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Quinn's Lee Gillman on Builders Merchants

“Listening to our Merchant customers is key to adding real value” – Quinn’s Lee Gillman discusses developments for the Merchant market

For us, our Merchant customers are essential to the success of our business with a large portion of our GB business going through our Merchants. So understanding their needs and reacting to these is vital to ensure we maintain a strong relationship with our Merchant customers.

We set an agenda to investigate what we could do to add value to our Merchant partners. To find the answers it was clear the first step needed to be to gather the input from the horse’s mouth as it were. We needed to go to our Merchants and really find out what they needed from us. Listening to our Merchant customer is key to adding real value.

So we invested in an extensive piece of research to fully understand the pain points experienced by our Merchants. This meant spending time with them, shadowing them in their workplace, observing their processes, talking to them in groups and as individuals. We recorded everything, documented processes, conversations, probed the responses to delve deeper. It was a hefty piece of work which was then analysed in detail to garner some insights which we could translate into a solution.

Taking Action

The research gave us some quality insights and helped us to really understand what Merchants needed to help them in their daily business and help them sell more of our products.

We finalised a suite of actions which addressed the research findings and since the research was completed in 2018, we’ve been quietly working on delivering these new solutions to our Merchant customers.

These actions covered everything from point of sale material and product literature, digital tools and logistical processes, to industry support and communication.

We’ve been redesigning our product packaging and literature and creating new point of sale material, all aimed at helping our customers to sell our products easier.

We’ve been enhancing our online tools and resources to ensure we’re providing simple and practical solutions.

We’ve stepped up our investment in the support of industry events and awards and the development of key industry relationships.

The largest piece of work for us, and the one which will deliver the greatest value to our Merchant customers, is the development of a bespoke Merchant App. It has taken over 12 months and six figure investment to develop the App and the digital framework for it to function as a truly valuable tool for our customers. We’re currently testing the App with our Merchants and are aiming to roll it out very soon.

The key thing for us is that the App has been built specifically to address the needs of Merchants, who have been heavily involved throughout the design and development process. Their input at every stage was crucial to refining and adapting every detail to ensure the end product is a functional and practical solution which delivers value by addressing the pain points experienced by Merchants. It’s a very exciting development for us and we’re looking forward to bringing more news on the App in the coming weeks and months.

Lee Gillman, GB Sales and Marketing Director, Quinn Building Products