The Which? Trader of the Year award was established in 2015 to recognise excellence in customer service and engagement with the Which? Trusted Traders scheme. Previous winners, Electricians in Reading and South London Heating, have used the award as a springboard to build their businesses, finding the recognition has increased customer awareness and interest.
One of the first steps to being shortlisted for Trader of the Year can be to become Which? Trusted trader of the month – find out more about the process with our guide. Read on for more about our shortlisted nominees.
Finesse Windows Ltd
The Birmingham-based, family-owned business provides windows, doors and conservatories in the West Midlands area. Finesse Windows was established in 1981 by the father of current owners, Russell and Ellie Bridge. Business was so successful that they were soon forced to recruit outside the family, but the philosophy of building strong relationships with customers continued.
Finesse Windows Ltd is now a sizeable enterprise, with around 40 staff. It has its own factory, so customers can expect their products to be designed, manufactured and installed by the team – with the continuity of service that provides.
An emphasis on customer service meant Finesse Windows Ltd was a natural fit with Which? Trusted Traders, which they joined a year ago. Managing Director, Russell, told us that being part of the scheme had definitely added to the amount of sales leads and conversions over the past few months. And Finesse Windows Ltd has certainly made the most of its membership, building up an impressive bank of positive reviews on its profile page.
Russell told us: ‘We’ve incorporated being Which? Trusted traders into what we do on a daily basis. It’s part of the sales message at point of sale, we use it prominently in our advertising and we give each customer a feedback form, inside a gift bag along with a bottle of wine and a bottle of glass cleaner. This is hand-delivered to the customer by a member of our customer-service staff, who make sure they are completely satisfied with our work.'
‘We always got good feedback, so that wasn’t a worry,’ added Russell. ‘But we made getting it onto the Which? Trusted Traders site a part of what we do.’
Finesse Windows Ltd also takes the time to respond to its reviews – another excellent demonstration of great customer service and engagement with the scheme.
Its customers have praised it for its ‘excellent quality and customer service.’ One customer commented: ‘Excellent job done in an outstanding professional way. Nothing was too much trouble before and after the work was done.’
Russell said that being shortlisted was ‘brilliant news for us. We really want to win it. It’s a nice reward for all the people who’ve been an important part of our business for over three decades. We owe our success to them.’
More about Finesse Windows Ltd.
Homeglaze Home Improvements Ltd
Homeglaze Home Improvements provides a high-quality service supplying and fitting windows, doors, porches and roofline improvements from its base in Chigwell, Essex. Established in 2010, the family-owned and run business serves the whole of Essex and beyond, priding itself on its high-quality service and products.
Company Director Colin Morgan said the company was ‘overwhelmed’ to be shortlisted and the team were ‘jumping up and down all day’ when they heard the news. Colin was particularly pleased about the recognition for a double-glazing business, as it helps repair the poor reputation the industry has gained over the years. ‘It’s an incredible thing for the business,’ he said.
Homeglaze Home Improvements has been a Which? Trusted trader since April 2015. Colin explained they joined the scheme because ‘Which? has always been synonymous with quality and a well-trusted brand for consumers.’ Colin also felt Which? Trusted Traders ‘gave us a platform to show we were different.’
Customer service is at the heart of the Homeglaze Home Improvements business. As Colin says: ‘To us, being a Which? Trusted trader means there is never a job, a quote or even a phone call where we don't have to be at our best. It helps us maintain the best possible standards.’
Homeglaze’s engagement with the scheme, the use of the brand, and fantastic animations documenting its customer feedback won it April 2016’s Which? Trusted trader of the month. It has a high volume of consistently great feedback and makes the effort to personally respond to the majority of its reviews. Customers have remarked on its friendly and hard-working attitude, with one customer commenting: ‘Good workmen. All staff are polite and courteous.’
Colin said the team had ‘worked very hard to get to this stage and really try to do the right thing for their customers.’ The Homeglaze Home Improvements team are looking forward to the ceremony in May. Colin said: ‘Double-glazing companies don’t have the greatest reputation, so for us to be recognised, makes it really special. It’s just a dream come true.’
More about Homeglaze Home Improvements.
Check the second part of our profile for more about Justin Bucknell Electrical and Proclene Ltd our other shortlisted Which? Trusted traders.