Why Verlo Mattress Is Embracing AI To Make A Difference With Franchisee Review Responses And Why You Should Too

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Sponsored content by SOCi.


Ira Klusendorf, Vice President of Marketing at Verlo Mattress, embraces new AI technologies and encourages his franchisees to do the same. As the Verlo team is busy expanding their footprint across the country, Ira believes AI can be an “easy button” for franchisees to use to free up time for more important tasks. Below he shares his experience and advice about rolling out this new technology to Verlo’s franchisees that can help with validating the use of AI in any company’s localized marketing:

“My initial response to learning we could incorporate AI technology into our workflows to improve our local franchisee marketing was an outsanding “yes!”. I fully embrace AI and the aspects of utilizing it for business. Verlo works with SOCi as a CoMarketing Cloud partner and I was eagerly awaiting the launch of SOCi’s line of Genius products using AI because I wanted to get them working for us. Immediate questions from franchisees were around how they were going to use it. Genius Reviews rolled out first so we dove in to test how it would help us respond to reviews online. With just launching SOCi Genius Reviews this summer, we are 99% of our way to AI review responses being exactly what we want them to be. Updating small tweaks to language and tone have been amazing with the technology easily learning responses that are personable to Verlo and sound like they are written by a human.

One great aspect about using AI with Verlo’s current localized marketing strategies is that over the last year we have been working hard to get more reviews and pushing franchisees for quicker responses. Genius Reviews provides a system that Verlo’s home office can help automatically respond to reviews with 4 stars and over and take some of the pressure off of franchises having to reply to every positive review. Home office reads the reviews and doesn't have to think about how to respond. What used to take someone three to five minutes, is now a twenty second process - it’s the easy button - and helps us respond to reviews faster. We always want to be kind and thoughtful in our responses and SOCi Genius helps us do that. Verlo’s average review response time decreased by 29 hours using SOCi Genius Reviews in the first two weeks of use.

Even with franchisees who may not be as “tech savvy” because they are tried and true mattress building craftsmen and have been less focused on marketing automation over the years, Genius Reviews makes responding to their customers simple, so they have to do less. Being able to access SOCi Genius on the SOCi Go app makes it easy for them to monitor and quickly get back to business with one less thing to worry about. The initial reactions from franchisees overall has been that they are blown away by how well Genius responds to reviews. Quick responses help show our passion for the craft and we are eager to fully roll the Genius option out to all franchisees nationwide at our Verlo conference this fall.

My best advise for franchises adopting use of AI is to treat it like a new employee who needs some initial onboarding. SOCi Genius Reviews are an easy way to start because there are guardrails and the company still has approval over each review before posting. But wow, it makes everyone look like a great communicator and that automation is super valuable to us as a company and our franchisees.”