In the first of a series of articles, we look behind the scenes of Bracknell Roofing and ask key members of staff about their areas of specialism and what makes our business stand out. Dave Cook, Regional Contracts Director for the Milton Keynes branch, throws the spotlight on customer service.
We’ve crunched the numbers and we know that looking after customers is the difference between having a 10% chance of winning a tender or a new contract and having a 50% chance of being successful.
Yes, of course there are all the usual factors, such as costs, availability of materials, the ability to deliver a project on time, etc., but customer service underpins our entire process, and we’ve identified three areas where we’re very strong.
Our teams at all our branches across England like to get involved in prospective projects as soon as possible. That’s because we seldom get situations where the specifications of tenders are set in stone – which means we have the opportunity to work alongside the team of a prospective customer to fully understand what they want to achieve.
If I had a pound for every time the final installation differed from the original specification, then I’d have been able to retire a long time ago. But it highlights our ability to suggest a series of different solutions or ways in which we can help customers to achieve what they want. This is especially true in respect of budgets because it’s commonplace that we have to sharpen our pencils on costs or rethink solutions during the tendering process.
It’s no big secret that working very closely from the outset with potential customers does help to forge productive working relationships, which can be hugely influential when there are fine margins between securing and missing out on contracts.
We’re proud of the fact that we’ve grown to become one of the UK’s largest roof, slating and tiling contractors in the 40 or so years since we started. And we’d like to think that all of this experience and knowledge counts for something when looking after customers because we couldn’t just write one book about all the things we’ve seen over the years – we could fill an entire library! This comes back to the first point about working closely with customers from day one to read between the lines of what they want to achieve and give them solutions that are practical and cost-effective.
Because we’ve been around the block a few times, we also have some of the strongest supply chain relationships in the industry, and this gives us big elbows at the table. Take the current crazy situation with the lead times on tiles as an example – we know that we’re given preferential treatment in placing orders or calling off stock. It’s a massive plus for our business.
Before we get to the third point, it’s also important to note that we have a great track record in developing and retaining staff, and we’ve recently recognised the landmarks of some of our long-serving staff.
Our great customer service doesn’t end when the ink is dry on the contract – far from it. The delivery of projects is where we show our mettle – because, despite meticulous planning, there’ll always be some kind of spanner in the works. We have systems in place at Bracknell Roofing to offer different levels of responses to make sure any issues are addressed quickly and effectively.
We’ve spent more than 40 years refining our approach to customer service – but that doesn’t make us complacent. Not one bit.