A lockdown webinar in July heralded the full launch of Protected — a tailored service that, working with retailers and merchants, connects installers to consumers whilst providing greater levels of financial protection to kitchen and bathroom sales.
First unveiled by the British Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom & Bathroom Installation (BiKBBI) at the Houses of Parliament in 2019, Protected was launched to market in January and work has continued throughout lockdown to further develop and promote the initiative. A digital platform that connects homeowners with professionals and protects the relationship on both sides, Protected has been designed to also offer numerous benefits to the retailer or merchant.
For example, where no fitting service is offered by the stockist, merchants can simply signpost their retail customers to the Protected platform for independently accredited installer members of the BiKBBI. The service can incorporate installers the stockist already has a relationship with or to enable them to connect with new installers nationally.
If a sale proceeds, the customer pays for their installation service into a financially protected client account which is paid to the installer upon satisfactory completion of the project. In the event of a dispute, both the consumer and installer have access to onsite assessment from the BiKBBI to support resolution.
The consumer is financially protected, as is the installer, and the project is also underpinned by insurance-backed workmanship warranties and standards set by the BiKBBI — further ensuring legal and reputational protection for the stockist.
Damian Walters, CEO at BiKBBI, said: “Installation is a complex beast and for some retailers it can be a real distraction to the business of designing and selling beautiful product. Previously, retailers have taken the responsibility, cost and complexity by offering an installation service themselves, recommended to third-parties or not offered installation at all. All of these ‘traditional’ options pose differing challenges, but I don’t think that has to be the case now.”
He added: “For years retailers have engaged BiKBBI in search of a national installation solution. Sadly for them, no proven model was available and therefore we were unable to help. But with advances in technology, our experience in the industry and our access to thousands of professional installers nationally, we’re delighted to be in a position to present them with a real, tangible solution.”
Protected is available to retailers of all sizes, from independent, single showrooms to national chains and merchants. There’s no cost for the retailer and they have the flexibility to offer the solution to those customers they feel would benefit.
Homeowners choose an installer based on previous customer ratings, aiding an informed choice, before a free, no obligation home survey is undertaken which includes an itemised breakdown of work, clear pricing with a detailed written quotation, as well as a Trading Standards Approved contract for service for ultimate clarity.
Damian concluded: “It’s a bit like consumer finance. It would be right for some customers, but not all and therefore it would be for the retailer and their customer relationship to decide when best to offer the service and when not to.”
For more information about Protected and how stockists can benefit, visit www.protectmyinstall.co.uk/retailers