Having meetings and consultations with clients via apps such as Zoom has been a ‘revelation’, according to Keith Wilson, owner of The Perth Kitchen Centre and Scottish director for the KBSA.
Speaking on the latest episode of The kbbreview Podcast, Wilson echoed the thoughts of many well-established retailers by admitting that technology had played a large part in their interaction with clients before.
“We’ve embraced technology more because of the lockdown,” he said. “We’re kind of old fashioned and over-50 so the Zoom meetings have been a revelation to me. Talking to clients and sharing the screen is as good as having them in the office, yes you don’t have the personal interaction but you have something very close.
Wilson went on to say that the wide geographical area covered by the company, which started in 1975, means that valuable time can be saved with this option.
“Because of the heritage of the business our clientele is far and wide so we’ve always travelled to see them or the clients travel to see us. Now there’s the choice to have a Zoom meeting rather than having an eight-hour round trip to Perth, that’s a massive benefit to that and it can only assist us.
“I like to shake people’s hand and meet them in person and enjoy taking them round the showroom, so I would still prefer that but there’s another string to the bow now and I’m not scared of it. It’s given the customer a little bit more control, especially now as some people still might not want to step out of the house. But it’s about offering the option as others are desperate to get out.”
Wilson said that the nature of independent retail meant that he was very optimistic about the future.
“Our industry has changed, but I think it has changed for the better for the independent retailer because people are looking for the personal touch more than ever before. We can adapt almost immediately to that change too compared to large companies, so I’m feeling very positive that we’re going to come out of this better than we went in.”