Tradesmen – The 21st century started 12 years ago.

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  • Tradesmen – The 21st century started 12 years ago.
  • deadlydarcy
    Member

    Or am I missing something?

    The bazillion questions you get emailed before hearing that the builder’s had a read of them all and is going to have a go at it himself. 😀

    Ewan
    Member

    Invariably they’re sole traders so wouldn’t be able to provide a prompt response (they’ll be on a job) and secondly wouldn’t the guy need to come to your house to give you a quote? Easier to do it on the phone.

    Premier Icon FraserCook
    Subscriber

    myBuilder

    lets you do it all on the computer n that, and see reccomendations from other folks.

    jfletch
    Member

    People don’t always answer their phone, I don’t need an imediate answer, I want a simple record of who I have asked what and what people have responded, I want to ask more than one person the same question.

    Email is the perfect medium.

    I get the “its easier to be a time waster via email” issue, but the rest of it is just living in the past.

    grum
    Member

    People don’t always answer their phone, I don’t need an imediate answer, I want a simple record of who I have asked what and what people have responded, I want to ask more than one person the same question.

    Agreed.

    Most tradesmen round here seem to struggle with answering the phone, replying to messages, or even turning up when they have agreed to.

    But they do seem quite good at whinging about the Polish coming over and taking all their work.

    TuckerUK
    Member

    …actually it started 11 years ago, on 1st January 2001 to be precise.

    It’s OK, it’s been confusing some people since time began: “We have uniformly rejected all letters and declined all discussion upon the question of when the present century ends, as it is one of the most absurd that can engage the public attention, and we are astonished to find it has been the subject of so much dispute, since it appears plain. The present century will not terminate till January 1, 1801, unless it can be made out that 99 are 100… It is a silly, childish discussion, and only exposes the want of brains of those who maintain a contrary opinion to that we have stated.” The Times, 26 December 1799

    don simon
    Member

    I want a simple record of who I have asked what and what people have responded

    I use a pen and paper for this type of stuff. 😕

    d45yth
    Member

    I think a lot of it can be an age thing. A lot of younger business owners will probably have a website and email. Older ones on the other hand might not even use a computer, especially for any part of their work.

    no computer…. i think you’ll find that makes them psychopaths.

    jfletch
    Member

    Tradespeople, why is it so difficult to have an email address and include it on any adverts you publish?

    It would be a hell of a lot simpler to contact you if you did and the process of getting quotes for works would be a lot less hassle for all parties.

    Or am I missing something?

    Premier Icon aracer
    Subscriber

    …actually it started 11 years ago, on 1st January 2001 to be precise.

    If we’re going to be pedantic, I think you’ll find 1/1/2001 is closer to 12 than 11 years ago.

    Premier Icon bedmaker
    Subscriber

    I have luddite tendencies but can’t imagine not using email for work. Everything is there in black and white for one thing.

    “Have you lined the chimney already?” mildly irritating customer, on sofa with laptop on lap.

    “No, I never priced to do that”

    ” Yes you did”
    “I’m pretty sure I didn’t, perhaps you could check the email”
    Customer reads ” Supply and fit of multifuel stove with connection to existing clay liner using stainless steel adaptor”.

    Argument dead.

    Premier Icon footflaps
    Subscriber

    I like to talk the builder in person and go over the plans with them to get a feel for their competence, from the questions they ask / suggestions they make you can tell if they are switched on or not or trying to rip you off.

    Berm Bandit
    Member

    Its difficult to replicate sucking through your teeth in an email.

    scuzz
    Member

    …actually it started 11 years ago, on 1st January 2001 to be precise.

    How do you know he isn’t an astronomer?

    gwj72
    Member

    Is it because there is no obvious financial incentive for them to do so?
    Or they are deliberately trying to piss you off by not conforming to your preferred methods of communication.

    jonba
    Member

    I’ve used my builder and got some good quotes and was happy with the guy that turned up.

    We spent £10ks on our house after we moved in.

    When we went looking for quotes we had guys not turn up, turn up late, take months to get back a with a quote, provide us with a single £ number and no explaination. I think only one had a website*

    Anyway we went with the guys who had a professional image (the ones with the website. They responded by phone and email, provided written itemised quotes promptly and turned up on time.

    If I am going off no information I would nearly always pick the tradesman who provides a landline number, contact address and turns up in a vehicle with his name on the side rather than the mobile number on a postit note guy in a white van. I want the one who acts professional and doesn’t look like he’s about to do a runner and disappear.

    jfletch
    Member

    Is it because there is no obvious financial incentive for them to do so?

    There will be financial incentive for all painters and decorators in south Sheffield as I will only be getting quotes from people where I am able to make initial contact, organise a time to come round to see the job and provide a quote via email.

    To me bothering to provide an email address is indicative of the total level of service I would get from someone. If they can’t even be bothered to sign up to Gmail, what chance have they got in answering phone calls and turning up on time etc.

    xiphon
    Member

    With smart phones these days, there’s no excuse for ‘I’m out working all day so can’t read emails on computer’

    I’m definitely one for seeking the more ‘professional’ tradesmen like jonba

    Bear
    Member

    I make / receive about 40 calls a day on average as well as trying to do an 8 hour day. I don’t want email on my phone thank you.

    well if you’re that busy that you can afford to miss out on work then there’s no need to worry about work not coming your way 🙂

    don simon
    Member

    Simple question. Do you need or just want this instant communication via email?
    Seems a bizarre way to measure the professionalism of a painter/plaster/builder/etc..

    jfletch
    Member

    don simon – Maybe that is the misconception that the trades are making about email. I don’t want instant comunication via email, quite the oposite. Email is about “when you are ready” “when you have time” etc.

    I might have 5 mins now to compose an email but I don’t need an urgent response, sometime within a week or so will do unless I state otherwise. I’d be foolish to expect an imediate reply from someone I know doesn’t work in an office.

    Not withstanding the earlier issue regarding time wasters if I were a tradesperson I’d probably prefer to do all this sort of comunication via email. I can respond when it is convienient to do so rather than being interupted when on a job to answer the phone. I’ve got time to give a considered response, check my diary or earlier comunications before repsonding. Issuing quotes, invoices etc is easier/faster electronically than by post or delivering by hand.

    If I need instant comunication that is what the phone is for.

    Bear
    Member

    I look to answer my emails in the evenings, but after answering 40 calls during the day I sometimes don’t get in very early so don’t always get round to it!

    A lot of my calls seem to be taken up chasing money from customers who choose to ignore my invoices for several weeks!

    Just giving another view of how it is to be a tradesman sometimes!

    gwj72
    Member

    jfletch ..

    So having you as a customer counts as financial incentive? What are you having built – Disney land sheffield?

    I hope you find a tradesperson who is great with web technologies. I’d rather had one that was good at their trade regardless of how I might be able to reach them.

    mikeconnor
    Member

    Tradespeople, why is it so difficult to have an email address and include it on any adverts you publish?

    People on the internet; why can’t you do your own repairs and construction, rather than having to use tradepeople to do the jobs you aren’t skilled in?

    tracknicko
    Member

    funny how email has made people more scared of ringing people.

    SO many people in the office hide behind emails that get ignored rather than sorting an issue in 5 seconds flat by ringing the client/supplier/fitter etc.

    im sure the big burly painters and decorators of south yorkshire wont bit if you ring em.

    don simon
    Member

    If I need instant comunication that is what the phone is for.

    You’d have thought, but once you’ve received the email, the follow up email to check you’ve received the first email, followed by the third asking why there’s been no response and the inevitable phone call. I get the feeling a lot of people consider email as being instant.
    Phone calls are much easier, IMVHO.

    jfletch
    Member

    So it seems in answer to my original question is that the tradespeople don’t really get email and therefore don’t see the benefits.

    So having you as a customer counts as financial incentive? What are you having built – Disney land sheffield?

    Ha ha I wish. But am just one of many and using email may give a better level of customer service which leads to more customers.

    Big business is hot on giving people the ability to contact them in ways that are simple for the customer, phone, email, live chat, facebook, twitter etc. I was wondering why small business hadn’t even cottoned on to the simplist one of these.

    funny how email has made people more scared of ringing people.

    I don’t think email has made people more scared of the phone. I do think that people have recognised that in certain situations it is a much more efficient method of comunication. I agree that it isn’t right in every situation and that lazy people use it as a crutch to avoid effective comunication.

    Edit: the obvious irony being that in the time taken to read and respond to this thread I could have rung a load of painters!

    don simon
    Member

    Ha ha I wish. But am just one of many and using email may give a better level of customer service which leads to more customers.

    Are you not in danger of applying the ‘if it works for one group, it must work for all’ philosophy?
    If a tradesman has plenty of work, receives work through word of mouth and doesn’t work in a way that’s scaleable, why should they change?

    deadlydarcy
    Member

    dondon, that’s enough now…

    Anyway, a proper answer to the OP.

    Yes, I have email, no I don’t advertise it openly because, believe it or not, the world is full of timewasters that would happily bleed you of information only to then turn it over to their jack-of-all-trades builder/handyman/whatever. I have no doubt you’re not one of these – I get calls, I make a judgement over the phone whether it’s worth going to look at, I go, I measure up, I (mostly, sometimes I’m a bit crap/unenthusiastic) get a timely estimate out (as a pdf by email). Before I leave the client’s house, I leave them my email address in case there are any questions they have that they forgot to ask while I was there.

    I’ve had my time wasted by people who got my email from this forum. One is a regular poster who arranged with me to fit his floor, then pissed off for a weekend, not bothering to tell me he was getting his builder to fit it, claiming that he had no phone signal over the weekend at the mountain bike race he’d gone to. I had to (at the last minute) cancel travel plans and accommodation I’d arranged with friends. One person got my email after googling and a wood-flooring thread appearing on the search. He got me to come round, give him a full run-down of the work to be done, agreed a price there and then and a start date (a few weeks down the line, subsequent to phone confirmation, but I was led to believe it was a done deal). Then, phone calls, emails, more phone calls, more emails…nada. He just disappeared. So, you can see why sometimes, we don’t want to bandy email addresses around.

    If I was you, I’d just ring people. Leave a voicemail if they don’t answer. If they can’t be bothered getting back to you, then **** ’em. They’re obviously busy enough. Email should come after the initial communication.

    jfletch
    Member

    If a tradesman has plenty of work, receives work through word of mouth and doesn’t work in a way that’s scaleable, why should they change?

    They shouldn’t. “I get plenty of work over the phone” would have be a very complete answer to my original question without any of then need for implying a was wrong for wanting to comunicate in this way.

    I’d bet that if you weren’t you would have a very different attitude to making yourself available.

    DD – I get the issue with time wasters but surely that situation could still have happened over the phone. Its just someone being a prick.

    project
    Member

    Whats this email and computers you all speak of.

    Tradesman for a very long time.

    scuttler
    Member

    Some have even got around to sort codes, account numbers and faster payments. Even before HMRC went after em.

    highclimber
    Member

    Trying to get a builder come round to do anything (inc. quoting) these days is hard enough without complicating it with more methods of communication that they don’t reply to!

    Riofer
    Member

    jfletch, I just used a painter in Sheffield who turned up on time to do a quote, used an iPad to jot down details of the job and mailed the quote through. He sent texts regularly while the job was going on, always arrived early. Might be the man for you?

    Marin
    Member

    I’ll happily e-mail quotes to customers rather than a written one so we are both aware of what I have agreed to do. However I don’t advertise my e-mail due to the ridiculous people who think you can quote a job without looking at it or have any idea of the size or state a property is in. For every moan about a tradesman theres an equal one about dopey customers.

    jfletch
    Member

    However I don’t advertise my e-mail due to the ridiculous people who think you can quote a job without looking at it or have any idea of the size or state a property is in.

    Template replies. Emails standard answer to time wasters.

    Dear [Insert dopey customers name here]

    Thanks for your enquirey. Unfortunately I am unable to provide a quote for your job unless I visit the property and discuss the details of the job with you in person.

    If you would like to arrange a time for me to do this then please call 07blahblah during office hours or reply to this mail with a list of available times.

    Blah Blah Blah

    Maybe combine this with having two email accounts, one for pre sales and one for actual proper customers.

    deadlydarcy
    Member

    Maybe combine this with having two email accounts, one for pre sales and one for actual proper customers.

    Two?

    TWO??

    😆

    Premier Icon cp
    Subscriber

    Sheffield you say? This fella is spot on and is rather handy on a bike to boot. And he has a website!

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