Keeping abreast of industry innovations can be a daunting task for merchants, not least in peak periods when finding the time to brush up on the latest trends can be a tricky task indeed. But thereís no need to feel out of depth; plenty of suppliers now use social media, apps and other software to share knowledge - meaning merchants can use these easy to access tools to keep up-to-date with the latest industry innovations.
A key priority for customers is to understand what product to use where. With thousands of different products all being used for a variety of purposes, itís harder than it looks to select the most appropriate adhesive, grout and finishing product for the task in hand.
Itís really important that merchants are armed with the knowledge to advise their customers accordingly; understanding when a specialist product should be used instead of a multi-purpose product and vice versa can save their customers time and helps merchants to stand out from the crowd.
Itís surprisingly quick and easy for merchants to access this information, and a wealth of other helpful hints and tips, apps, online platforms and social media are all becoming extremely popular tools for manufacturers and suppliers looking to share their knowledge and add value to their products. Youíd be amazed at the amount of information that can be accessed from tapping into these resources.
Take the Dunlop App for example. While professional builders are often familiar with standard products, they might expect merchants to help them select specialist products and help them to calculate the amount required Ė leaving merchants open to failure if they donít have the correct knowledge. However, by utilising tools such as the Dunlop App, merchants can feel confident in their ability; itís the perfect resource to brush up on product knowledge while at work, between deliveries or even at home. The smart phone application provides the tools to select the correct product for a job, advises on the amount required and even provides a quote for the product needed.
If merchants donít have access to a smartphone, they can still gain lots of advice and tips online. Take our E-Learning Portal for example; simply register online and merchants gain instant access to lots of hints and tips designed to help merchantsí upsell, cross sell and keep abreast of more technical information.
The online hub is packed with a whole host of useful resources to help deliver the best guidance and advice. Not only does it help merchants to advise professional builders on product types, it features step-by-step technical guides on tricky jobs, such as tiling over underfloor heating and grouting in areas prone to moisture and outdoor tiling projects.
With more products than ever entering the industry, itís important that merchants take advantage and get as much knowledge as possible to share with employees and customers. Iíd advise that apps, social media and online tools are used to help with product knowledge Ė as an innovative industry we have a whole host of weird and wonderful gizmos to help you with product performance advice; not least the Dunlop App, TradeZone, E-Learning Portal and dedicated customer helpline.
If armed with relevant information, merchants can feel more confident in delivering first class customer care Ė saving customers time and, in turn, building long-lasting and loyal customer relationships.
Debi Boulton is brand manager of Dunlop.