Wednesday 12th August, 2009
Mark Hanson, Marketing Manager at Ultraframe, believes that choosing a roofing system is about much more than just the product features and benefits. Here he talks about the company’s Ultra Installer scheme.
Despite operating in tough market conditions, Ultraframe has continued to innovate. Over the last two years, there has been a host of new products
Glazing bar twin bolts
Polycarbonate retention clips
Anchor clips for top enhanced top cap performance
Coloured foil roofs
Super Duty Eaves Beam
Cornice decorative gutter shroud
Whilst we are rightly proud of these innovations – and some companies undoubtedly choose our system because of the stream of new products – it is the intangible items on offer that can be just as appealing.
These intangibles are the softer items that can’t be touched/felt and yet which are equally important. A recent example of this includes the investment into the conservatory visualisation software and its associated electronic Structural Design Guide that automatically checks that the roof is fit for purpose.
Another intangible is the huge album of conservatory photographs that the company holds – always in demand from new and existing system users for brochures, adverts and web sites.
Probably the best example of all the intangibles offered to users of its Classic roof system is the opportunity to join the Ultra Installer scheme. The scheme is intended to ensure that consumers get a fair deal from accredited and vetted installers. The administration of the scheme and the office/site based inspections and surveillance visits are run by the BBA on behalf of Ultraframe.
Vivaldi Conservatories operating in Lincolnshire is a relatively new member of the scheme – they joined in March 2008. They are a very proactive member, valuing the leads, the accreditation process and the discipline this brings to them as a typical retail business.
Richard Turner who owns Vivaldi has 20 years experience in the conservatory sector having been one of a key number of Sales Managers at what was once one of the UK’s biggest conservatory retailers Coldseal. Richard put together his own words to describe what the Ultra Installer scheme means to him.
“Assailed as we are by depressing economic news from all sides and well used to the negative image the press use to portray the home improvements industry, it is important to sometimes remind ourselves of the good we bring to our home owning clients and the positive benefits of the organisations we belong to.
I was reminded of this by the response I received to a client satisfaction survey we recently carried out.
We had received an enquiry from the Ultra Installer website back in April 2008 from Mr and Mrs Farmer. They were looking to add a conservatory to their home and had carried out some research, although at that stage it had been far from a happy experience. When I contacted them they had received 2 quotations, one from a local company and one from a major national retailer. Mr and Mrs Farmer had always liked the idea of a glass roof but had been told by the local firm that glass had a poor thermal performance and worse was unsafe to use in a roof! He would only quote for polycarbonate.
The sales person of the national company had done the usual, starting at a
ridiculous price, halving it and then badgering them for a decision, leaving them completely confused as to what was a fair price to pay. Fortunately it was quite straightforward for us to supply them with the room they wanted, designed to complement their home and specified to be fit for purpose.
From our perspective it was a fairly simple project, priced reasonably well and a smooth contract to manage. So what does it look like from our client’s perspective? Mrs Farmer says the following:
We are so pleased with our conservatory. It has given us an excellent room we use all the time. Now we are expecting our first child we plan to turn it into a playroom, we are really excited about it. We are so pleased we got in touch with you, or we would have given up on our dream of a conservatory”
As I write this on Friday afternoon I have an appointment booked for this evening to sign up another Ultra Installer lead, this one a nice P Shape, again
with a glass roof. Perhaps I will give you an update on that one when it is done. If any Ultra Installers or indeed any other retailers would like to discuss sales and marketing issues, feel free to get in touch”
So, as you can see, the intangible benefits of using the Ultraframe system are sizable, as this testimony proves. Product and brand working in harmony – it’s a very powerful cocktail.