When your company has been in business for more than 130 years, you’re likely to have built up a lot of collective knowledge about your industry.
So Barlow Blinds, which was established in 1887, decided to use those decades of expertise to help consumers.
Inspired by Which?, the firm recently launched an online ‘knowledge centre’ full of articles answering common customer queries about blinds.
These efforts to make sure people are well informed helped Barlow Blinds become our latest Trader of the Month.
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‘Nationwide reference point’
‘The idea for the knowledge centre came from what Which? does,’ managing director Phil Coleman (pictured) told us. ‘It was all about getting as much information as possible to the customers before they buy a product to make sure they get the right blinds for them.’
He added: ‘My long-term goal is that the knowledge centre will continue to grow and be a reference point for blind buyers nationwide – and start to redress some of our industry’s issues with poor-quality and poorly installed blinds.’
The Trader of the Month title comes just as the firm reaches 100 reviews on the Trusted Traders site, where customers have praised its ‘professional’ service and ‘polite’ staff.
Reacting to the win, Phil said: ‘We like to think we do the right thing and it’s nice to get some recognition. It’s great for the staff and great for the business.’
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Getting kids off the sofa
As well as trying to help consumers across the country, Barlow Blinds also focuses on its local community. The company sponsors two children’s football teams and donates to a community centre to help them fund summer day trips and activities for children from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Phil, who is a keen football fan, said: ‘I was more than happy to buy the teams’ kits because I think it’s great to get kids off the sofa, and away from TVs and computers more often.
‘The community centre is local to us and I do believe that businesses have a responsibility to the local community.’
The company also provided and installed several blinds for the local maternity unit’s bereavement room, after discovering they were in poor condition and there was no budget to replace them.
Congratulations to Barlow Blinds, the winner of September’s Trusted Trader of the Month.