Mobility equipment dealers now need to have comprehensive knowledge of suppliers’ product ranges because customers these days are much savvier and the competition in the retail market is greater.
That’s according to Sunrise Medical, which has said dealer training and support from manufacturers is more important than ever.
Ryan Hirst, head of retail sales, said that customers nowadays expect their mobility dealer to be fully trained on a range of products.
It primarily falls on manufacturers and suppliers to offer their retail partners detailed and flexible product training.
Hirst said: “Attending manufacturer training events and choosing suppliers who can offer increased support is vital for dealerships.
“When a dealer completes one of our training courses they receive a certificate which they can display in their store, and whilst that’s great, that’s not really what it’s about. It’s about empowering our dealers with knowledge so they can stock the more complex chairs and carry out assessments.
“We will only allow dealers who have completed the appropriate training and can demonstrate a high level of knowledge to have access to demonstration stock of out high-end prescriptive wheelchairs.
“That rewards dealers who take the time to invest in training and also gives consumers the confidence that they’re dealing with highly knowledgeable sales staff.”
Hirst also said that dealer support and training is likely to evolve alongside the changing market. He notes that new technologies are already pushing this change through.
“Previously, if a dealer was having challenges with one of our products we would help them over the phone. Now, with things like Facetime we are able to offer assistance by video call which massively speeds things up when we can see what the dealer is trying to achieve.
“Video will increasingly be used in terms of providing servicing tutorials. However, when it comes to introducing new products to our dealer network, our hands-on training, we would always rather do this face-to-face and we’re proud of the ongoing relationships we have with mobility dealers throughout the country.”