Tilerworld forum

Beat the recession with greater professionalism

The nation’s tilers face challenging times and with fewer tiling jobs available, fixers need to compete more fiercely for every one that comes their way. Traditionally, a customer calls whoever did their last job — provided that the work was up to scratch — and asks the fixer to quote for the next project. If the quote is acceptable, the fixer gets the job. That process, though, is on its way out.

With domestic customers now having to watch every penny, they will increasingly use such sites as www.tilerworld.com to find local fixers and ask for multiple quotes. They need to be more selective and will give their business to the tiler who offers the best value. How will they decide? Fixers in the same area and using similar materials will not have widely varying costs. With profit margins already tight, there is little room for manoeuvre on price. Appearing to offer the customer better value is going to come down to how fixers present themselves to customers.

It means a fixer considering what would impress customers. They should make a habit offering references from previous customers, without waiting to be asked. It would not hurt to carry around a small album containing photographs of past work. Most importantly, it will become increasingly vital for a fixer not just to be listed on www.tilerworld.com, but to have ratings from customers, as the site’s rating system will be highly persuasive. For a fixer to look particularly professional, they will have to reconsider the way in which they produce their quotes.

Customers used to expect any tradesman to look thoughtful for a few seconds, then verbally offer an all-in figure. This no longer inspires confidence, being as unimpressive as a few scribbled sums on the back of an envelope. It is not rocket science: if prices are roughly similar, who wouldn’t pick the fixer with a clearly laid out printed quote, showing a logo and company details above a complete breakdown of materials, labour costs and, if applicable VAT? This kind of quote, of the type produced by BAL Quote Builder, shows that the tiler is concerned about quality, appearance and attention to detail — and that is what customers will want to see.

Just being a terrific tiler is no longer going to be enough to win jobs. In the future, starting now, the fixer has to impress the customer from the first contact by looking professional, followed by delivering great value with their work. BAL, the long-standing market leader in tiling adhesives, grouts and associated products, is putting its considerable marketing experience behind tilerworld.com, the new free service for tiling customers and fixers.

The launch of tilerworld.com is being supported by a nationwide promotional campaign making both fixers and the public aware of its benefits. The public will encounter publicity materials through the press and if they source their tiles from hundreds of BAL distributors across the country. In addition, tilerworld.com has been designed using ‘search engine optimisation,’ so that it will appear high in any listing if a consumer uses the Internet to search for a local tiler. Finally, the campaign will include relevant advertising in every local edition of Yellow Pages nationwide.

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