The following article was published by the UK’s Double Glazing Blogger. Having been involved in Sales, Service and Installation of a variety of products for over 50 years, I have a pretty good idea of the sort of service a customer should expect, and is necessary to produce happy customers, referrals, testimonials, and a growing business. His post rings true, and directly addresses double glazing installations, so I’m going to reproduce it, unedited. Here goes…
The world of a window and door installation company continues to become more challenging year after year. With more and more products becoming available from existing and new fabricators, and home owners becoming more well informed and demanding, here are my top ten tips for installers when dealing with home owners.
1. Stick to agreed times
During your interactions with the customer, be it on a first visit, or to the fitters coming to install products sold, stick to your times as much as you can.
If you say your sales person will be there at 10am on Tuesday morning, then make sure they turn up bang on 10am on that day. Remember that those home owners have probably arranged their days errands around that visit, and being late for that appointment could mess up their whole day. And what would be the chances of landing a sale if you mucked all that up?
2. Put all quotes in writing
This might sound too simple to even be included on this list, but during my visits to home owners every day, I continue to get stories of companies scribbling down a price on a scrap of paper, on the assumption that this in fact is a quote.
Clearly it’s not. Make sure to put all quotes to customer in writing, and have them as detailed as possible. The clearer you make your contracts, the better you as the installation company cover your own back, and will ensure that the home owner is crystal clear as to what they are getting.
3. Details count
Got a potential customer coming to see you in the showroom? Then it’s the little details that count. Offering of drinks is a must, tea or coffee as a minimum. Even have some small treats spread about. We have a bowl of small chocolates on our front desk and they’re the most popular thing with customers in our office!
Be sure to display written literature in your office. It’s relevant to the customer and becomes just another way to show off your product portfolio. Customer testimonials are also handy to have within reach. Potential clients always like to read what others have said about you. If they’re positive, they can quietly convince others to go ahead with you.
4. Being tidy works wonders
Again, this may seem an obvious one, but there remains plenty of window and door installers who fail to take care whilst working inside a customer’s home.
If you’re in their property, it really does help to keep things as tidy and clean as possible either after each days work, or at the end of the project if it’s a days work. Home owners in the main do expect some degree of mess, but if they find that the installers have done their cleaning for them, it really does leave them with a nice novel and surprised feeling.
5. Sort remedial work out quickly
The practical of us will understand that we don’t live in a perfect world. No matter how much we try, mistakes, be it the fault of the installer or not, will always happen. But, what is important here is that if any issues do occur, be it during or after the installation, they are solved as soon as possible.
Part of the reason why our industry has got such a stained reputation is due to the companies who after finishing their work, fail to come back to the home owner should they encounter a problem with their products. It’s a very frustrating feeling for the client, and does nothing for the reputation of the industry.
6. Communicate effectively
The process of purchasing new windows and doors is one that takes weeks, not days, so it’s important that an installer remains in regular contact with the home owner. Even if it’s just a call to say there’s nothing new, but that they’ve not been forgotten about.
Remember, you as the installer know the supply chain, the client probably doesn’t. Good communication ensures that the home owner remains informed at all times and gives them peace of mind that you’re on top of their project.
7. Explain your product portfolio clearly
There is a hell of a lot of choice now in our industry. And thanks to the internet, home owners have access to all of those products too. But there is a sea of choice, and as the installer, it’s key that when speaking with a potential client, they understand all the options suited to them as clearly as possible.
If not, then there is a potentially huge can of worms to be opened further down the line if and when it comes to fitting said windows and doors!
8. Aid, not instruct
The job of an installations company is not to tell the home owner what they think they should be having. Their job is to listen to the requirements of the home owner, and provide window and door choices that best suit their needs.
There is nothing worse than being told what another person thinks you should be having. It’s patronising, arrogant and down right annoying. There’s a lot of choice now, and home owners want to view their options before asking to be quotes on one or two particular options.
9. Keep a clean and up to date showroom
If you have a showroom at your disposal, keep it clean! If you’re a home owner and looking at new windows and doors, there’s always a novel feeling when you walk into one that’s clean, fresh and visually impressive.
There is nothing more underwhelming than an out of date showroom. They need constant attention and tweaking to make sure that potential clients get to see as much as possible. Easier said than done if you’re a small business!
10. Drop the hard sell tactics
It’s 2016 not 1986, the drop closes and five hour marathons in people’s homes don’t have a place in a modern fenestration industry.
Keep your pricing honest, your demos timely and your information clear. More often than not, customers will be surprised that you didn’t resort to stereotype and didn’t go down the “typical double glazing” sales route.
These are my top ten, based on my 11 years selling to the general public. There are plenty more I could give, but these are a solid ten which have helped see me and our family run business well throughout the years.
Hi, It’s John back again. I’d probably add another item to this list. That’s after sales follow up and service. It’s partly covered in Tips 5 and 6,, but deserves more emphasis. After the installation, a customer should be contacted to see if they have any problems, or any questions. Do this right, and the installer may be on the way to the customer providing a testimonial or review.