We’re rounding up 2016 by catching up with the winners of our Which? Trusted trader of the month and finding out how the year was for them.
Our first winner back in January 2016 was W P J Services Ltd. The south-west London plumbing and heating firm won the award for its excellent customer service and top-quality workmanship, along with the video posts it created on Facebook to showcase its work.
The W P J Services team told us: ‘2016 has flown past, with lots of great leads rolling in from our Which? Trusted Traders membership. We started the year with a bang, having won Trusted trader of the month for January, and this helped raise our profile and let the public see how seriously we take our job and our responsibilities. Collecting reviews from happy customers on the website is a sensible and credible way to build our business. We hope to do more of the same in 2017. All the best for the New Year from everyone at WPJ Heating.’
February was the turn of A1 Bespoke Ltd, which impressed our judging panel with the excellent reviews on its profile. A1 Bespoke Ltd’s Michael Hall said: ‘Customer feedback means everything to our business. In fact, ensuring customer satisfaction on every job has been at the centre of the business since we started in 2010. We’ve worked incredibly hard to get 100% feedback across many platforms from all our customers, and being Which? Trusted Trader-accredited just adds to that, which is fantastic and bodes well for the future.’
March was the second Which? Trusted trader of the month win in two years for Electricians in Reading. This time it was because of the way the business embraced the scheme and made use of it on social media. Of course, this was just the start for Chris Gordon and his team, as Electricians in Reading went on to become Trader of the year at the Which? Awards in May.
Homeglaze Home Improvements was our April winner, thanks to the team’s animated videos on Facebook showing customer feedback, as well as great work in using the Which? Trusted Traders brand throughout the business. The family business has more than 30 years' experience in supplying windows and doors, and prides itself on providing excellent customer service.
Homeglaze’s Dean Thurogood told us: ‘Throughout 2016, we aimed to maintain our excellent reputation by providing quality products and great customer care. When we won the Which? Trusted trader award for April 2016, we were very happy that the quality of the work we provide had been recognised. We enjoyed sharing this achievement with new and existing customers, as it shows that we are a company that does a great job from start to finish.’
Richard Healey Removals Ltd was our May winner. The Ayrshire-based removals company won for its great use of the Which? Trusted Traders branding.
Richard Healey Removals’ Stuart Gordon said: ‘2016 has been a busy year, which is great. We'd like to say thank you to our Which? Trusted Trader clients from all over the UK. We are looking forward to an even busier 2017 working with Which Trusted Traders, and giving our clients the service they deserve.’
As we headed into summer, it was the turn of RSD Electrical Services thanks to its great use of the brand, including the amazing Which? Trusted Trader-branded beer mats. We caught up with June’s winner, Swansea-based RSD Electrical's Reece Davies.
Reece told us: ‘Being a trader at the age of 21 can be tough as, occasionally, people can judge your competence by your age. The fact that we’re a Which? Trusted trader gives customers the extra reassurance they need, and confidence in the quality of our workmanship. During 2016, RSD Electrical Services has progressed significantly, with us winning Which? Trusted trader of the month in June, being an NICEIC Approved Contractor, as well as being accredited with CHAS and Trustmark. We would like to thank our customers for their great reviews and support, and look forward to our big plans for 2017.'
'I started the year working on my own, but have gained two employees during the year, which feels like a great achievement. For Christmas, RSD Electrical Services has taken our newly recruited employees to Benidorm, Spain for two nights, to thank them for their hard work this year. Our Christmas message to other endorsed traders is: treat employees like they make a difference, and they will!'
July’s winner made it two electricians in a row, with Oxfordshire-based Justin Bucknell Electrical winning the Which? Trusted trader of the month accolade, thanks to its excellent customer service and engagement with Which? Trusted Traders.
Justin said: ‘We have had a fantastic year of business in 2016. Becoming a Which? Trusted trader has helped us maintain the high standard of work. My team strives to get the review cards filled out. When the reviews are posted, they're always checking the feedback, which puts a smile on their faces.'
'We are all looking forward to the Christmas break. And we are very excited about 2017 - we have a new staff member starting in the office in January, and another electrician starting in March.’
Our August winner was Gregor Heating, a heating-solutions business serving the Bristol and Bath area. Gregor Heating really embraced the Which? Trusted Traders ethos, making great use of the logo and putting the customer and customer service at the heart of everything it does.
Gregor Heating changed its processes during 2016 to embed the Which? Trusted Trader values in all its systems. This was really productive, with increased hits on the website and real growth in the domestic business.
September was the turn of husband-and-wife team Mark and Lyne Watson, from Hometyre Sussex. Mark told us that winning Which? Trusted trader of the month has really helped the business. ‘Thanks to the award, we were featured in the local papers. Together with our own advertising, this produced a number of new customers – some of whom had never heard of a mobile tyre-fitting company before.'
Mark’s message to other traders on the scheme is to ‘keep working hard at your own businesses, give customers confidence in the work you do for them and the services you provide. This then leads to great reviews, all of which help your business in the long run.’
October’s winner was Hillis Security Systems Ltd. Based in Essex, the firm supplies, services and maintains alarms, CCTV and access-control systems across London and the south-east.
Vince Hillis, founder and MD, told us: ‘2016 has been a very good year of growth for us. Being shortlisted for Which? Trusted trader of the year 2016 in February, and wining Trusted trader of the month for October 2016, has underlined the level of service we provide to our customers. We’ve used both of these accolades with full effect in our advertising campaigns.’
‘The combination of the Which? Trusted trader endorsement, code of conduct and customer reviews have given consumers the assurance that contacting Hillis Security Systems will provide professional, pressure-free advice that is completely without jargon. I welcome any other traders who would like to discuss how the scheme can work for them, as I believe it’s perfect for traders who are sincere in the service they provide.’
November’s winner, Proclene Ltd, was our only professional cleaning-services firm to win this year. Managing director Craig Haycock said: ‘2016 has been a good year, and we have continued to grow. November was actually our most successful month on record. We tripled our usual November sales as a result of winning Which? Trusted trader of the month.’
‘Our goal for 2017 is to win Which? Trusted trader of the year and to continue to grow to make us more accessible to our customers, ensuring that we can fulfil their needs at shorter notice.
I’d like to thank all our customers for their continued support, and for making 2016 such a great year for Proclene. We will continue to be here for you even during the holidays. We want you all to have a fantastic 2017.’
The final winner of 2016 was Ploughcroft Ltd. The Halifax-based eco-roof specialist won the award for its excellent customer service and fantastic use of social media. Ploughcroft’s Helen Hopkins told us that 2016 had been a great year, with sales of the company’s eco-roof product helping to increase turnover by 40%.
‘Although we only won Which Trusted trader of the month in December, it’s already helping conversion, and we’re hoping that this recognition will continue to help us achieve a better sales-conversion rate in to 2017,' Helen said.
‘Our staff have worked extremely hard this year, and we thank every one of them for their hard work. I am sure they are looking forward to a well-earned rest over the Christmas period. I hope all the other Which Trusted traders have had an equally successful year, and wish them all well for 2017.’