It feels as though we've been having work done on our house since forever.
We started with the drive/front garden back in April and it's been pretty much non-stop ever since.
Which means that we've had dealings with a number of different tradesmen over the past 5 months. We go out of our way to avoid 'Barney Bodger the Bargain Builder' and rely on recommendations from friends and family, seeking out fully qualified people with the endorsement of a reputable trade association behind them.
So you'd think things would, by and large, go swimmingly, with any minor glitches dealt with quick smart.
So, in the unlikely event that any tradesmen (builders, plumbers, carpenters, electricians, window fitters, tilers, carpet fitters etc etc etc) are reading this blog, here are my Top Tips for keeping on the right side of your customers.
1. Don't treat us like idiots. We might not understand the intricacies of your craft but we do know when we're having the wool pulled over our eyes and we don't like it.
2. Don't promise more than you KNOW you can deliver. If you say you can fit a reciprocating flange socket to a transverse pinion bracket then make sure you can and that you do it properly.
3. Small point, but please, PLEASE turn up when you say you're going to. 8.00 am does not mean 10.30. To be honest, 8.30 is pushing it! If you know you're going to be late have the courtesy to ring and let us know. We'll think more highly of you and you won't arrive to simmering resentment.
4. Clean up like you mean it. Taking a pile of brick/plaster dust, wood shavings etc and laboriously spreading it over a wide area, nano-millimetres thick does NOT constitute cleaning. Mastering the correct use of a stiff brush must surely be covered right at the start of any trade training.
5. Bum cleavage. Please don't.
6. Snagging.... it's inevitable. Accept any criticism with good grace and sort out any problems promptly and courteously. Don't mutter under your breath and stamp about slamming van doors. We're paying good money for your services and we want the job done properly and to our satisfaction. End of.
7. Don't advertise dubious or non-existent qualifications or trade affiliations. It doesn't take Sherlock Holmes to check them out online and see if you won them in a Lucky Bag.
8. Be honest. A portfolio of images of your work should be all your own work. Similarly, if you say you've done X, Y and Z for Mrs Postlethwaite from Three Oaks, bear in mind that we can easily check it out.
9. A happy
customer is worth their weight in gold. Your reputation should matter
to you. Word of mouth, not to mention the power of the internet and
social media means that a shoddy job will be 'out there' before you can
say "Can you fix it, no you can't!"
10. If you do a good job for a fair price, are pleasant and helpful, turn up on time and clean up properly, we're your friends for life and will sing your praises at every opportunity. Money simply can't buy that kind of advertising.....