The Association of Plumbing and Heating Contractors (APHC) has recently published some interesting research which suggests that the Millenial ‘I want it now’ culture could be exposing some householders to dangerous, sub-standard and overpriced work.
The study, which questioned 2,000 householders, was undertaken after the APHC experienced a rise in reports that members were missing out on jobs as customers did not want to wait for work to commence.
The on-demand nature of consumers’ decision-making is also leading to an increase in APHC members being called out to fix sub-standard work. Customer patience is being exploited by rogue traders prepared to cut corners, turn a blind eye to Building Regulations or leave work unfinished.
- Over 50% would only be prepared to wait for 2 weeks for the start of a major home improvement before looking for another tradesperson with more availability.
- Only 12% would be willing to wait more than four weeks for a major non urgent project or improvement, such as a new bathroom or boiler upgrade, to begin.
- 38% said they would not be concerned or question why a tradesman had immediate capacity to start a major project.
- A further 24% were unsure if they should be concerned about the lack of demand.
Make Customers Aware
Professional and reliable traders are often in high demand due to the quality of their work and the reputation they have established over many years of trading – make sure your customers are aware of this!
Immediate availability should ring alarm bells with consumers, whereas a full diary indicates a tradesperson who provides an honest and professional service, allowing realistic timeframes for each job and giving great customer service.
John Thompson, chief executive of APHC, said:
“Our members have over time seen a definite shift in the expectations of consumers who make a decision and want the finished product as soon as possible rather than prioritising the longer term view of an excellent job, carried out by a qualified expert. We’re familiar with the saying ‘If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur’ – in this case waiting time can also impact upon costs.”
“Unless it’s an emergency, when speed is crucial, reputable plumbing companies are in demand for a good reason and as a result, have a steady customer base booking in jobs and this is the case for all trades, not just plumbers. For the sake of waiting a few more weeks for a new bathroom, we would certainly recommend consumers pausing to get the job done properly the first time around.”
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