VBH (GB) Managing Director Simon Monks says a full choice of hardware solutions and money-backed guarantees give installers a competitive edge so they sell more.
For years Toys R Us ruled the high street, but no-one was surprised when it went into administration late February. The chain couldn’t compete on price and convenience with online retailers like Amazon. But why did Toys R Us fail when other high street stores thrived? Commentators criticised management for failing to evolve to meet changing consumer expectations. Toys R Us didn’t recognise customers’ needs for a better, more interactive instore experience, for example. The store’s format hadn’t changed since the 1980s and it looks dated. It fell behind other successful ‘bricks and mortar’ shops. In the new Lego store, visitors can try out and build the latest models with the help of staff assigned to play-stations in-store.
On the surface, Lego and windows have little in common but the foundations of a successful business model are the same – the need to adapt to changing customer demands. Whether you’re a large high street retailer or a local retail installer, you need to evolve with the changing times to give your customers the products, service and experience they want.
Performance and choice
Windows and doors are big ticket items and while some homeowners are driven primarily by cost, price is only one of the deciding factors for a growing number of customers. Energy efficiency, security and long-lasting performance are expected, but it’s the ‘extras’, the good looks and sleek design that make a product stand out and turn it into a ‘must have’. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution: one homeowner’s dream buy may be a widespan patio door that adds a feeling of space and light, and that brings the outdoors in. Or it could be a vibrant front door with colour-matched hardware. Other homeowners lust after heritage windows to add character to their properties. Customers expect choice, and installers that don’t offer choice will struggle to please them.
Hardware is often overlooked
Hardware is sometimes overlooked but the right range of window and door furniture gives installers another sales advantage. Nothing spoils a sleek patio door like a clunky mismatched handle. With this in mind, we developed greenteQ – VBH’s own range of high quality, reliable hardware. greenteQ is a growing suite of window and door furniture, colour matched for a seamless, integrated look. The range includes a choice of styles and finishes to complement all types of windows and doors. Our new matt-brushed stainless-steel pull handles, for example, are ideal for composite, timber, PVC-U and glass doors. The handles come in a choice of stylish designs and form part of the greenteQ Coastline range.
Properties near the sea and in high pollution areas need special consideration so the Coastline range is designed to withstand the elements and polluted air in coastal and other aggressive environments. It’s been tested to BS EN ISO 9227:2012 for exceptional corrosion resistance and comes with a 25-year guarantee.
greenteQ Invisifold, another recent innovation, is a unique slide and fold system for doors and windows that allows each sash to be moved individually for a full opening, or positioned as you please for controlled ventilation. Importantly it folds outside, so it takes up no valuable living space inside the home.
Peace of mind for end-users
Homeowners expect their new windows and doors to keep intruders out but a money-backed guarantee is an effective ‘risk-reversal’ sales aid that can help installers clinch the deal. We launched our Q-secure guarantee to give homeowners peace of mind and it’s a powerful installers’ selling tool. In the unlikely event of a break-in resulting from hardware failure, homeowners will receive up to £3,250 compensation. We designed the guarantee around our greenteQ range but it also covers other top-quality brands distributed through VBH
This article first appeared in Windows Active magazine