Painter and decorator Shaun Mckay has won our latest Trader of the Month award – the second time he has been given the title.

The owner of Splash of Colour Ltd previously won in December 2018, an award that turned out to be a turning point for his business.

It led to him being shortlisted for Trader of the Year 2019 and attending the Which? Awards ceremony last summer.

Although he didn’t go home with the award that day, he did use the opportunity to talk with other traders, companies and Trusted Trader’s managing director Raj Kakar-Clayton about his business and said he returned to his hometown of Glasgow with a ‘new lease of life’.

Do you think your company has what it takes to win? Read our guide on how to be the next Which? Trusted Trader of the Month.

‘It’s not just about wearing the badge’

The Splash of Colour team

Shaun said: ‘To go down to London and get a better understanding of Which? was great. I came back to Scotland and realised I should make changes. It was a fantastic experience, really lovely, and we took that feedback on board.’

He’s kept what he describes as ‘old-fashioned customer service’ at the core of his work, but the last six months have seen lots of changes elsewhere in Shaun’s business.

As well as becoming a limited company and rebranding with a new look, Shaun has professionalised his approach to social media and ran a successful billboard advertising campaign showing off his Trusted Traders endorsement.

He also found that embedding a short film about Trusted Traders in key places on his website has been one of the best ways of showing potential customers what the endorsement means and why they should hire him.

Shaun said: ‘We are always thinking of new ways to tell the consumer what Which? Trusted Traders is all about. It’s not just about wearing the badge, it’s about how you talk about Which? to people and explain what a Trusted Trader is.’

Inspired by conversations with Trusted Traders staff in the summer, Shaun is also reaching out into his community. He’s planning upcycling workshops for low-income families at his new business premises and has taken on his first apprentice (pictured below), with plans to employ more young people from the area.

‘There’s a skills shortage in this country and older traders are retiring,' Shaun explained. We wanted to give a young kid a chance, and once we can get him through the apprenticeship, we want to take on another boy or girl.’

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Shaun and his new apprentice

‘Outstanding service’

Amidst all these changes, Shaun hasn’t lost sight of the importance of customer service.

Our judges were impressed by his many five-star reviews and that one of his customers took the time to write to us about Shaun’s ‘outstanding service’. The customer had been unhappy with the plastering done by a subcontractor on his new extension before Christmas and had contacted Splash of Colour for advice.

The company agreed to re-do the plastering, complete the decoration, and negotiate with the builder who had constructed the extension to ensure the cost was covered under the customer’s existing contract.

The customer told us: ‘At a very busy time when everyone is fully booked, Splash of Colour have gone way above and beyond to help me and I’m hugely grateful.

‘Fixing another person’s terrible work is, I’m sure, something that a lot of tradespeople wouldn’t touch. Splash of Colour are not most tradespeople though.’

Shaun said: ‘We know we’re only as good as the last job we’ve done and we represent Which? so we have to wear that logo with pride.’

Congratulations to Splash of Colour for winning January 2020’s Trusted Trader of the Month.

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