We always ask clients how they found me: referral, website, Houzz, Google. We usually get a rather even mix of responses. A recent client, however, told us she had specifically Googled ‘curtain reviews’
Apparently she was shown our website (where we have numerous testimonials) and also our site on Houzz, where we also have many positive reviews. We thought her search was interesting, as it places high value on the testimonials themselves, and we are delighted that we make such a point of collecting them.
When engaging a new supplier or tradie, what do you search for?
If you are in the daunting position of not knowing anyone reputable, do you simply go with the major suppliers that advertise on TV or radio and promise quality and cheap prices? These companies are paying thousands of dollars to advertise, so logic should tell you that this money comes from profits. This in turn means a drop in quality so that prices can remain low.
Dealing with big companies often means compromising on personal service. You initially deal with a salesperson who has no vested interest in your job other than a sales commission or monthly target they must achieve. Also such sales people are trained to sell you from their product range; not necessarily advise you on the best product for your needs. Many have no colour or design training/background. Sometimes the best product is an item they don’t have in their inventory. They often match or undercut competitor’s prices. You may think that’s a big win for a customer, and if price is your only consideration, it probably is a big win. However, at some point the quality of the product and the availability of after sales service may become an issue.
Another point often overlooked is the company culture. Many of these big guys have a huge staff turnover; product training is minimal; installers are often unskilled and underpaid. Many many times we have had to fix up dodgy installations carried out by major suppliers. Clients either accept this rubbish as being part of a cheap price, or they get no satisfaction when they complain to the supplier.
The best way to find a great supplier is a referral from someone who has had a positive experience, or to check out testimonials.
Testimonials are often a great source of information for a potential client as they can cover topics such as service, knowledge, product quality, punctuality range, price and after sales service. One or two testimonials is not enough to gauge whether you want to do business with this supplier. However, dozens of varies testimonials from a wide variety of clientele, is definitely what you should be looking for.
Look for the names of the business owners… will you be dealing with them??? Family businesses (like mine) are wonderful, as our profits go back to the family for education, housing, food, travel, etc. We pay our taxes too. You get personalised service and have a point of contact if anything goes wrong or you have questions throughout the process.
The conclusion for me is that we are going to keep asking for reviews from my happy clients.