Association of Progressive Rental Organizations | America’s Champion for Rent-to-Own

Connect to Customers in the Current Challenging RTO Retail Environment

May 18, 2020 – In today’s challenging rent-to-own retail environment created by the Covid-19 pandemic, many store owners looking for a competitive advantage have discovered low-cost, high-impact online tools that virtually connect existing and potential customers to their products and services are real game-changers.

According to experienced RTO marketing expert Lauren Talicska, owner and president of LT Marketing, LLC, “It is essential for RTO websites to have a clear and easy way for their customers to connect with the business and receive an immediate response. Messaging services – such as Podium, ZenDesk and Live Chat – can add these communication capabilities to existing websites with very little additional programming effort – and return considerable value.”

The best news is that these online customer communication applications are increasingly affordable for RTO businesses at every scale.

For example, Podium, a customer communication platform used widely in the furniture industry that includes a powerful website tool allowing customers to chat, text and leave product reviews, announced Podium Starter last week. The company’s free introductory version is now available to local businesses across the U.S., making it possible for them to communicate personally with new and existing customers even when their brick-and-mortar locations are shuttered.  

Nancy Price, Director of Marketing at The Premier Companies, affirms the benefits of live, online customer communication in sustaining sales and promoting customer satisfaction. With 55 locations across the country, The Premier Companies use the enterprise version of ZenDesk to provide two live agents delivering customer support online 9 AM until 7 PM daily.

“We believe personal messaging, including the live chat feature, is an excellent way to connect with online customers,” says Price. “Our trained agents provide valuable assistance to those searching for products and forms, and they answer questions and help solve customers’ problems in real-time, which is important in online shopping.  The ZenDesk platform also provides us with good analytic features, including the ability to track the number of online visits that convert to sales. It has supported our continued ability to sell and support customers, even during this difficult period.”

LT Marketing, LLC, is based in the Columbus, Ohio, metropolitan area. Owner and President, Lauren Talicska has been involved in RTO marketing since 2008, providing lead generation and management, website solutions and comprehensive print and digital marketing plans tailored for RTO businesses.

The Premier Companies serves customers with 55 locations in 20 states. Founded in 1994, the company provides flexible payment options on new and used affordable furniture, appliances, electronics and computers.

Podium provides messaging tools for local businesses.  Learn more about Podium Starter.

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