Justin Bucknell is the man behind Justin Bucknell Electrical, which trades in the Oxford and Bicester area. Justin first set up in business 12 years ago, following his apprenticeship in the electrical industry. He learned about customer expectations from experience. Over time he put processes in place that meant he could respond quickly to customer enquiries and provide a reliable service.
Organising his work stream paid dividends, and Justin was able to steadily grow the business as a result. The company joined Which? Trusted Traders in 2016, and soon impressed with its all-round engagement with the scheme – so much so that Justin Bucknell Electrical won Trader of the month in July 2016 and was shortlisted for Trader of the Year in 2017.
Justin told us: ‘The business has really taken off and our reputation is growing. Enquiries have increased threefold from this time last year. We’ve grown to six members of staff in total. I’m currently recruiting another member of staff, and I’ve got another apprentice starting in June.’
Built around customer service
Justin attributes much of this success to simply ‘getting the basics right’. Customer service is at the heart of how the Justin Bucknell Electrical team works. Providing a high level of service and communicating well with customers leads to positive reviews, happy customers and repeat work.
He said: ‘We reply to enquiries straight away, we quote as soon as possible, turn up when we say we will, communicate if there are any issues, the guys are well presented and we treat customers’ properties with respect.’ It all sounds straightforward enough, but, as Justin says, there are lots of customers who are astonished to find a business that operates so effectively, having been let down in the past.
The customer-service culture runs right through the company. ‘As staff come in, it can be a culture change for them,’ Justin told us. ‘They need to understand how we work, and that communication and service are critical for our customers.’
Find out how your business could be the next Which? Trusted trader of the month, or read on for more about this month’s winner.
Engagement with Which? Trusted Traders
Justin signed up to Which? Trusted Traders because he had always used Which? magazine. He said: ‘I trusted Which? as an independent, unbiased company that reviews products, so when I knew they had a service for trades, it was a no-brainer. When you see the Which? logo, you know you’ll get a good product or service.’
And the Justin Bucknell Electrical team finds that endorsement makes a real difference for customers at the tendering stage. ‘It provides almost guaranteed confidence that they’ll get a good service,’ Justin said. ‘It makes a difference to the customer’s decision making, particularly if we’re quoting against another company that isn’t a Which? Trusted trader.’
The team ensures that customers know they are Which? Trusted traders, using the logo on vans, workwear and stationery. Some customers will only use businesses recommended by Which?, and the association helps set the company apart from the rest. ‘As time goes on it’s one of the most important parts of our business,’ Justin said. ‘We wouldn’t dream of being without it.’
Another side to this engagement is the effort the team puts into the business website and social media. Justin Bucknell Electrical is one of the most consistent contributors to the Which? Trusted Traders online and social media content – continually showing its engagement with the scheme and upholding its customer-service values.
See how you can use social media to boost your business with our tips.
Super spark heroes
The final reason Justin Bucknell Electrical took the award this month was thanks to setting up Super Spark Heroes. This charitable initiative aims to support people, charities and community causes in the Bicester area that need electrical help but struggle to pay for it. Its first project replaced lights in a local dance studio.
Justin told us: ‘The lights were dangerous and burning out. It meant you couldn’t have people in the room. They called us after seeing the scheme on social media. We contacted one of our wholesalers and they kindly donated the lights for the job, then we fitted them for free. We got one of the playrooms up and running for the children and sorted out the kitchen and toilet area, too.’
The initiative is in its infancy, but it’s already generating a lot of interest. The team hopes to expand it and help more people and causes in the local community, maybe even going beyond Bicester and Oxford. Justin said: ‘We’ll be using social media to get the message out there. We’d like to inspire companies and people in the next town and city to join Super Spark Heroes. We’d love it to spread to other trades and other areas.’
Best of luck with it from all of us at Which? Trusted Traders.