It’s easy to forget the positive impact roofing contractors and similar tradespeople have in the community; we safeguard and improve the value of our customers’ homes, give expert technical advice and build strong working relationships. We also work to high standards with the minimum of fuss, whilst developing much needed skills in the industry.
However, as TrustMark celebrates its 10th birthday, their anniversary report reveals that the public image of UK tradespeople is not always as positive as the reality. The report highlights why it’s important to improve this public perception, and how membership of accreditation schemes such as government-endorsed TrustMark can help your business grow, bridge the skills gap and raise standards.
SHOW YOUR CREDENTIALS WITH PRIDE
TrustMark values professional, reliable people across all trades and endorses its registered firms for their efforts to raise standards and stamp out rogue traders. As the TrustMark name suggests, they believe the key to a strong and long-lasting customer relationship is trust, and that creating a positive impression makes good business sense. If you supplement this by certification of your business through accreditations and awards, you send a clear message that your customers are in safe hands. You’ll also be in a much stronger position to retain customers and win new work.
To promote professionalism for tradespeople, TrustMark has nominated 10 industry ambassadors – as shining stars of best practice. These ambassadors provide a snapshot of the thousands of tradespeople in the UK who deserve recognition, demonstrate how to gain business and customer respect.
Karl Terry, owner of Karl Terry Roofing Contractors and a TrustMark registered firm, is one of the ambassadors. Based in Wittersham, Karl’s business specialises in traditional Kent peg tiling, with 90% of their work involving listed buildings. Preparation, customer care and communication at all stages of the project are key to the business ethos and why many of Karl’s customers are longstanding clients who come to him from personal recommendations.
Attention to all the right details has won Karl a string of awards. He says the secret of trade professionalism is simple: “It is all about having integrity and being trustworthy.” Karl shares some of his best practice tips and tells us how he thinks they make all the difference.
Despite the cost, Karl directly employs a 12-strong roofing team so he knows exactly how they will work and treat customers. It’s more expensive, but he knows his team inside out.
Both the company website and Facebook page showcase their work with testimonials, case studies and photos. They also outline Karl’s credentials, guarantees, insurance and accreditations. Accreditation is valuable. “It gives peace of mind for customers,” says Karl.
Karl produces risk assessments and method statements for every project and his team all have working at height and first aid training.
Karl uses a tablet to produce quotations during site visits and each quote contains a list of his last 50 customers with references chosen at random from that list rather than handpicked. Quotes are fixed price and itemised to the last nail, giving the customer absolute cost control and assurance every step of the way.
By the time Karl’s uniformed team arrive on site in their liveried vans, they have all the information they need to make sure there are no misunderstandings with the customer. This is the result of Karl talking through every aspect of the project with the customer and highlighting details from potential inconveniences to where to locate the toilets and skips. Even small things are covered, like whether the client is happy for the team to listen to the radio and covering scaffolding with polythene to limit the mess.
The company ensures scaffolding is either alarmed or not accessible by removing ladders from the site at night.
For Karl the devil is in the detail; light touches make a huge difference to how customers perceive the business.
We know roofing contractors are working hard to ensure a trustworthy and professional industry, so lets be sure we do all that we can to make sure everyone knows! To find out how joining TrustMark could help your company raise standards and bridge the skills gap, simply visit www.trustmark.org.uk. There you can also read TrustMark’s report ‘Celebrating today’s trades and the value of professionalism’ and learn more about how tradespeople are seen in the UK today.