The perfect plumber

The perfect plumber

Do you know what customers look for in an installer and what they really want when it comes to their bathrooms? Making yourself aware of end user needs and wish lists is crucial to being a successful tradesperson or manufacturer explains Sara Johnston.

The perfect plumber

In order to better understand the choices and mindsets of homeowners when it came to making decisions about bathrooms, Geberit recently undertook a survey that aimed to provide all-important insight that would help both them and installers offer domestic customers a better service – from design right through to completion.
Feedback is essential for any business and with 68% of the 1,000 homeowners asked stating that recommendation was their preferred way of choosing an installer, it seems that making sure you do a good job, leaving your customers happy with your work, and, crucially, finding out about the way they live their lives in order to suggest the best products in the first place, are key aspects of winning more work.
Installer essentials
Unsurprisingly, the most important installer essential is standard of finish – with 90% of those surveyed highlighting it as crucial. This is the bit everyone should be getting right, but it’s not the end of the story, however, with 81% rating cleaning up properly as important. Coming in on budget was important (74%) and so was being polite and accommodating (69%) as well as finishing on time and within the quote (68%).
When it comes to choosing an installer, apart from recommendation, knowledge was one of the top answers, at 55% – remember, it’s unlikely your customers will be bathroom experts, so don’t just go with what they think they want. They might not know all the options available and will look to you for advice. Taking advantage of manufacturers’ free training courses will enable you to keep up to date with the latest product innovations as well as the fitting techniques behind them.
Beyond ‘knowledge’, examples of previous work (54%) and trust (48%) were the most popular installer attributes. If you have a website, include client case studies on there. You could even take potential clients to see the bathrooms of happy customers – maybe offer a discount to the clients you want to use as ‘show homes’.
Bathroom essentials
When it comes to advising your customers on a bathroom design, it’s imperative that you understand how their household uses the bathroom – are there elderly, disabled or young children in residence? Don’t be afraid to ask questions as these fundamentals can have a big impact on the options you can propose to the customer. And are you up to speed with the latest innovations on the market?
‘Future proofing’ a bathroom was a key consideration for the survey’s contributors – with 55% stating that they would take into account how their family dynamic may change when choosing a scheme. Safety is the main issue here: Walk-in showers were the most popular measure at 71%, followed by non-slip flooring and tiling (58%), easy to use lever taps (50%) and non-slip baths (48%).
When you consider that the average British bathroom measures just 1.8m x 1.8m, it isn’t really surprising that space and ways to create it was also a popular topic – 77% of people listed clever storage options as top priority in their bathroom design criteria. Surprisingly, 31% of people said they would consider leaving out the bath and only having a shower – perhaps in a wet room configuration – in order to make optimum use of the space available.
Technology is another trend that came through clearly in the survey results. When it comes to the latest in gadgets, 45% said they would be interested in a ‘shower toilet’ that freshens the user with water after use – arguably the ultimate WC for the 21st century. This kind of specialist product might not even be on your radar – we do several models and enhancement seats in the Geberit AquClean range; the ideal addition to a modern, fully functioning bathroom. Other popular gadgets included touch free controls (41%), which is great for customers particularly concerned with hygiene, spa baths (29%), and in-bathroom music (24%).
Next time you’re called in to look at installing a new bathroom, make sure you ask the right questions and are up to date with the latest products on the market. Plus, when you get the job, remember a smile and good manners goes a long way… and clean up after yourself!