When end-user customers experience a plumbing crisis in their homes, the first thing on their mind is how to fix it as quickly as possible. Getting the issue fixed from a pro they trust will do a good job is likely a very close second.

I’ve had many conversations recently with distributors and manufacturers’ reps about retail home stores continuing to branch into the pro side of our industry. With the marketing budgets and other “advantages” these chains may have, preserving and protecting the warehouse and showroom customer loyalty is an ongoing concern.

While it’s tempting for a stressed customer with a leaking toilet to order online from a retail store they’ve seen on TV for years, or run up to street for curbside pick-up, they likely won’t receive the same level of expertise, pro availability and care they would from the local PHCP supply house. And what the customer may not realize is the simple online ordering, curbside pickup and quick delivery they desire is also available from these local suppliers.

All of you are rising to the challenges of 2020 and a competitive marketplace – whether it’s a new mobile app, a 24/7 delivery options or around the clock customer service. I know this, but we need to make sure potential customers know.

Sit with your team and make a plan to get the word out about these great things you’re doing. Make sure customers know you offer easy purchasing options plus the advice, expertise and genuine care provided by your team of PHCP pros who’ve been in the industry for decades.

Your advantage is the level of service you can provide. You can give your customer a personal phone number for a branch manager that they can text or call at any time and know they’ll immediately talk to an expert; not an automated system who makes them jump through hoops in order to get help.

Use LinkedIn and Facebook to showcase the level of expertise your team has to offer, and to let potential customers know how easy it is to place and receive orders. We live in a time that revolves around convenience, and I believe distributors and showrooms are working to provide the highest level of convience to customers. Shout it from the rooftops, focusing on the difference between your business and the home stores – your experienced pros.