In response to the coronavirus outbreak, plumbers are looking for ways to work more efficiently and adapt to customer needs. But with people observing social distancing requirements and other precautions, we need efficient solutions more than ever.
A Snapshot of the New Normal
As a plumber, how has your day-to-day routine changed? Even as a manufacturer of plumbing solutions, we’ve noticed a change in the way our customers work. In the past few months, pros have shared several important trends they’ve noticed:
- Scheduling around other pros on jobsites. With the introduction of staggered shifts in certain construction markets, pros are having to coordinate time around other trades. They can no longer come and go on jobsites as their schedule allows. It’s critical to set a schedule and stick to it. If a firestop installation takes longer than expected, for example, the delay could throw other contractors off schedule.
- Making faster residential service calls. Because of social distancing requirements, plumbers working in homes need to get in and out quickly to keep customers comfortable and reduce the risk of spreading or getting the virus. They need ways to make repairs and install fixtures as quickly as possible without sacrificing quality.
- Conducting virtual consultations and meetings. On websites and social media profiles, some plumbing contractors are inviting customers to schedule a virtual consultation through video conferencing platforms like Zoom. During the appointment, the customer can explain the issue they’re having and receive an initial quote. This reduces time in-home and can ensure efficiency.
- Installing more touchless faucets. Not surprisingly, reducing the spread of germs and viruses is currently top-of-mind for most consumers. Some plumbers have noticed an increase in requests for touchless faucet installations from health-conscious homeowners.
While the pandemic highlighted the need for solutions that get pros in and out faster and help them adapt to shifting customer needs, it’s difficult to make changes in a short amount of time. In some cases, pros don’t have time to perform services in the exact same way as they did six months ago.
At RWC, we’ve always offered solutions that make plumbers’ jobs more efficient, like durable SharkBite push-to-connect fittings and HoldRite firestopping systems. But the past few months has reinvigorated our mission to develop safe, sustainable and efficient solutions. We’re seeking ways to design even more products that cut down on installation without reducing quality and craftsmanship.
So… Where Do We Go from Here?
We can’t pretend to know what the plumbing industry will look like in a month, six months or even a year. Will plumbers continue working around social distancing requirements? Will customer demand for hygienic products like touchless faucets increase?
No matter what the next few months bring, we believe efficiency and adaptability are permanent fixtures. As you continue to improve services for customers, we will support and empower you with plumbing product innovations.
Chris Carrier is the Marketing Director, Americas at RWC – a market leader and manufacturer of water control systems and plumbing solutions for residential, commercial and industrial applications.