I used to heap quite a lot of criticism on suppliers and manufacturers back in the day. Their laziness and sometimes arrogant attitude towards their customers annoyed me. After all, without installers, they would have serious financial issues! However, things seem to have turned a corner, and I must say, I am impressed.

Over the last few months, the manufacturers of our industry have been holding various seminars and meetings to help explain the various schemes and changes that will be affecting right now and in the near future. Companies like John Fredericks have held seminars in Dartford, Leeds and Swindon. Rehau have held a series of ‘big events’ where they have used the gatherings not only to help its customers understand the Green Deal and the up coming CE Marking changes, but to also introduce a raft of new products. Veka over the last couple of weeks have been touring the nations biggest football stadiums in an effort to educate its customers about Green Deal and CE Marking using their conference facilities. Feedback from all events has been very positive by all accounts.

Its not only get togethers that have been improved. But the general support throughout the year I think is improving. Many suppliers and manufacturers now have in house marketing teams, personalising brochures, leaflets, booklets and so on. Giving their customers that added personal touch.

I think that the days of manufacturer arrogance have now gone as it has been recognised that to have a successful industry, everyone in the chain has to work well together, and that the big boys with the biggest wallets have to help fund the extra drive of the installers. No longer can they just dismiss installer issues as silly little things that they don’t need to deal with because its not that important to them. Good customer service on a business to business level is more vital now than ever before as the consumer becomes a lot more vigilant and demanding.

Of course there is always more to do. Those who follow me on Twitter will know of my frustration with a rather large composite door manufacturer who’s lack of customer service annoyed us to the point of looking elsewhere for our doors. Its all well and good having great marketing, but when the daily dealings with the company leave you feeling angry and undervalued as a customer, that when you know there’s something wrong.

So, keep it up guys, you’re doing some good work at the minute!