During the last 12 months, UK homeowners have invested £55bn in renovating or improving their homes, and it looks some of that investment has been spent with Kesseler. The luxury kitchens manufacturer and retailer saw their enquiries and sales soar during lockdown, because, according to Kesseler’s head of marketing and brand development, Nic Shacklock, “we were already having digital conversions with potential clients, so our existing brand communication was already poised to win. We didn’t need to change or adapt as much as our competitors; we were already there.”
Online consultations offering hassle-free service
Previously, a potential client would browse the Kesseler website, order a printed brochure and then visit a Kesseler showroom to talk about a new kitchen. But with showrooms closed to the public (due to being classed as non-essential retailers) Kesseler introduced their virtual appointments over Zoom, something that’s proved to be extremely popular with clients.
“One of our designers can pick up their laptop or tablet and show the homeowner around the showroom. Likewise, the homeowner can show the designer round their kitchen,” says Shacklock. “It’s a showroom meeting and home visit all in one digital meeting.” Samples of materials, colours and finishes are then sent directly to the customer. It’s an opportunity to have a face-to-face meeting with a designer but from the comfort of your own home.
Shacklock continued; “People responded really well to it and enjoyed the softer touch that comes from being slightly distant from the designer. We think that, although people are desperate to get back out into shops, the virtual appointment service will continue to run as we recognise the importance of being wherever our clients need us to be and what they are most comfortable with.”
Strengthening the brand and client relationship
To enable clients to feel closer and better connected to the brand, Kesseler have introduced their industry-leading concierge service, which aims to start a ‘seven-star experience’ at the beginning of the journey, according to Scott Slater, Kesseler’s co-founder. Every direct enquiry is handled through the concierge team and starts with an informal conversation about the kind of kitchen a client is searching for and their preferred styles and colours. “It enables us to answer any questions and give best advice, and it means homeowners can interact with the brand without being ‘sold’ to,” says Slater.
If the homeowner is looking for traditional kitchen for their Cotswold farmhouse, or an ultra-contemporary kitchen for a city apartment, the Kesseler concierge team will then introduce them to the most appropriate designer for their project for a more bespoke and personal service. “We pair each client with their ideal designer. This is rare in the kitchen industry,” says Slater.
The company also created a mobile-friendly version of their brochure. “A high proportion of our web traffic is on mobile,” says Shacklock. “So, we created a streamlined light version of the brochure that’s been optimised for mobile devices, that’s been really successful.”
Expanding the showroom presence
So, now we’re used to buying online, is it the end for kitchen showrooms? Not at all, according to Slater. In fact, Kesseler have an expansion programme in place and will be opening more showrooms across the UK over the next few months.
“Retail spaces, especially for luxury products, are now a place of theatre and entertainment rather than a focus on sales,” says Slater. “Our showrooms are what we call ‘brand beacons’, a place where a client may pop in for a glass of wine while they finalise some elements of their kitchen design. A place they feel comfortable. And that brand experience is consistent whether you’re in the heart of London or the North.
Flexible buying experience
The way we buy kitchens has changed over the last year and Kesseler has no plans to do away with this new way of working anytime soon. “Over the last 12 months, we’ve noticed an increase in people telling us they specifically want to have a Kesseler kitchen,” says Shacklock. “Through online research, they’re aware of the brand and what we offer even before they’ve spoken to us. So, they’re happy to talk through their requirements with our concierge team, have a virtual consultation with one of our designers and look at materials and colour samples while sitting at their kitchen table. Those services are not going to change as we come out of lockdown.”
“We’ve reacted quickly and fearlessly,” says Slater “and we’ve continued to provide the outstanding customer service Kesseler is renowned for. We’ll continue to offer customers complete flexibility when it comes to purchasing a luxury kitchen. We’ll always adapt to what customers want.”
If you’re planning a kitchen project for 2021, you can request the latest Kesseler brochure or book a virtual appointment with your local designer to discuss your requirements and ask any questions you may have.