Archive | September, 2012

Have you entered the Industry Oscars?

25 Sep

So, who has entered for the G12 awards? Hope you have, as the entry deadline is now closed! The next exciting event will be the announcing of the finalists in October! Look out for news of that.

Ok, we know some of you will now be wondering what all the fuss is about, so let’s fill you in.
FENSA is one of the main sponsors of The G12 Awards as well as being on the judging panel; we will be handing out an award on the evening.

We wanted to be part of this fantastic opportunity to reward the hard work and dedication of those working in our industry, and have that recognition realised nationwide.

So what are the Awards? This is how they are officially described:
The G12 Awards are the industry’s Oscars and can provide genuine business benefits for Winners and Finalists. The G12 Awards give public recognition on a national scale to those organisations that excel at what they do, every day, regardless of speciality, size or budget. Not only do the Awards help to boost team morale but they raise the profile of your brand, improve its value, help to generate business and provide an extra stamp of credibility among your customers.

We like to think of the awards as an innovative way to recognise your outstanding achievements and raise the profile of our industry.
To ensure the awards are open to everyone, there are twelve different categories to choose from and you can enter as many as you wish. If you haven’t got round to entering this year, it’s definitely worth taking the time to put together an entry for next year – even being shortlisted can bring real benefits.
There is nothing to lose and everything to gain.
The G12 Awards culminate in a spectacular ‘Awards Presentation & Gala Dinner’ at the world-class Hilton on Park Lane Hotel, London, on Friday 23 November.

See you there!

Replacement windows in listed buildings

24 Sep

There is often confusion over the subject of replacement windows in Listed Buildings, as to whether or not they come under FENSA’s remit. So in an effort to end the confusion, we decided to write a short blog post on how it all works.

The important thing to note here is that;
Replacement windows in aluminium or PVCu plastic cannot reproduce the character of old timber ones, and are therefore always deemed unacceptable in Listed Buildings.

listed building

Basically Listed Buildings are such an irreplaceable part of our cultural heritage they really need to be protected. So what does this protection involve? For almost any work to be undertaken to a Listed Building, there has to be Listed Building Consent and building approval from the relevant Local Authority. This is to make sure no changes or alterations are made. In fact any unauthorised work to a listed building is a criminal offence, and carries heavy penalties.
So the part of this that is important from FENSA’s point of view is that double glazed windows cannot be fitted in Listed Buildings and cannot be registered with FENSA – this would fall under the jurisdiction of the relevant Local Authority.
So there you have it! Although, in the majority of situations replacement glazing can be registered through FENSA, there are some other situations where FENSA does not apply and you must go through the Local Authority process – these are conservatories, porches, commercial premises or new build properties or extensions.

For more information on FENSA’s remit you can always take a look at another of our blog posts.

How happy are your customers?

5 Sep

There are many aspects to the double glazing industry we find ourselves associated with, one of which is customer service. A post from the DoubleGlazingBlogger on this topic, prompted us to put our thoughts together too. Installers – do let us know what you think of this post and if you agree (or not?). Customers – please let us know your experiences of the customer service provided by a FENSA installer.

So, first off, let’s analyse what we mean by Customer Service. The Wikipedia definition is:

Customer service is the provision of service to customers before, during and after a purchase.

This is very concise, but we know there is a lot more to it than that. Here are some top tips…

Happy Customers pass on positive feedback

Good customer service sends your customers away happy enough to pass positive feedback about your business, along to their friends and family. They may even make a positive recommendation about you on social media such as your Twitter or Facebook page. You can already see the pattern, their positive feedback then encourages more customers and so on!

How to do this? Well, the answer is forming a good relationship with your customers. Imagine you are the customer and consider all the things that would annoy and distress you, and address those situations. The customer will judge you by what you do and not by what you say. Words are easy; the customer will want to see actions.

Simple things are important. Things like answering the phone and returning messages. Do not say you will do something unless you know you can! Pay attention to what your customer is telling you, as it can prevent misunderstandings in the future and can help solve problems early on. Deal with problems as they occur – you may be able to salvage a bad situation before the customer loses trust and you lose their business.

Always be helpful, even if there’s no immediate gain, as a customer can have a long memory and that act of kindness will not be forgotten. Make sure all your staff have enough knowledge to answer customer questions and that they implement your good customer service
strategies. Try to go the extra mile, it may seem a big effort but will be beneficial in the long run, when your customer passes on your phone number to their family member, friend or colleague!


Confidence in FENSA installers

So what about customer service for FENSA installers, specifically? Well, all FENSA registered companies are continually re-assessed by an independent inspection body to ensure consistence of Building Regulations adherence and service. Customers can also rate a FENSA Fitters customer service using a rating score for installers on a feedback form provided with their certificate.

However, we also know that, unfortunately, in very rare occasions, there may be a cause for complaint about customer service. One of the most difficult things is knowing where to take such a complaint. We provide more information for consumers about customer service here.

TrustMark Offer for FENSA Installers

5 Sep

Following on from our previous blog about the BFRCexclusive offer available to FENSA installers, we wanted to make sure you know about another great initiative that can help your business. Let’s just back track a little, before we tell you about it.

TrustMark Scheme: Government Endorsed Standards

FENSA has been an approved TrustMark Scheme Operator since 2007. This is great news, because it mean, if you want to register for TrustMark, as a FENSA registered business, you automatically qualify (Providing you have traded for 12 months). This is because you were vetted, when you first became FENSA registered, and your installation work is continually inspected by the independent inspections body, BBA. You must also have in place a written policy outlining how you resolve complaints from your customers and if you have more than five employees, you will be required to have in place a health and safety policy.

So pretty straight forward so far.

But what about the TrustMark scheme itself? TrustMark is the government-endorsed scheme to help homeowners find trustworthy and reputable trades’ people. Basically, your future customers will choose a TrustMark-registered business to carry out work on their property, because they want to be confident in the company they are hiring.

The good news is, this means over 350,000 potential customers visit the TrustMark website every month looking for listed firms. So if you’re on the list, they could be looking at you.

Obviously that’s a huge benefit in itself, but there is a long list of others! Here are just a few to whet your appetite!

  • Listing on the TrustMark website
  • Membership of a scheme that is heavily promoted to homeowners (including on BBC Radio)
  • Use of the TrustMark logo
  • Free van stickers
  • Free homeowner focused promotional materials

Here at FENSA, we know business is tough and you need all the help you can get. We want to help you take advantage of the TrustMark scheme, so FENSA is offering its installers the TrustMark badge at the new reduced price of £100 per year – less than the cost of a local newspaper advert! When looked at like that it is too good an opportunity to miss!

Additional information on this offer can be found on the FENSA website within the installer’s login and via the installers’ email sent out previously.