Home Installer Corner Certass on why trust is key to sales

Certass on why trust is key to sales

Jason Clemmit, MD at Certass, explores the vital role of trust in the relationship between installer and consumer, and the tools available to strengthen it.

In a difficult market, trust is key to gaining sales. A consumer’s trust must be granted to you for them to part with their hard-earned cash, however, to grant that trust, you must be able to give them some confidence in yourself and your business. A lack of trust can often lead to damaged relationships and a hostile environment.

There is no doubt that when times are tough, parting a consumer from their money becomes more difficult. Being the cheapest won’t be enough on its own (although beingcompetitive is always important). There needs to be a bond of trust between the consumerand installer. That obviously falls on the personal relationship between the installer and consumer. No-one buys from someone they don’t like or trust especially when it involves their home, it can be very personal to a lot of consumers.

There are however three pillars of support from Certass to assist in consumer trust that should be fully expressed to consumers.

  • Accredited certification
  • TrustMark workmanship standards
  • Consumer peer review

Accredited Certification
Accredited certification for you as an installer, as well as your supplied products, should be relayed to the consumer where the work type has an available certification. A Competent Person Scheme such as for windows and doors, allows you to meet regulatory requirements. Explain to the consumer you have been independently assessed to be competent to install products to building regulations, you are able to provide suitable certification and your installations are also randomly inspected on a regular basis.

TrustMark Workmanship Standards
Where the work type does not fall under the remit of a Competent Person Scheme, Certass can provide TrustMark registration. This demonstrates that you can work to Government endorsed standards as it is the only Government endorsed quality workmanship scheme.

The scheme covers several trade scopes such as conservatories, builders, joinery, kitchen and bathroom fitters as well as many more trades. So, you can evidence that your on-site work has been independently assessed to meet Government endorsed standards for just about any RMI work type you carry out.

Consumer Peer Review
As a consumer, what are well all practically doing now, when we look at buying something new? We look to see what other consumers say about the product or service. There have been several trade rating systems out there for a long while, but only the Certass reviews are linked to genuine, certified installations.

Other things to consider
Of course, to ensure a fully professional appearance, having appropriate workwear, van decals and most importantly documentation in place will all go a long way in giving the consumer confidence that you are professional in your business and that they also have some form of protection such as guarantees, contracts, terms and conditions, IBGs etc.

The importance of proper paperwork can’t be stressed enough because there are times when things go wrong, often through no fault of the installer. Installers know all too well of the issues arising from consumers that are product-related, or simply that consumer expectations diverge from reality. Having the job details fully disclosed in a contract with a signed acceptance from the consumer can really help in a financial dispute.

We hear so many installers say this is the first bad payer/bad customer we have ever had; my experience is that sadly, every installer will get at least one bad customer throughout their career. With the correct paperwork and documentation in place, it becomes much easier to defend your corner when it comes to any form of dispute – financial or otherwise.

A contract is protection for both parties on what is to be expected such as specification of colour, handles, glass etc. It can include timeframes, clauses for product or weather delays and a host of other things that can be pointed to in the case of a dispute. If a dispute escalates to court, then the contract/paperwork will be the primary source by which everything is judged. Without it, in general, a judge will side with a consumer.

There are many resources available to anyone looking for a simple contract to use, or build a base from. If you are a main contractor, TrustMark has a good base template. Or, if you seek a contract geared to fenestration, Certass Trade Association provides a simple contract that covers the basics and is easy to understand for the consumer.

www.certass.co.uk

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