The guide to installer etiquette
This is Max. He’s been in the building trade for 7 years now, and he’s also a pro at fitting Maxtop. Today he’s giving you his top tips for getting new customers as a kitchen fitter!
Now, as an installer, I spend pretty much all of my working hours in other people’s houses. From luxurious places out in the country, to little first-time buyers’ houses, our customers deserve the utmost respect when we enter their homes, especially when there’s often a lot of mess and noise coming hand-in-hand with our work. As you well know, building jobs can be messy, dusty and generally a bit mucky. This is obviously an occupational hazard, but there’s some steps we can take to ensure the whole process is carried out smoothly.
Although I’m quite a tidy worker, other messy buggers I know certainly aren’t! However, there are certainly a load of rules installers need to abide by in customer’s homes. By remembering a few simple rules of etiquette you’ll save yourself copping an earful and earning yourself a bad rep!
Never turn up late
We all hate that 5am alarm, but turning up late to jobs is going to rapidly put you in bad position. Set 10 alarms if you need to. Do anything you can to avoid that stressful morning rush, as you down a mug of scalding hot coffee and run out of the house with a slice of toast hanging out of your mouth.
You also need to have planned your morning journey – knowing how horrendous the traffic is going to be on the M62 to Liverpool and having your customer’s address in the sat-nav the night before will save you pulling your hair out before the job has even started. When I was younger, I was late all the time – turning up hungover, blaming my lateness on the traffic or punctured tires. You name it. That had to stop though – professionalism is key to maintaining a strong reputation for your business.
Don’t take too many breaks
I know the Tea-Break Tosser game is addictive, but don’t take the p*** with your breaks. You’re either going to be much slower on the job or you’re going to get caught in the act just as you’re about to toss a last-second teabag into a Maxtop mug to seal the high score. Not only would you miss out on the victorious score as you swiftly fumbled your phone back into your pocket, you’d also be left pretty red-face, believe me.
Respect their space
A cautionary tale. I once spun round in a customer’s kitchen, drill in hand, and knocked a vase off the breakfast bar, which promptly smashed into pieces on the stone tiled floor. Of course, the vase turned out to cost a small fortune and I had to stump up the cash to replace. With this in mind, it’s worth having a quick chat with your customer and advise them to move precious items to a safe place, away from clumsy tool-wielding blokes like me. You should also use dust sheets to cover furniture, run a vacuum over the site at the end of the day, as well as removing any of your waste.
Communicate! Not answering the phone or calling back if you have a missed call will result in rage, take my word for it. Having work done on your house is stressful enough, so don’t add to your customer’s stress! Good early communication will also build confidence with your customer to set you up for a good relationship throughout the job. A solid relationship will make it easy to get the job right, and both parties will be able to voice concerns when necessary. Most importantly, you’ll be stocked up with proper brews and biscuits throughout the day – no milky disasters with a side of rich teas.
Check in after the work is done
To really stamp yourself all over the good books, check in with your customer after you’ve completed the job. You could be able to help with a little advice or an extra bit of work. Better yet, you could receive an ego boost when they tell you how much they love their new kitchen, complete with that bloody awkward breakfast island that you toiled over. Either way, it can only be positive, so get the phone out.