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Building Loyal Customers - PODCAST TRANSCRIPT

Building Loyal Customers - PODCAST TRANSCRIPT
April 12, 2024 at 12:00 p.m.

Editor's note: The following is the transcript of an live interview with Anthony Martin and Kyle Infante from APOC. You can read the transcript below, listen to the full episode or watch the webinar.

Intro: Welcome to CoatingsCast, the ultimate podcast dedicated to the science, art and innovation of roof coatings. It's time to roll up our sleeves, put on our lab coats and dive headfirst into the world of liquid protection that keeps your roofs in prime condition. The future of roofing is here and it's liquid, so don't miss out. This is CoatingsCast where every drop counts in the world of roof protection.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Hello, and welcome to another CoatingsCast from CoatingsCoffeeShop. My name is Heidi Ellsworth, and we're here to talk about something that's very familiar in roofing and that is loyalty. And I'm not just talking about what great relationships everyone has in this industry, but I'm talking about loyalty programs that really help roofing contractors and roofing companies be successful. So we asked our friends and experts from APOC, Anthony Martin and Kyle Infante to join us today to talk about loyalty programs. Gentlemen, welcome to CoatingsCast.

Anthony Martin: Hey, Heidi. Thanks for having us. We're excited to join CoatingsCast, and RoofersCoffeeShop is a great friend to APOC, and I think we're both really excited to get this [inaudible 00:01:14].

Kyle Infante: Yes, that's what I'm excited. Thank you.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Thank you. Well, let's start out with some introductions. So Kyle, let's start with you. If you could introduce yourself, tell us what you do at APOC.

Kyle Infante: Sure. My name is Kyle Infante. I am the territory manager in the Phoenix area, also covering Northern Arizona on the roofing and waterproofing team. I've been with the company, actually, since 2015. So nine years now. And for the first eight, I was based in Southern California covering the Lowe's account. We're on the retail side. So I jumped over to the roofing and waterproofing team in last July.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Excellent. Well, welcome to the fun side with the contractors, right?

Kyle Infante: Yeah, sure thing.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Not that the other side isn't fun too, just saying.

Kyle Infante: You've got to make it fun.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: That's right, that's right. Anthony, if you could introduce yourself. Tell us what you do and also, just a little bit about APOC.

Anthony Martin: Yeah. So I'm Anthony Martin. I am the territory sales manager for Southern Arizona, covering Casa Grande down through Tucson into Sierra Vista as well as El Paso, Texas and all of New Mexico. I've been with APOC, ICP Gardner in one form or another for four years. Started January of 2020. Like Kyle, I started on the retail team covering our accounts at Lowe's and Home Depot. Moved over to the commercial roofing team in July of 2021, and it has been a blast ever since. To go into great depth, as far as about APOC and our mission here, I feel that APOC is known for having extremely high-quality products when it comes to roofing membranes, roof coatings, asphalt cements. I feel that our mission is to be the best service provider, the best material provider and really, being the problem solvers for any fluid applied restoration systems.

We are all in business for one thing, mainly and that is profit. And we obviously want to help our contractors. And our distribution partners work together and for us all to make as much money as possible and provide solid roof foundations for all of the homeowners and building owners across America.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Yeah, it's really a win-win-win, right? [inaudible 00:03:35].

Anthony Martin: Absolutely, absolutely. It is three-legged chair as a new description has been provided to me that we offer and that we work with within our team.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Yeah, exactly. I think it's so important. We want solid, strong roofing systems to protect the consumers. And also, help contractors and distribution take care of all their employees and their people and everyone to have a good life. So I love that. That's a great mission. You know what, I'm just curious to both of you. This is just more of a fun question. But Kyle, I'll start with you. What's customer loyalty mean to you and how do you foster it?

Kyle Infante: Well, to me, customer loyalty is really a two-way street. I've learned over the years, it's not just a customer being loyal to our product, it's us being loyal to them at the same time. And it could go many different routes, but simply enough is just being there for them. If they call us, we answer the phone. And when we do that, they see loyalty right there. All the other stuff, whether it's taking them out to lunch or going golf with them, that's the icing on the cake. That's it. That's the extras to show our loyalty to them and they keep coming back and buying APOC.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: It's just the relationships are so important and knowing they can count on you. I love that. Anthony, when you think about customer loyalty, what does it mean to you and how do you foster it in your territory?

Anthony Martin: I think Kyle hit a lot of really great points is that it is a two-way street. For me, what stands out the most is always being the first call. And when I mean first call, I mean first call universally. In Arizona, it's a very large market, but in a lot of ways it's a very small market 'cause we all know each other. Rumors are always running rampant, there's always new things being introduced to the marketplace. So for me, from a contractor loyalty standpoint, I always know the people that I'm closest with and have those best relationships and have that loyalties on the first call. On the first call for projects, on the first call if there's an issue, on the first call if there's a question regarding a roofing system that it proposed to them that they're unfamiliar with. And in return, to follow what Kyle had said, we build that equity with those contractors to be that first call. So as we're building our loyalty with them, they're building their loyalty with us in both streets.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: I think that's spot on and so important. I also think listening is so key. So as you are out in your territory... And, Anthony, I'll come back to you. And really listening to your customers, how do you gather information that can help them grow the business and help APOC offer the right materials, the right programs to help them?

Anthony Martin: Listening is being that support system. Understanding the issues and challenges that they're facing. To me, really, being the partner is being evolutionary with the materials that we manufacture and going with the ebbs and tides of the industry. APOC is constantly looking for new ways to innovate materials. And that really helps our customers because if we can get a material out to market that we're comfortable with, then that gives them an ability to set themselves apart from their competition. We are dealing with competition every single day. So any assistance that we can provide that elevates their business and allows them to be the star in their community and the star of their industry, benefits both of us.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Yeah, that's so true. And Kyle you've been involved, I mean, both of you have been involved in the industry for quite a while. There are a lot of loyalty programs in the industry for contractors from manufacturers, I was very active throughout my career working on both sides of it, being with a contractor and gathering those points and the receipts and everything like that. But why do you think loyalty programs are important to the contractors today?

Kyle Infante: Always having an extra incentive is nice. And as cool as it is to say we have the greatest product, we have the best service. Having that extra incentive, as I said, of course, the icing on the cake. Knowing that if you spend a bunch of money buying a thought product, you could potentially get this in return at the end of the year. It's just cool. It's just fun.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: It is fun. And I think about people are used to loyalty programs. I think about my airlines, right? Delta, I fly them because I know they're going to take care of me because I'm loyal to them, they're loyal to me. Anthony, when you are looking at why loyalty programs are important to your customers, what do you see? What really makes a difference to have that loyalty program for your contractors?

Anthony Martin: So, for us, I mean, I look at it in our loyalty program is that it's additional value. They're already getting the value of the quality product. They're already spending the money on buying APOC, right? So we're giving them essentially free rewards for material that they have in buying or they're obviously going to have to buy in the future, so it's really no extra effort for them to earn these. Additionally, this is tangible. Right? You can log every single one of your purchases in, you create an account, you can see what you're racking up throughout the year and the points are can be used whenever you want. I think that is something that's really important to me rolling this out is that we all know our contractor friends who come 1st of October, they're gathering their receipts to try to find out if they've hit their number for ex-manufacturer's warranty and to get that back in check at the end of the year. And this is something that is 12 months, all year long.

It's Father's Day's coming up and Dad needs a new set of golf club. "Hey, guess what? We've done quite a bit of APOC business, let's order you some Callaways." For me-

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Love it.

Kyle Infante: [inaudible 00:09:53].

Anthony Martin: They get immediate results, right? It's not that, "Oh, hey. Its end of the year's coming, I got to see how much I bought." No, this is every single day. This is something that is allowing them to see. And in the same aspect, they're allowed to see this every day and they can say, "Wow, we really use a lot of APOC." "Maybe we need to attend some of these trainings, maybe we need to get a little bit more involved." So just for us able to track their purchases and identify some of those key contractors that we can continue to improve. The contractors are always looking to build relationships as well, so they're saying, "Hey, we're using 90% APOC, 100% of the time. I guess, we need to get a little bit more involved with them and their team."

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Yeah. And it makes sense, and it pays benefits. Actually, let's just go right into it. Let's talk about the Contractor Pro Loyalty Program from APOC. Can you tell us about it and what your experience with that program has been in the field?

Kyle Infante: Well, our experience is a little bit limited. It is fairly new. We rolled it out at Western State last year in Vegas. So I've had a handful of my customers achieve the gold tier, there's three tiers currently. And because it's so new, the majority of them have achieved that gold tier and we lump it in with our certified applicator training. So if you are already a certified APOC contractor and you sign up for the loyalty program, you automatically get upgrade to that gold tier. So it gives you an incentive, not only to become a rewards' member, but also become APOC certified contractor. So lumping them in together feed both programs.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Yeah. Well, and it makes sense. Anthony, with this just launching last year at Western States, you're already having a lot of interest, it sounds like. Tell us a little bit about your experience with the program and tell us even more about the program overall and what the contractors are saying.

Anthony Martin: So, the program is phenomenal. It's easy to sign up, it's easy to use. It's extremely user-friendly. I think Sarah deserves all the credit in the world for developing such a great platform. I think in other systems can get a little clunky, but this is easy to use. One of my contractor friends, very close friends, it's his mother that does the office work in the building and she's an elderly woman and maybe not quite as technically sound as some of us, but I love seeing all her receipts get put in. So that just tells me that they're having success, it's easy to use and they're enjoying the process. To piggyback with what Kyle said, again, it is fairly new. So we think we're still working in some kinks, we're still adding some materials, we're still getting the word spread out there. But all the feedback I've gotten has been tremendous. It's an added value to the customer.

It's something that's a unique warranty program that I don't believe anybody really offers exactly quite what we offer and it's just something that's evolutionary. And again, it's separating us away from our competition and it's given people the reaffirmed insurance that APOC is here to last, APOC is here to stay. And we wouldn't be rolling out a program like this if there was anything that we were going to be fearful in the future. So it gives me confidence to present this to the customers and know that we're building long-standing relationships.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: So, you mentioned earlier, Anthony, the golf clubs. What are some of the other fun prizes that are a part of the loyalty program?

Anthony Martin: We got PS5s on there. We have diamond earrings that you can get your wife for Valentine's Day, so we can make up for that set of golf clubs that you bought. It's on there. That's all the fun stuff. I believe there's even some trips and some event tickets that are available. Really, everything under the umbrella. This is something that I think as we get further down the road on this, we're going to see that, not only are business owners using this for rewards for themselves, but this gives them opportunity to add additional prizes for Christmas parties and raffles. We all love a good raffle during Christmas or the different employee appreciation events that we're all able to put on. So from a 5-year-old to a 50-year-old to 70-year-old to 30-year-old, there's something in there that you're going to be able to find that someone's going to be really, really, really happy to get.

So yeah, I think the list goes on and on. But yeah, I mean, it's a very, very vast options as far as rewards. And again, every single product of APOC that you buy, you can register and get a point for it. So if it's a roll of tape, that's great. It's a roll of tape, log it in there, it's a free point. It's a free point towards something that you might not buy otherwise.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Right. I love that. But there is just so much in the opportunity to also get some great gifts for your employees, whether that's a company party coming up this summer or Christmas or just employees as safety incentives. So what are some of the things that you're hearing or that you would recommend to contractors to really look at this loyalty program and look at it company-wide, and what it can do for the employees?

Anthony Martin: There's something for everybody on this. There's always going to be something from whether it is a TV that you're raffling off or like you said, maybe someone on your sales team's had a terrific quarter and sold more flat roof systems and APOC coding and there's a reward for that at the end of the road that maybe they might not be aware of. I think it's one of the things that we're seeing more and more often where these business owners are recognizing all of their employees, and I think we all in the industry realize that the guys on the roof are the ones that are really earning it, right?

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Right.

Anthony Martin: We're fortunate, I don't have to wear knee pads. And on the hot summer days, I can stay in the car, in the air conditioning and those guys on the roofs can't. So any kind of added incentive for them that lets them be recognized for outstanding work is going to be beneficial.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: And this helps the contractors be able to do that-

Anthony Martin: Absolutely.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: ... because of using a great product, and they already are using-

Anthony Martin: And [inaudible 00:16:20]. It's no additional cost to them. They've already [inaudible 00:16:23] the money, so they don't have to dig into the wallet any further.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Right. I think that's incredible. So Kyle, how do contractors get started? What do they have to do?

Kyle Infante: Just go to apoc.com. And by the way, the website's going to revamped. It'll look a little different if you haven't been there in a while. Go to the top right. Yeah, top right corner and you click on the Pro Program logo. It'll give you a signup form. Just fill it out, all the required fields. Press submit, and we'll take you to the homepage. You can start inputting all your receipts and your invoices right there, and you're good to go.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: I love it. Easy-peasy. So Anthony, one question on that, and then Kyle kind of brought this up earlier about it's going hand in hand with your certified contractor program. So tell us a little bit more about becoming a certified contractor for APOC, and then how that correlates? Do you have to be a certified contractor? Is it an addition? How does that all work together?

Anthony Martin: So, becoming a certified contractor, we hold a class called Masterworks. That class is held in Phoenix, Arizona and over in Tampa, Florida as well. As we know Johnny Walker, our favorite Walker.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Yeah.

Anthony Martin: We should have [inaudible 00:17:43] and our Tampa trainings. Kyle and I conduct our training here in Phoenix, Arizona. It's once a month. It's a two-day training class. You don't have to be certified to buy APOC. The contractor certification is really on the commercial side. We cannot issue material and labor warranties on major commercial jobs unless you're a certified contractor. More importantly, I think every time we do one of those classes, we get a handful of contractors in there. And whether they've been doing it for 30 years or 3 years, we can teach them something new. Just recently, we had an individual who's used silicone for a really long time, he was like, "Man, it gets challenging to mix up." And we just simply flip that bucket upside down and said, "This is one really great strategy that'll save you a little bit of time."

Allow those solids to seep down from the bottom and loosen up a little bit, you won't have quite as much of a challenge. Certified training is a really, really important thing when it comes to roofing in general, right? We want to make sure that everybody using an APOC material knows the right way of using it. Mistakes can happen. And unfortunately, the building owner, the homeowner is the one that's going to experience that the worst and we always want to try to prevent that from happening. Their customer is our customer, and it's important for them to be happy. But we review all of our materials, we review all of our warranties, we review our specs. And again, once your certified contractor, just log on, register. We have QR codes. If you're in the Southern Arizona market and you stop into any one of our friendly distribution centers, we have our 10 by 10 stands that are up on the desks and counters. Definitely scan that QR code, register. And being a certified contractor will immediately level you to that goal level contractor.

You get a plaque, the host in your office, which is great. All of our contractors want to be recognized for completing their courses and being certified with products. I know Sarah and the marketing team are still in development of getting URLs to be put on estimate sheets. And I think down the road here, we're definitely going to look at getting some stickers and whatnot to put on vehicles so that APOC can be represented throughout.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: I love it. I love it. So it's a growing program?

Anthony Martin: Yeah. And I think that's one of the great things about ICTP's leadership. Sarah and the marketing, they really value the feedback that they get from the field. Every time we have a conversation with Sarah, I might throw a couple of things out and I get a response. And we're working on a lot of the different things that we've talked about over the last year. We pushed and wanted to get our underlinements enrolled into this program, we recently were announced that we got our underlinements into this program. So I think like anything, we're constantly evolving. We are constantly evolving.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: I love it. And I love hearing you talk about marketing with working with you in the field, and the regional managers, and... I mean, that's when things really take off. And so kudos to all of you, including Sarah, and the team, and all the training. Johnny, Walker. Anthony, Kyle, you guys all do a great job. And we're just so happy to have you on CoatingsCoffeeShop as our premier sponsor. But also, just the fact that we can bring this information about what you're doing with the Pro Contractor Loyalty Program to the market is pretty exciting for every contractor out there.

Anthony Martin: Yeah. I couldn't agree more. And it's great. And the future's very bright, almost as bright as our roof coatings.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Yes, almost as bright. I love it. I love it.

Kyle Infante: There you go.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Well, gentlemen, thank you so much. This is great information. I love that we were able to talk about the trainings that you're doing and how it all is working together. But mostly this Pro Contractor Loyalty Program, and how much fun contractors are having with it, and how much it can help their business. Thank you both so much.

Anthony Martin: Thank you, Heidi. It's been great.

Kyle Infante: Thank you. Definitely a pleasure.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Thank you both. And thank you all for listening or watching, if you're on YouTube. This is the kind of information that can really help your business. So if you are using APOC products or even if you're not, think about getting onto the APOC site, check it out. Check it out on the CoatingsCoffeeShop directory, also on RoofersCoffeeShop directory. You can get all the information so that you can get started selling, installing this great product and being a part of that contractor loyalty program. Also, be sure to catch all of our CoatingsCast podcasts on CoatingsCoffeeShop under the RLW navigation on YouTube. Be sure to subscribe and ring that bell. And on your favorite podcast channel, be sure to set the notifications so you don't miss a single episode. We'll be seeing you next time on CoatingsCast.

Outro: Thanks for joining us on this coating adventure. Stay tuned for more episodes. And in the meantime, be sure to follow us on all social media to stay up to date with all things roof coatings. Until next time, stay coated. For more information, go to coatingscoffeeshop.com.

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