Building empathy with users is key to delivering any product of value

For any retailer building empathy with users, understanding their problems and ensuring the right product for the job is purchased is key to delivering outstanding customer service. This is why we jump at any and all opportunities to learn more about the pain points consumers have when renovating their new bathroom so that Aspect, our Guided Design platform has all the information it needs to make suitable recommendations. 

Recently we had the pleasure of visiting Abacus bathrooms, a North Yorkshire based manufacturing company, specialising in supplying products to make a bathroom waterproof.  

Now I know what you’re thinking, it’s probably the same question the team asked when we got back to the office, “Aren't all bathrooms waterproof?”  

Ever wondered why the shower enclosure leaked into the kitchen that time, or you have a damp patch on the ceiling and you don’t know where it’s coming from? Let me explain what we learnt...   

Most bathrooms in the UK are installed using water resistant plasterboard because it's fairly inexpensive and quick to install. This isn’t an issue in non wet areas of the bathroom but around the bath and shower this is where issues can occur.  

Why is this a problem?

This type of water resistant plasterboard is not waterproof, meaning that over time water will fall between the joins and cracks resulting in the plasterboard turning into a soggy biscuit.

Once this occurs tiles will start to lift and potentially fall off the wall or water will start to leak out and run to places it shouldn’t. 

What’s the solution?

What we learnt is that for a little extra cost a product known as tile backer board could be used to solve this problem. The boards are screwed or cemented onto a wall, whilst all joins and holes are taped and sealed creating a watertight wall behind the tiles and between a bath or shower tray.  No more leaks or soggy biscuit!  

Are there additional benefits?

Tile backer boards also have insulating properties due to their inner foam construction, which means they're more energy efficient than standard plasterboards. Installing these boards under floor tiles also creates a sound dampening effect for the floor below. 

So why are these boards not standard in all homes?

The first reason is because there’s no legal requirement to do so. We also think it’s because consumers don't really know they exist and consumers have to have some understanding of the product to know what to buy.    

Can DigitalBridge help?

We certainly think so. Designing a bathroom is a complex process, full of friction and decisions. We're committed to helping retailers help their customers by automating out complexity where possible so that the customer doesn’t require any technical knowledge to make a purchase.  

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