SOURCE: ChannelNet

ChannelNet

September 30, 2009 08:00 ET

ChannelNet Launches Benjamin Moore "LINK," a New Painting Service That Connects Consumers to Pros Online

SAUSALITO, CA--(Marketwire - September 30, 2009) - ChannelNet, www.channelnet.com, the world leader in connecting online researchers with brick and mortar sales channels, launched LINK, an online referral service for Benjamin Moore, one of North America's leading paint and color authorities. LINK is a web-based solution for consumers -- designed to connect consumers with a color specialist for assistance in selecting the perfect color, or a paint professional to complete a painting project. The service aims to help consumers move from indecision to color harmony, and aid in generating leads for paint contractors and colorists participating in the program at www.benmoorelink.com.

Benjamin Moore's painting and color online service breaks the task of finding the right professional -- painter or color consultant -- into three simple steps:

--  Consumers go to www.benmoorelink.com to search for professionals.
    Consumers can view painter's and colorist's online portfolios (specialties,
    photos, and testimonials) and select up to three professionals to provide
    estimates;
--  The consumer's request for an estimate is transmitted instantly to the
    selected professionals in the Benjamin Moore network;
--  Once the project is complete, the consumer receives an online survey
    to provide ratings and feedback on their experience with the professional.
    This feedback then gets posted on www.benmoorelink.com.
    

The LINK referral service also provides a toll free number (1-877-LINK-941) to connect consumers with a live consultant who can help guide them through the process.

"Across the board, we heard from consumers that one of their frustrations with paint projects was finding the right color," noted John Lanzillotti, Benjamin Moore's Director of Brand Marketing. "Having a professional color consultant available to come to your home and work one-on-one on palette creation is the perfect solution. And having a network of pre-screened, professional paint contractors available at your fingertips is also an invaluable tool for consumers."

Benjamin Moore partnered with ChannelNet to provide the web technology and turnkey services that powers and supports the entire LINK online referral service. The end to end solution includes the consumer facing website, professional vetting (including background and reference checks) and set-up of painter and colorist profiles in the LINK portal, training and lead management, help desk support for consumers and professionals, and a survey process to obtain consumer feedback which is posted back on www.benmoorelink.com

"Benjamin Moore is the first company in ChannelNet's 25 year history to fully leverage the Internet to support the entire online to offline sales and service process," says Paula Tompkins, CEO and Founder of ChannelNet. "Benjamin Moore Paint transactions still primarily take place in retail outlets, or with professional painting and decorating service providers. Their goal (connecting consumers with offline professionals) matched our domain expertise perfectly, and allowed us to combine the best of the online and offline worlds."

In creating www.benmoorelink.com, Benjamin Moore established a list of requirements that all professionals must meet in order to qualify for inclusion in the program. The professionals must partake in Benjamin Moore directed training sessions, carry both liability and vehicle insurance, be licensed, have a minimum of two years experience in their profession, and pass a criminal background check. "This is an exclusive professional network which Benjamin Moore created -- with each participant meeting rigorous standards of excellence and customer service," added Lanzillotti. "Benjamin Moore wants to be the conduit that links the consumer with the right professional to meet their needs.

Initially, www.benmoorelink.com is only available as a pilot program featuring select areas of Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia. The plan calls for more pros to be available covering a wider geographic offering in 2010.

About Benjamin Moore

Benjamin Moore & Co., a Berkshire Hathaway company, was founded in 1883 and this past year celebrated its 125th Anniversary. One of the country's leading manufacturers of premium quality residential, commercial and industrial maintenance coatings, its products are distributed via a network of independent paint and decorating retailers located throughout North America. Benjamin Moore has been a longstanding steward of the environment with a relentless commitment to sustainable manufacturing practices plus the ongoing development of the most eco-responsible formulations possible. Its portfolio of Green Promise™ products continues to grow and includes Aura, über-performance low-VOC paint; Natura, the true Zero-VOC Interior Paint, remaining zero in any color, any sheen; and EcoSpec Zero-VOC Paint for commercial interiors.

About ChannelNet

For 25 years ChannelNet has been the leading provider of Multichannel selling solutions for the automotive, financial, retail and home improvement industries. Each solution is designed to enable online shoppers to research online and complete transactions either online, in-store or with a call center. ChannelNet has created thousands of solutions for hundreds of companies worldwide including BMW, Hunter Douglas, Ford Motor Company, Benjamin Moore Paints, General Motors, Saks Fifth Avenue, VW, College Pro, Hewlett-Packard, World Omni Financial Corp., Audi, California Closets, Harman Kardon, Motorola, Hallmark and many others. ChannelNet is a privately held company based in Sausalito, California, and Detroit, Michigan. ChannelNet's solutions include networks of corporate, brand and sales channel websites, personalized micro-sites, and communication portals. www.channelnet.com.

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