A scheme to link kitchen and bathroom installers with consumers via the independent retailer and stockist has been launched by the British Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom & Bathroom Installation (BiKBBI).
Protected is a new digital platform that connects homeowners with professionals via the independent retailer or stockist. The retailers or merchants simply signpost their retail customers to the Protected platform, in store or online, where they are asked for some very basic project detail online and are presented with summary costs for consideration. If the consumer wishes to proceed, Protected matches the project requirements with local, independently accredited members of BiKBBI. These members meet and maintain criteria including HMRC verification, police background checks, provision of trade insurance and demonstration of technical ability in accordance with Building Regulations and legislation.
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.
“Installation is a complex beast and for some retailers can be a real distraction to the business of designing and selling beautiful product. For years retailers have either taken the responsibility, cost and complexity by offering an installation service themselves, recommended to third-parties or not offered installation at all. All ‘traditional’ options pose differing challenges, but I don’t think that has to be the case now,” says Damian Walters, CEO at BIKBBI.
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. Walters adds: “It’s a bit like consumer finance. It would be 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.”
Consumers pay 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 dispute, both the consumer and the installer have access to onsite assessment from the BiKBBI to support resolution. The consumer is fully financially protected, as is the installer and the entire proposition is underpinned by insurance-backed workmanship warranties and the high standards set by the BiKBBI.