excited them about their home improvement project?

Enter the ModularWalls Quick Quote Calculator.

ModularWalls is the industry expert and market leader of modular wall systems and fencing solutions across Australia. With its Quick Quote Calculator, the company is taking the pain out of project quotes for its Trade Partners, customers, and employees.

Using a Skuid Lightning component in Salesforce, ModularWalls built this calculator to simplify the typically complex process of configuring, pricing, and quoting fencing and wall solutions for homeowners. But, this tool is more than just a CPQ; it’s an experience.

A highly visual mobile-first experience

Imagine buying a fence for your home for the first time. Where would you start? With so many options and considerations, the task would be overwhelming.

Beyond the visual aspects, the technical specifications are even more thorny. How much coverage would you need for your property? What kind of materials should you use? How tall should the fence be? What local regulations do you need to know?

With its Quick Quote Calculator, ModularWalls takes care of it all. The solution is deeply personalised for each prospect coming to the site, and shows empathy for buyers who are about to make a significant investment for their home.

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Kyle Stewart, the Systems Architect who created the app, says “As a customer, I’m only coming to the website because I have an emotional problem with my house. Maybe I don’t feel secure or proud of my house, or my backyard disappoints me when I have friends over. So, step one is to awaken in you the vision of what you can make.”

He continues, “And that’s where Skuid really comes in — the power to create that visual-first experience and have the CPQ part be invisible. And it will work out what you need, without ever asking you.”

The workflow uses a series of pictures to guide users through that process. A preliminary picture provides the overall vision, and once users input dimensions (with guidance from the app), secondary sub-images show technical diagrams of how that wall works, along with pricing.

“The thing I love the most is how good the style looks,” Kyle says. “And that’s something that Skuid really gives you the power to do. It allows you to have that control over components at an admin level. Rather than individually styling components, I can style the type of component. It not only makes it consistent, but I can change it in real-time and have it reflect everywhere, too.”

For teams with limited resources, this capability is a huge time-saver. Instead of styling components over and over again, you only need to do it once.

The brand is “Easy”

When Kyle met with the ModularWall’s marketing team, they all agreed: if they could make the quoting experience easy, customers would believe that the fence installation would be easy, too.

Kyle says of the customer, “If you had to sit and go through eight steps and learn integral calculus to do this, you’d think putting this fence together is definitely not something you want to do.”

Another thing that had to be easy? The mobile experience. With 60% of ModularWalls’ customer base using mobile devices, this was critical.

“The highest compliment I’ve ever got for this app was that it works best on mobile, because whoever thinks something works best on mobile?”

Systems Architect

Apps built with Skuid are device agnostic. Kyle tested the calculator on every Android, iPhone, and tablet he could find. It worked consistently on the roughly 30 devices he used. He says, “That’s something I don’t think many platforms can offer today. I’ve limited my amount of development work for a really unified experience, no matter how users access the app.”

The nuts and bolts behind the experience

To create this highly contextual UX, Kyle built the Skuid app as a Salesforce Lightning component that serves as a single-page app. He describes its construction as “really simple stuff, just used as gracefully as possible.”

When looking at the Quick Quote Calculator, the Lightning portion is the navigation bar at the top of the site. Everything else on the page was built using Skuid. As for the visuals, there was minimal coding on the first page, but most of the experience is powered by Skuid Decks, which can be styled with ease.

The app uses platform events to get Skuid components in the Skuid shell to communicate with each other. And because the Quick Quote Calculator was built as a robust Lightning component that lives within the Salesforce ecosystem, all app data comes from Salesforce as the single source of truth.

So, when a customer changes specifications during the quoting process, the app calls Salesforce data to reprice the quote in real-time. The calculator helps ModularWalls seamlessly adapt to the prospect’s needs.

The architecture also makes Salesforce the single source of engagement. Because the app experience lives inside the community, all data points back to the actual Salesforce org. Meaning, Salesforce is where people go to interact with that data. Kyle says this benefit has unified the brand, development and maintenance experiences for the app, too.

And because the app conveniently centralises everything users need in one place, the business benefits from better data input and data quality.

Wins (and walls) all around

ModularWalls piloted the calculator with partners for six to eight weeks before rolling it out to customers. This helped Kyle and the team solicit helpful feedback to evolve the app for end-users, with a tiered agile development structure that Skuid allowed them to do well. The pilot also helped generate buy-in with partners to use the app.

Trade Partners love the app because it takes a load off them. Kyle says, “Not only are you outsourcing all the data entry, but you’re outsourcing it to someone who wants it to be right. It’s a double-win because Trade Partners are getting the homeowner to do the work for them and also thank them for the experience.”

There’s no charge for partners to use the calculator, but they must purchase all materials from ModularWalls. And with an experience this good, they will come back again.

As for customers, they’re getting a singular experience, and a convenient one at that. Rather than entering their information and waiting for a salesperson to get back to them in 24-48 hours, they get to build the estimate themselves in just four clicks.

And speaking of salespeople, by having customers perform quotes themselves, ModularWalls sales reps will save 50% of their hours per week (time they used to spend on customer estimate calls).

With the Quick Quote Calculator, ModularWalls is bringing together multiple uses in one easy, consistent experience. In doing so, the company claims a coveted triple crown: wins for its customers, partners, and sales reps alike.

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Director of Marketing

I am a storyteller, an outdoor enthusiast, and an XNFP. I like people, creative projects, and donuts.