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INTERVIEW: Seeing Clearly in an $18 Billion Market Puts Coastal in the Lead

Seeing Clearly in an $18 Billion Market Puts Coastal in the Lead

At Mediajobs.com we pride our­selves in mak­ing your job search eas­i­er by find­ing the great com­pa­nies first and we are excit­ed about this inter­view with Roger Hardy, founder and CEO of Coastal.com, the first com­pa­ny to sell pre­scrip­tion eye­wear online.

As a $200 mil­lion dol­lar pub­lic com­pa­ny, with over 10 years expe­ri­ence, in an $18 bil­lion plus mar­ket, Coastal is well posi­tioned for sig­nif­i­cant growth.  Accord­ing to the Nation­al Eye Insti­tute, 64% of peo­ple wear glass­es in the US which rep­re­sents over 200 mil­lion peo­ple.

Lis­ten as Roger explains why the Wal-Mart, Cost­co, Pearl Visions and more will become far less dom­i­nant in this huge mar­ket.

You can lis­ten to or read the inter­view below:      


 

Roy:   My name is Roy Weiss­man from MediaJobs.com. Today we’re speak­ing with Roger Hardy, the founder and CEO of Van­cou­ver-based Coastal.com. Coastal is the leader in dis­rupt­ing the estab­lished eye work plateau, which blows away the pack with out­stand­ing ser­vice. “A bet­ter way to buy for per­fect vision.” Wel­come Roger, how are you today?

Roger:     Doing great, thank you Roy.

Roy:   I appre­ci­ate you tak­ing the time to talk about Coastal.com. It’s inter­est­ing because we’ve all heard about,  I live in New York and I’ve heard about War­by Park­er, and War­by Park­er, the web­site where they have pre­scrip­tion eye­glass­es. Of course, you’re led to believe they’re the only ones in the mar­ket. Then low and behold, there’s this won­der­ful com­pa­ny, and you guys have been in busi­ness since 2001?

Roger:           Yes, Roy, we’ve been around since 2001. About four and a half mil­lion vision-cor­rect­ed cus­tomers, sold more than a bil­lion dol­lars online at this point. Yeah, we’ve been serv­ing vision-cor­rect­ed cus­tomers for a while now.

Roy:   What made you start this busi­ness? Why this busi­ness? How did you get into this?

Roger:   I worked in logis­tics, actu­al­ly, trans­porta­tion­al logis­tics, work­ing with com­pa­nies on short­ing their sup­ply chains and try­ing to find bet­ter, more effi­cient ways to reach their cus­tomers. After doing that for a while, I went to work briefly for a con­tact lens man­u­fac­tur­er. It was in that process of under­stand­ing how con­tact lens cus­tomers and vision impaired cus­tomers were served that I rec­og­nized an oppor­tu­ni­ty.

I built a web­site; my sis­ter and I were the co-founders. We start­ed the com­pa­ny, as you said, in late 2000 into 2001, and the busi­ness has tak­en off from there. It was real­ly a boot-strap busi­ness. I start­ed on the idea that there was a bet­ter way to serve cus­tomers. What we’ve start­ed to glimpse, even at that point, was that vision-cor­rect­ed patients, after they’ve tran­si­tioned from patients to cus­tomers, they start to have choice. We were all about try­ing to offer vision-cor­rect­ed cus­tomers more choice in the mar­ket­place.

That’s how we start­ed and we’ve been try­ing to serve cus­tomers as best we can ever since. As I said today, about 750 Coastal employ­ees here in Van­cou­ver, in Stock­holm, Swe­den, and in Syd­ney, Aus­tralia. We’ve also got a dis­tri­b­u­tion cen­ter and man­u­fac­tur­ing cen­ter in Blaine, Wash­ing­ton. We serve a num­ber of dif­fer­ent mar­kets, and we’ve got these four cen­ters where we’re able to serve cus­tomers very, very quick­ly with high qual­i­ty prod­ucts.

Roy:   What per­cent­age of your busi­ness is Cana­da ver­sus U.S. ver­sus inter­na­tion­al?

Roger:    Our North Amer­i­can busi­ness is more than half of our busi­ness. We think of Cana­da and U.S. as North Amer­i­ca, so that’s more than half of our busi­ness. The U.S. is our fastest grow­ing mar­ket. We talk about how big is the mar­ket. The mar­ket for eye­glass­es, to give you an exam­ple, is about $18 mil­lion in North Amer­i­ca. That busi­ness sur­pris­ing­ly today is only about 3% online in the U.S.

At Coastal.com our vision is real­ly that there’s a big shift under­way. Just like you’ve seen with PBMs, man­ag­ing the phar­ma­cy ben­e­fits, I think you’re going to see some VBMs, some vision ben­e­fits man­agers over the next 4 or 5 years. We start to man­age all of these patient rela­tion­ships and serve these patients in a bet­ter way than they’re cur­rent­ly being served. There’s this mas­sive oppor­tu­ni­ty to shift away from the inde­pen­dent eye care, inde­pen­dent eye doc­tors, towards a bet­ter solu­tion.

A bet­ter solu­tion is one real­ly that’s got high­er ser­vice lev­els, more con­sis­tent ser­vice lev­els, obvi­ous­ly bet­ter pric­ing. It still makes no sense to any­one that a pair of eye­glass­es should cost four or five or $600. In Man­hat­tan, maybe Roy, you’d pay sev­en, $800 for two pieces of plas­tic, two lit­tle screws.

That’s real­ly our vision, is find­ing a bet­ter way to serve cus­tomers, part­ner­ing and mak­ing it a high­er ser­vice lev­el, a more con­sis­tent ser­vice lev­el, and doing it in a way that real­ly wows cus­tomers.

Roy:   Who are your biggest com­peti­tors? Obvi­ous­ly, being in New York, you’ve heard of War­by Park­er. How do you com­pare to them, and who are the oth­er com­peti­tors out there?

Roger:    For Coastal, the real com­peti­tors are the big­ger chains, the Lux­ot­ti­cas for exam­ple, the Pearl Visions, the Sears Opti­cals, the Tar­get Opti­cals, the Nation­al Visions. Most of those com­pa­nies typ­i­cal­ly have very low cus­tomer sat­is­fac­tion rat­ings. Where Coastal dif­fer­en­ti­ates itself is we have very high cus­tomer sat­is­fac­tion rat­ings. We’ve been award­ed the Elite rat­ings by Stel­la Ser­vice, which puts us in the ranks of those of Zap­pos, of Burber­ry, of 1–800-Flowers.

We offer 366-day returns, no ques­tions asked. We’re in an elite ser­vice regime and from a com­pet­i­tive stand­point, it’s real­ly the incum­bent eye wear guys that are being dis­rupt­ed. The guys who have prob­a­bly a big exten­sive retail space. Maybe, in our case, we’ve got more than 2000 frames on our site, so com­pared to the aver­age store where you’d have four or 500 frames, we’ve got about 2000.

We offer this great selec­tion, we put $15 mil­lion into our eye lab here, we can make about 12,000 pairs of glass­es per day for cus­tomers, and that makes us very fast. On aver­age, we make your glass­es in less than a day and ship them out to you. You can have them by tomor­row morn­ing if you order today. By com­par­i­son, 7–14 days for some of the incum­bents. When you mea­sure cus­tomer sat­is­fac­tion across the incum­bents ver­sus our­selves, we real­ly are the bet­ter way to buy eye­wear, and that’s what cus­tomers are telling us.

Roy:   How do you com­pare your­selves to War­by Park­er, though?

Roger:    Specif­i­cal­ly, Coastal offers its own brands, which is some­thing that War­by does, and we man­u­fac­ture those in our own labs. We like to con­trol all the process. We’ve got pri­vate-label brands, and we also have some of the brands from some of the big­ger man­u­fac­tur­ers. If you want­ed a pair of Guess frames, a Guc­ci, a Calvin Klein, a Dior, a Fen­di, you could come to our site and see those, a Pra­da, a D&G. Some peo­ple like brands and some peo­ple like pri­vate labels like War­by offers. We’ve got both those, but I think our key dif­fer­en­tia­tor is real­ly our ser­vice piece.

We make those glass­es our­selves, we qual­i­ty con­trol those eye­glass­es. You order them today, we make them lat­er today, and we ship them out to you today. By con­trol­ling all those steps ver­sus … Warby’s just one of … there are many com­pa­nies online that are sell­ing glass­es. Coastal’s been doing it longest and has the largest online glass­es busi­ness.

We’re the estab­lished play­er. We’ve been around since 2008 sell­ing eye­glass­es online, start­ed lift­ing up the cat­e­go­ry in 2006, pret­ty exten­sive­ly. Com­pared to many of these oth­er com­pa­nies, we’ve built the largest busi­ness. The way we’ve done it is by doing a great job with ser­vice, by build­ing an annu­ity of cus­tomers so cus­tomers try us, they tend to love the expe­ri­ence, they tend to come back and buy again, and they refer friends and fam­i­ly.

That’s why Coastal’s got more than two mil­lion fans on our Face­book pages between our var­i­ous sites, more than a mil­lion at our Coastal.com in the U.S. site, and that’s 10x what any of the oth­er com­pa­nies have in terms of fans on Face­book. We real­ly con­sid­er that an indi­ca­tor of where things are going, is our cus­tomers are hap­py, they’re telling friends and fam­i­ly about us, and then we’re see­ing them through social media. It’s excit­ing times here, for sure.

Roy:   You said you start­ed sell­ing the glass­es in 2008, did you say?

Roger:    We did, yeah.

Roy:   What were you sell­ing pri­or to that?

Roger:    We’ve done con­tacts all the way through. Coastal start­ed as a con­tact lens web­site, and also car­ried sun­glass­es, but real­ly expand­ed our efforts into Rx eye­glass­es. In about 2008, we real­ly start­ed to invest. The rea­son for that invest­ment was we kept hear­ing from cus­tomers over and over, “I love what you’ve done for me in con­tact lens­es. Can you do some­thing for me in terms of eye­glass­es? Why am I pay­ing so much for my glass­es?”

That’s what real­ly drove us to inves­ti­gate the busi­ness. Ini­tial­ly, we thought “Wow this is tricky. This will be tough. There’s all these fit­ting char­ac­ter­is­tics.” At the time, we were hear­ing about Zap­pos like many peo­ple, and what a great job they were doing with a cou­ple of key parts to their mod­el. Wor­ry-free, no-has­sle returns, free ship­ping on the returns. Then we start­ed to incor­po­rate those parts into our mod­el, and I think we land­ed on some­thing that cus­tomers love.

Roy:   What kind of traf­fic did you get into your web­site month­ly?

Roger:    The traf­fic num­ber, specif­i­cal­ly, we don’t break out, but I think it was more than siz mil­lion. If I go back a cou­ple of quar­ters, it would be more than 6 mil­lion for the quar­ters. It was pret­ty sig­nif­i­cant num­bers of traf­fic. I would char­ac­ter­ize us as one of the largest, if not the largest, opti­cal stores on the inter­net just by virtue of the traf­fic we have and the sales that we have.

Roy:   Can you give a sense of your sales?

Roger:    Yeah, I think we’re right around the $55 mil­lion mark in the last quar­ter, so we’re … pret­ty sig­nif­i­cant from a sales stand­point.

Roy:   How many glass­es do you sell a year?

Roger:    We’ll sell more than a mil­lion pairs of eye­glass­es this year. It’s not a small busi­ness for us. It’s been a pret­ty excit­ing ramp up over the past num­ber of years. A mil­lion pairs of eye­glass­es prob­a­bly places us in the top three or four retail­ers of eye­glass­es in the world, or, I’m sor­ry, in North Amer­i­ca.

Roy:   When you say eye­glass­es, are those just pre­scrip­tion or those are all the eye­glass­es?

Roger:    Those are just pre­scrip­tion, those include all pre­scrip­tion eye­glass­es. I’m think­ing pre­scrip­tion.

Roy:   Oh, okay. Well, that’s a lot of eye­glass­es. What per­cent­age of your cus­tomers, would you say, are repeat cus­tomers?

Roger:    Pret­ty sig­nif­i­cant por­tion. In Cana­da, we were at 47% of our cus­tomers were repeat.

Roy:   Wow. Do you have an over­all sense?

Roger:    It’s pret­ty ear­ly in that busi­ness to get an exact num­ber on it, but we’ve got a good sense of that Cana­di­an busi­ness since that’s where we start­ed. We ini­tial­ly launched our eye­glass­es busi­ness in Cana­da, and it has had some good suc­cess.

Roy:   You men­tioned you have loca­tions in Swe­den and Aus­tralia. You’re sell­ing over­seas also?

Roger:    We do, yes.

Roy:   What per­cent­age of your busi­ness? When you say … You’re sell­ing over­seas, where, what areas inter­na­tion­al­ly are you cur­rent­ly mar­ket­ing to?

Roger:    We’ve got an office in Swe­den, in Stock­holm, and we have a mar­ket in Swe­den, Nor­way, and Fin­land where we’re about 1 of every 3 con­tact lens­es sold online or offline. We mar­ket, as I said, in North Amer­i­ca here, Cana­da and the U.S., and then we mar­ket over in Aus­tralia, New Zealand, and Japan.

Roy:   It’s inter­est­ing that you chose those mar­kets as opposed … A lot of peo­ple will think “I’ll go to the UK, go to Europe, go to the E.C.” What made you choose those mar­kets?

Roger:    The Nordic mar­kets are fair­ly advanced web mar­kets so we acquired a small busi­ness in Scan­di­navia in 2004, and invest­ed in grow­ing that busi­ness. It’s grown quite nice­ly. It’s just been a great mar­ket where peo­ple are tech­nol­o­gy-savvy. They very quick­ly were order­ing things on the inter­net, and that’s what’s helped our busi­ness grow.

Roy:   Do you envi­sion mov­ing more into West­ern Europe or … yes, no?

Roger:    No, I think we’re hap­py in the mar­kets that we’re in. Our plan is just to stay focused on the mar­kets I’ve out­lined.

Roy:   I would think that … I don’t know if there … are cur­rent league play­ers over there, sell­ing online pre­scrip­tion?

Roger:    For Coastal, the real focus is on … it’s an $18–20 bil­lion mar­ket in eye­glass­es in North Amer­i­ca, and that’s what we think the oppor­tu­ni­ty is. How many busi­ness­es that have the val­ue propo­si­tion being this good where you can buy the same pair of eye­glass­es that you can get at your eye doc­tor for five or $600 online for $100-$150? You’re look­ing at a third of the cost and you’re look­ing at get­ting them faster, same qual­i­ty.

Any­time you see that, for us as busi­ness peo­ple, when you’re a third of the cost with the same high-qual­i­ty prod­ucts or bet­ter, it’s a great oppor­tu­ni­ty. We’re real­ly just focused on in an $18 bil­lion dol­lar mar­ket. That’s big enough for us. Eigh­teen per­cent of the con­tact lens mar­ket today is done online. If I go for­ward and say 15–20% of the cat­e­go­ry will be online in 7 years, that’s a four bil­lion dol­lar online eye­glass­es cat­e­go­ry, and we’d be hap­py to be the leader in that cat­e­go­ry.

Roy:   The $18 bil­lion that you keep talk­ing about, is that just the pre­scrip­tion eye­glass­es?

Roger:    That’s the pre­scrip­tion eye­glass mar­ket, yes.

Roy:   Does that include con­tacts, or no?

Roger:    No. Con­tacts is anoth­er three to five mil­lion glob­al­ly.

Roy:   The $18 bil­lion pre­scrip­tion in North Amer­i­ca, which is obvi­ous­ly a huge mar­ket oppor­tu­ni­ty, and if only 3% are online cur­rent­ly, we can see why it’s a great oppor­tu­ni­ty there. Absolute­ly. You men­tioned some­thing ear­li­er when we start­ed the call about phar­ma­cy ben­e­fit plans. Are you say­ing that you’re going to see the vision mar­ket evolv­ing to where … if you have Unit­ed Health insur­ance and you go to Med­Co or what­ev­er, you’re going to be tied to cer­tain phar­ma­cy ben­e­fit plans? Is that where you see it going?

Roger:    I think that’s what we are see­ing will be the next impact in the U.S. It looks very much like that’s going to be the case.

Roy:   How do you envi­sion that will change your busi­ness?

Roger:    It’s just a dynam­ic time. There’s a lot of things hap­pen­ing, I think, in the next two years, and we’re lin­ing up the part­ners that want to work with us in that tran­si­tion. Our hope is that many of the unin­sured Amer­i­cans will start to ben­e­fit from hav­ing bet­ter ben­e­fits.

As you know, health­care costs are sky­rock­et­ing. Any­one who can come to the table and offer more val­ue at a low­er cost is going to be wel­comed, I think, in the whole health­care scheme. As the population’s aging, as health­care costs are sky­rock­et­ing, every­one in these health orga­ni­za­tions is look­ing for a way, num­ber one to reduce costs, and num­ber two, to bet­ter serve their cus­tomers.

Often­times, these vision cat­e­gories inside these ben­e­fits providers, like a Unit­ed are under­served, and they’re look­ing for way to com­ple­ment … they want to be doing a great job for their cus­tomers as well. There’s no rea­son why their cus­tomers should be hav­ing a mis­er­able vision expe­ri­ence when there are great alter­na­tives like Coastal out there. That’s real­ly what I think the evo­lu­tion will be, is that many of these providers are going to seek a high­er stan­dard of care at a low­er pric­ing. Frankly, that’s one of the things that Coastal is unique­ly posi­tioned to do.

Roy:   I know with the health insur­ance that we have … you have the vision ben­e­fits, but typ­i­cal­ly the vision ben­e­fits is very lim­it­ed and you real­ly don’t get to use the dis­counts in some places. Are you and Coastal cur­rent­ly includ­ed in some U.S. ben­e­fit plans?

Roger:    I think we’re work­ing with a num­ber of plans. We’re also doing a fund­ed plan. We’ve got com­pa­nies that will pay into a fund­ing ben­e­fit plan with Coastal, and they will get a defined ben­e­fit. There’s also the plans where we can be added as an in-net­work provider, so to speak. We’ve got a cou­ple of those in Cana­da, we’ve got a cou­ple part­ner­ships that we’re work­ing on, and I think those can be good cat­a­lysts as those expands and unfolds.

Roy:   I’m sure you’ve heard as much about the U.S. gov­ern­ment health rules and laws that start next year. I don’t recall read­ing any­thing about vision ben­e­fits in it. Do you know if that’s includ­ed in that, if there are vision ben­e­fits …?

Roger:    Yeah, there will be ben­e­fits in vision, in terms of vision. I think they’re still being worked out how they’re going to be pro­vid­ed, but there are some vision ben­e­fits to be shared with peo­ple who need them.

Roy:   Out of that $18 bil­lion busi­ness today, what per­cent­age would you say is what majors in the stores, the brick and mor­tar stores?

Roger:    Some­where around 20–30% is in the brick and mor­tar.

Roy:   What is the biggest chunk of that busi­ness right now?

Roger:    You’ve got your inde­pen­dent eye care prac­ti­tion­ers, you’ve then got your Wal-Marts or Cost­cos, and then you’ve got your, let’s call them your oth­er brands, your Lens Crafters, Pearl Visions, Sears Opti­cal, Tar­get Opti­cal, so you’re kick box and spe­cial­ty retail. You’ve got, as I said, about 3% of the units being sold online.

Roy:   So lit­er­al­ly the biggest piece are the big guys at 20%, but it’s rel­a­tive­ly frag­ment­ed, it sounds like?

Roger:    It is super frag­ment­ed, yeah.

Roy:   Nobody real­ly owns the mar­ket, even the big guys at 20%, but that’s not real­ly own­er­ship of the mar­ket, per say. It would seem like there is an enor­mous oppor­tu­ni­ty to grow the busi­ness.

Roger:    There is. It is a bit of akin to the block­buster anal­o­gy where you’ve got a mom-and-pop video that’s still maybe an incon­sis­tent ser­vice lev­el, maybe high­er prices, and it has not become one clear stan­dard, one clear dom­i­nant play­er. I think that would be inter­est­ing to see if a block­buster-like play­er was able to offer some­thing real­ly unique and spe­cial for cus­tomers if they have suc­cess.

Roy:   You’re doing great today. You’ve been out there with glass­es since 2008, you’ve been in busi­ness for 12 years, where do you see this com­pa­ny in two years? What kind of rev­enues? What do you think is going to hap­pen in the next two years?

Roger:    We’re a com­pa­ny that’s focused on serv­ing cus­tomers well and I think if we can serve cus­tomers and do a great job for them, then we’ll be well-posi­tioned to grow and ben­e­fit from, hope­ful­ly, a shift in where con­sumers are buy­ing.

Roy:   Look­ing at your rev­enues today, do you think your rev­enues will be up 20% in three years? Fifty per­cent? Dou­bling? What do you think?

Roger:    You can imag­ine that we basi­cal­ly just focus on serv­ing cus­tomers as well as we can. Big mar­ket oppor­tu­ni­ty, very inter­est­ing, and these things are hard to pre­dict, when the mar­ket will shift. We want to keep work­ing hard and serv­ing cus­tomers, and hope­ful­ly that helps cus­tomers choose the bet­ter way.

Roy:   It sounds like you guys are real­ly focused on the ser­vice and mak­ing sure the cus­tomers are extreme­ly hap­py so that that huge per­cent­age will come back and buy again. Have you seen …

Roger:    That’s it exact­ly.

Roy:   Do you know what per­cent­age of your busi­ness comes from mobile? Mobile is so huge. Every­body is gear­ing up for mobile.

Roger:    Mobile is huge and we’re hav­ing a big uptake in traf­fic in mobile, it’s been very inter­est­ing, but it’s not some­thing we’ll break out.

Roy:   No, but have you envi­sioned doing any­thing unique for the mobile mar­ket? Or do you feel it’s just anoth­er chan­nel?

Roger:    I think we’re work­ing on a num­ber of things for mobile, so you’ll have to stay tuned for that one.

Roy:   You’ve got a lot of things up your sleeve. You have 750 employ­ees now, do you see that grow­ing or do you see that’s rel­a­tive­ly sta­ble?

Roger:    We’ll see. It depends how the busi­ness unfolds. We’ve got a great team. We’re lucky to have such a hard­work­ing group here, and it’s been a good squad. Hope­ful­ly we’ll keep hav­ing suc­cess.

Roy:   Do you see, in two or three years, of pos­si­bly being acquired?

Roger:    That’s not some­thing we’re think­ing about. We are heads down, work­ing hard, build­ing a great busi­ness and that’s real­ly our focus. We’ve got no inter­est, at this stage, in being acquired. There’s still a lot of mar­ket share, we’ve got strong bal­ance sheet, a great team, we all love what we’re doing, we’re all very pas­sion­ate about this space. Just work­ing hard, heads down, and we’re hop­ing for good things.

Roy:   It’s inter­est­ing because you brought up the Wal-Marts, the Cost­Cos. You would be a great acqui­si­tion for them. Wal-Mart.com is real­ly focused on try­ing to become the next Ama­zon. One way to do it quick­er is to do an acqui­si­tion, like buy a com­pa­ny such as yours.

Roger:    We’re a pub­lic com­pa­ny so any­time any­body wants to think about Coastal, they real­ly just have to think about mak­ing an offer to all the share­hold­ers. I’m just one hard­work­ing CEO. We do the will of the peo­ple, and what if the share­hold­ers got an offer from any­one, then we take it to them and we’ve had, seri­ous­ly, all those types of things.

The truth is our rec­om­men­da­tion would be we’ve got a great hand here, we’ve got a great team, a great bal­ance sheet, a grow­ing cat­e­go­ry. How often do you real­ly get your­self in this type of a sweet spot? We want to stay right in this sweet spot and keep grow­ing our busi­ness, and see how it all plays out.

Roy:   There’s no ques­tion that you’re in a huge mar­ket, you have an enor­mous upside. At the end of the day, one of the biggest prob­lems online is cus­tomer ser­vice. The fact that you guys are so focused on that is extreme­ly impor­tant. At the end of the day, how many times do you go to a web­site, even Ama­zon, you can’t get any­body on the phone. The abil­i­ty to …

Roger:    That’s absolute­ly true.

Roy:   It’s ter­ri­ble. The most suc­cess­ful busi­ness­es think the most effec­tive way is to not talk to the cus­tomer. In some case …

Roger:    That’s not our phi­los­o­phy at all. We’re real­ly work­ing hard, as we say, to serve cus­tomers. If we can make the web­site eas­i­er for them, absolute­ly we’ll do it. No, we’ve got a big call cen­ter here. We’ve spent a lot of time and invest­ment in train­ing our call cen­ter staff, on QA-ing our prod­uct, on clos­ing the loop as well.

When we get cus­tomer feed­back about some­thing was neg­a­tive, we run it to ground, we fol­low-up, we make sure that we under­stand what went right and what went wrong with our cus­tomers. We’ve been see­ing a real ben­e­fit of that, a very steady uptake over the last 12 months in our net pro­mot­er score, which mea­sures the num­ber of cus­tomers who are super excit­ed about what you’ve done for them.

Roy:   That’s fan­tas­tic. I think that gives any­body an edge today, espe­cial­ly online, because nobody answers the phone.

Roger:    It’s unique. You’re right, Roy.

Roy:   It is unique. In some cas­es, peo­ple say, “Oh peo­ple pro­mote ser­vice and say …” and every­body says “But we do a bet­ter job.” To some extent, some­one could argue that that’s just trite. I think, online it’s extreme­ly sig­nif­i­cant build­ing the abil­i­ty to actu­al­ly com­mu­ni­cate with your cus­tomer on the phone. It’s huge because you have an oppor­tu­ni­ty … the cus­tomer feels like “Oh I can do busi­ness with them. I can call them.”

I hap­pen to think that that’s an enor­mous edge. Com­pa­nies that don’t invest in that are set­ting them­selves up for poten­tial sur­pris­es. I think the ser­vice end is extreme­ly valu­able. Is there any­thing I didn’t ask you that you want­ed to share with us that is valu­able for our audi­ence?

Roger:    No, I think just that it’s excit­ing times at the com­pa­ny, and we’ll con­tin­ue to build a great busi­ness here. It’s going to be inter­est­ing to see how it all plays out.

Roy:   Roger, you did a won­der­ful job explain­ing the oppor­tu­ni­ty at Coastal. You’re the bil­lion-dol­lar com­pa­ny that nobody, most peo­ple haven’t heard of. This is exact­ly the kind of oppor­tu­ni­ty peo­ple need to pay atten­tion to in the mar­ket. Com­pa­nies that are real­ly poised to see a far sig­nif­i­cant growth and even … sig­nif­i­cant enough today. The real ques­tion is with only 3% of the mar­ket online, you’re going to see that grow sig­nif­i­cant­ly. It’s going to be inter­est­ing to see what per­cent­age of that you guys get.

Roger:    Absolute­ly, Roy. We real­ly appre­ci­ate you tak­ing the time in such thor­ough and great ques­tions. Thank you for includ­ing Coastal in your review today, we real­ly appre­ci­ate it.

Roy:   Thank you for tak­ing the time.  Take care, Roger.

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