Give customers a great experience and they’ll come back to you again and again. Kestrel’s Marketing Manager Andrew Cross explains why service is more important than ever for fabricators and installers.
Whatever you sell, buy, make or install, the customer experience can make or break any business. If you give your customers a great, stress-free service they’ll buy more, buy again and, most importantly, they’ll share their positive experience with their friends and colleagues.
By contrast, give them a poor experience and you risk losing more than just one customer – you could also lose your reputation. Research by CRM software provider Salesforce shows that 62% of customers will share bad experiences they’ve had with a company with others and, of the 1 million tweets about customer service that people read every week, around 80% of them are negative.
That’s why it’s never been more important to deliver top-class service to your customers every day. But what does that mean in a practical sense? What makes for a great experience? Professional services company PricewaterhouseCoopers says that great customer service means speed, convenience, consistency and friendliness, which just proves that it really isn’t all about price. After all, there’s no benefit to paying slightly less for a budget aluminium section if that section arrives on site damaged, wrongly sized, or so late that it delays the project and causes you awkward problems with your customer.
Offer a better service
Great customer service sits at the heart of the fenestration industry. It’s how you set yourselves apart from your competition, and how you make sure that your customers come back to you again and again.
The key to providing good customer service is to give your customers what they want, and that means having a thorough understanding of their business needs and how you can help support them.
Take our customers, for example. The installers and fabricators we work with cover multiple sectors from retail, leisure and residential, to schools, hospitals and care homes, to name a few. These aren’t mass-production installation businesses, they’re talented craftspeople who work on bespoke projects, tailoring their skills to create robust window and door systems for building owners, small builders and contractors who return to them again and again because of the high quality of their work.
But these bespoke projects often have to be completed in very tight timeframes, with the installers working outside of normal working hours to, for example, quickly replace a store front following a break in, or to complete a project during school holidays with only limited site access. That means they can’t work with the often 6-10 week lead times quoted by some aluminium system suppliers; they need to work with companies who have stock ready to go when they need it. To be as flexible as possible, we carry a wide range of window and door sections, curtain walling, roof and framing systems, along with standards, angles, plain box sections and aluminium sheets with many kept in stock, all of which our customers use frequently as part of their projects.
They also want products that are easy to design, quick to fabricate, and cost effective to fit in with price-conscious building owners, especially in the case of public sector works that are often put out to tender.
For more challenging projects, fabricators want a supplier who can help them design and build the right solution, and to offer them technical advice when they need it, whether that’s when working with curtain walling or thermal framing, or when designing unusually sized window and door frames for bespoke buildings.
That’s why at Kestrel we offer our customers design support that will help them create exactly what they need, no matter the size or scale of the project. We make sure our technical teams have the expertise to work closely with our customers for the entire duration of a project and we are always on hand to help answer any questions they may have.
Give your customers what they want
Kestrel Aluminium Systems was established back in 1989 to offer aluminium system installers and fabricators a better level of service than they were used to. That meant shorter lead times than the market average – a tenet we stand by today with five-working-day lead times – and more flexible products. Kestrel was the first in the market to offer multiple different bar lengths, and also half and quarter lengths, which means you only ever have to order what you need. This reduces material costs, wastage and time on site; all of which in turn helps improve your service to your customers.
Kestrel quickly became known for our service levels, and being a smaller business back then allowed us to be more flexible and to quickly adapt to what our customers told us they needed from their aluminium section suppliers. This, again, is a core pillar of our business, and one that we continue to offer today. That’s why we installed our own powder coating plant, so that we can respond quickly to customers with urgent requirements and deliver them exactly the aluminium sections they need, in whatever colour or finish they require.
Above all, our customers rely on us because they know we will deliver exactly what we say we will, when we say we will, and because we have a tried and tested, quality product range that they can rely on.
Kestrel Aluminium Systems has been supplying aluminium fenestration products for more than 30 years, and we pride ourselves on our excellent customer service and reputation for high-quality, reliable products. For more information on our systems and how we can support your business, visit www.kestrelaluminium.co.uk or call 0121 333 3575.