Jason French is the man behind J B French Heating & Gas. A heating engineer based in north London, Jason is thrilled with his win, saying: ‘I can’t believe it. I’ve never won anything before.’ All we can say is, it’s about time then!
If you want to find out how to become the next Which? Trusted trader of the month, read our guide to the Which? Trusted Trader of the month process. Read on for more about J B French Heating & Gas.
Jason came late to the central-heating trade, having spent more than 20 years working as a sales rep. He was made redundant at the age of 42, and had to start again from scratch. After finding casual work with a heating engineer that he knew, Jason put himself through college, one day a week, to gain his Gas Safe registration. After a couple of years he branched out and set up on his own, and has traded successfully for the past 12 years.
He says he thoroughly enjoys being his own boss, and doesn’t miss the pressure of sales targets or having a miserable manager. He also really likes sorting out people’s problems with their heating and getting it up and running again.
His customer-service skills from his time as a sales rep haven’t gone to waste. Jason understands what’s on his customers’ minds and how to help them. ‘I think you’ve got to be totally focused about managing your customers’ worries, anxieties and concerns,’ he says. ‘People are worried about gas, not having any heating, how much it’s all going to cost, being ripped off. I think if you can try to reassure them, to neutralise those worries, you’re more than half way there.’
Being a Which? Trusted trader
Jason joined Which? Trusted Traders following a recommendation from a fellow heating engineer who he met on a training course. He felt the Which? scheme was the most credible, with a suitably thorough vetting process.
It’s worked out well for Jason. He says the scheme paid for itself within a month thanks to increased business. He appreciates the way the accreditation reassures potential customers.
As he says: ‘The industry is full of cowboys – there are so many chancers out there who just want to make quick money and not really offer a service. It makes people nervous about hiring traders, so they want someone with a recommendation behind them. Customers that come via Which? know they can trust Which? Trusted traders.’
Winning Which? Trusted trader of the month
It was his excellent customer service that netted Jason the award this month. Despite having been an accredited Which? Trusted trader for less than a year, he has already built up a number of excellent reviews on his profile page, and it was the two most recent that really stood out to the judging panel.
‘My elderly father collapsed on Christmas Eve, pulling a radiator off the wall on top of him. Jason was round within an hour and had fixed the problem within one more. He could not have been more helpful or supportive, and we would recommend him thoroughly.’
‘Jason has recently installed a new boiler for me. I would certainly recommend him. He gave a gold-star service. He brought forward the date to install my boiler, as old one packed up on Boxing Day. Excellent communication at all times, which is very important. Great service.’
Jason himself is modest about these glowing reviews, simply saying that he does his best to adapt his schedule according to his customers’ needs. The panel felt that responding quickly and being flexible when customers are experiencing difficulties, particularly during the holiday season, showed outstanding customer service.
Congratulations to J B French Heating & Gas, February 2017’s Which? Trusted trader of the month.