The issue of the industry’s reputation has been around for as long as I’ve been alive, probably. But it’s an issue that is of continuing importance. It the reputation that shapes the public’s image of an industry. Right now, other sectors like banking and politics are above us in the “most hated” list of professions, but it’s not always been like that. So what exactly is the reason for our industry’s terrible reputation?
One theory agreed on by many is the tactics, attitudes and behaviour of the industry’s sales people. For years, many of the larger regional and national companies have used hard sell tactics when in the customer’s home. I’m not quite sure who first thought that this would be a good idea, but they need a good hard slap!
This form of selling is the reason why the general public view our sales staff as a rather undesirable bunch. When I sit my own leads, quite often I would get asked how long I will be or be warned off from using any sorts of sales tactics, simply because the companies they have had in before me were in for hours and had to be forced out of the door. Luckily we’re not like that where I work, but the same cannot be said for other companies.
For those who use the hard sell, think about it the other way round. Would you want some stranger to come into your home for four hours and put you under intense pressure that you either capitulate into agreeing to buy just to get rid of that stranger, or to the point where all you want to do is punch them and throw them out? No, didn’t think so.
Hard selling, massive price drops, phony sales and discounts have no place in a modern, professional UK fenestration sector.
Could it be our industry’s installers? You hear all the time horror stories involving dodgy tradesmen, leaving unfinished work, quality of their workmanship poor, arrogant and having an attitude etc. Our industry unfortunately also has it’s share of these types of installers.
As an installation business, you do your best to help reassure the customer that you’re the company for them, fitting the best products, you have the best customer service and so on. But it can all be very quickly undone if the fitters that turn up make a complete dogs dinner of the job. You can have the best product in the world, but if idiots fit them, they’re only as good as the worst product in the world.
The quality of the industry’s installers is paramount. They are the last major part of the chain from sales to installation. Quite often they will be the last faces of the company homeowners see. They have to be good at what they do. They have to be polite. They have to respect the house they work in. If they don’t, then the customer is going to be left rather unhappy, despite all the hard work done up to that point.
Lack of customer service
Another major complaint of our industry is the lack of customer service once works have been completed. And it’s a complaint I often hear myself from disgruntled homeowners who turn to us for help, or to have other work in their home done.
It is not right that once a homeowner has paid their final bill companies should go on to ignore them. Complaints about companies not attending simple remedial work are one of the biggest. It leaves the homeowner with a very bad impression of the company, and unfortunately tarnishes the rest of the industry at the same time.
It baffles me that so many companies seem either unable or unwilling to attend remedial work once a customer has paid them. That’s the whole point of having a guarantee, so a customer can fall back on that when something needs looking at.
We’re not all like that
The industry has many problems, caused by a group of companies who refuse to do business in the right way. On the bright side though I am happy to say that we’re not all like that.
We see on Twitter all the time companies showing off their work, which all seems to be done to a very high standard. We see companies helping each other out, whether it’s on a B2C or B2B level. There are some very high quality window and door companies out there doing some amazing work. Unfortunately, it’s always the bad stuff that makes the headlines.
What do you think?
It would be interesting to know why the industry thinks it’s got a bad reputation. Spare a second to vote on my funky new poll and let us all know. If you think it’s nothing to do with the above, please leave a comment below explaining where the industry has gone wrong!