Web Site Of The Month

The folks at Harris-Dudley Co. in Salt Lake City, Utah, bring the idea of multitasking to a new level by managing their Web site, www. radiantfloor.com, which they launched two years ago.

Round-table discussions between brothers Robert Dudley and Michael Dudley and secretary Stephanie Jackson sparked the idea to build a company Web site.

"We saw that this was the trend and we should get a Web site - not so much to get people who are surfing but to get existing customers to go to the site," Robert says.

Once there, potential and existing customers have quite an eyeful to look at. Convenient links lead customers to snapshots and explanations of Harris-Dudley Co.'s residential and commercial snowmelt and radiant floor projects. Before and after photos clarify exactly what is going to be done and how completed jobs look. (How many pictures of a painlessly cleared driveway surrounded by snow drifts would it possibly take to convince a customer to call Harris-Dudley Co. for the job?)

Jackson updates and maintains the Harris-Dudley Co. site regularly. Robert snaps the many photos gracing the site's pages. With company personnel handling all Web responsibilities, the venture costs merely around $50 a month. It's all part of the "marketing pie," according to Robert.

"Our view goes back to this idea that it's like another pamphlet," Robert says. "They [customers] can look at their leisure, as much or as little as they want. More and more people who are looking at radiant heating are technical-savvy people. They have access to the Web, and they look up stuff like this."

The Web address toting the industry buzzword "radiant" proved a lucky find for Harris-Dudley Co., which snapped it up before any competitors could grab it. Although the name draws occasional Web surfers using search engines, Robert says the site primarily is used as a tool to clinch business with customers who have come to them before ever having seen it. When it is time to decide between Harris-Dudley Co. and other radiant contractors, the prolific amount of pictures on the site can show the customer it is best for the job.

"I think I've bid four or five jobs because it is part of the sales tool," Robert says. "They can see what we've got and it helps people see how work is going to progress."