Philippe Courtoy, President of the Maison des Travaux, gave us the pleasure of an interview. A few months ago he called Innersense for the realization of an application, “Magic Extension”, which allows to configure and visualize a house extension in augmented reality. He explains why he went for digital and what the immediate benefits are as well as the expected effects in the short and medium term.
Innersense : Can you introduce yourself and tell us in a few words what is the activity of La Maison des Travaux?
P.C. : I am President of La Maison des Travaux, a construction brokerage firm. A private individual will contact our franchisees to be put in contact with the best craftsmen of our network. We analyse the client’s needs, we help them to plan, and then present the most suitable craftsman or craftsmen in our network so that the project can be carried out in the best conditions, at the best price and as soon as practicable.
Can you present the tool and tell us why have you initiated this process?
I was employed for 20 years in large French or American telecom groups. I saw very quickly the structure of the communication and the commercial approach studied to embark the customers, to make them dream, to make them want. I’ve always had it into me. With the Maison des Travaux, for 9 years we made a lot of booklets, brochures, videos to take them with us. And one fine morning, I wanted to go further and turn to digital to help the broker be even more credible and give customers even more desire. I wanted to help them project themselves in a quick, simple and almost fun way. The extension is one of the main activities of La Maison des Travaux. In France, there are more extensions than house constructions. And when we know the number of specialized companies in the extensions of houses… there are hardly any. So it’s really a market to conquer, to take. Obviously complex since it requires many trades, but it matches completely to the heart of our know-how. I wondered how we could help customers project themselves as part of the expansion and could digital help us? I wanted a tool that was easy to implement, very explicit and concrete that helped them make a choice (roof, materials, cladding). We obviously have a structured commercial approach. We almost lacked the spark that would create the WAHOU effect in customers.
Who currently uses the « Magic Extension » application?
Our renovation brokers. It’s a professional mobile app, a sales tool.
How was the application reception ?
The reception was so extraordinary ! We organized ourselves so that the release of the application coincided with our national convention of 10 years. At this convention, it was not the only digital innovation presented, the application was part of the highlight of the show if I dare say. And that allowed me to explain that we were in an extraordinary turn, thanks to digital, in the customer approach, which was going to revolutionize our commercial approach especially in the world of the extension. My obsession is to create a unique customer experience. For the extension I needed a tool, an application, something that would really mark it. I saw what you did for the garden (*) and pool (*) shelters. I thought that if we could do the same thing for the house extension, it would be extraordinary. Innersense made us a very nice mobile application. We looked for a name and we found « Magic extension », it is exactly the case and we are in full diffusion within the network. It takes a little time, but it gets a very good reception
What are the feedbacks of your clients franchisees?
We’re taking a step. We get positive feedback from brokers who use it on daily basis. The customer feedback we get is very favourable because it is a sales aid, a decision aid. The client does not wonder for two seconds if he is talking to someone who is going to help him. Thanks to the application the barrier falls right away and he tells himself that he is dealing with a specialist. We are going from generalist in the world of construction to multi-specialists. We’re going to focus on our five universes and for each of them we’re going to have a tool that will allow us to really make a difference compared to the competition. “Magic Extension” is one of these key tools for the future.
It was not too difficult to implement such a change?
It wasn’t too hard as the application is still easy enough to understand, the deployment is going relatively well. Then we are in the distribution mode which is called franchising and spreading is not as fast as in a branch world. You first need the approval of the five or ten pioneers to tell others that this tool is fabulous so that it can spread. But we’re gonna make it!
Do you notice an improvement in sales and perception of La Maison des Travaux since you have the tool?
I’ll be honest, we don’t have any official figures yet. It certainly helps to improve my conversion rate. Quantifying it in a more arithmetic way is still more complex.
Beyond that it is one of the pillars that is revolutionizing the customer approach. My obsession to create a unique experience takes shape thanks to digital. It’s gonna be kind of our trademark. The extension for me is not a paper and a pencil behind the ear during an appointment and then the broker who returns to the client 15 days later. I absolutely want to break this and the application helps me in that sense.
Would you recommend Innersense around you?
Yes, sure! A very nice accompaniment from Innersense. Extremely square in their approach, they are very attentive and have delivered a product that fits us perfectly. There are still small things to improve that are already planned in the evolutions of the application.
Innersense : Thank you so much for your time and testimony!
Fanny for Innersense