Customer Stories | All UPVC
All UPVC’s smart showroom and HQ is based in Lennoxtown, near Glasgow – and since opening in 2016, MD Kevin Cameron and his staff have established themselves not only as master-fitters, but also as thoroughly nice people.
You can’t move for 5-star reviews on the company website, each one singing the praises of the team and their skills – with many name-checking Kevin, like he’s an old friend.
Customer service is the key
We’ve all been there (Customer service is the keyopefully): find a home improvement company that not only does the job brilliantly but does so with a smile and you’ll shout about it from the rooftops, for all your neighbours to hear.
Unfortunately, finding one isn’t always so easy, which Kevin – who has worked in the industry for almost 20 years, after a brief flirtation with jewelry making – is all too aware of.
“A lot of companies out there aren’t interested in customer service. They want to get the job done as quickly as possible and move onto the next. But our ethos is: provide the best service for the best price. We treat customers the way we want to be treated,” he says.
Installing a first-class team
One way he does this is by employing his staff rather than sub-contracting the work. “Some contractors might not give your business the level of service you want to pass onto your customers. They can cut corners, not show the same level of care, but our team all sings off same hymn sheet,” he says.
Kevin acknowledges it can be more expensive this way but the move has ultimately paid for itself.
"In our industry, it’s all about recommendations. It’s been hard work but we’ve got 5* reviews on our website, Facebook and trade websites."
“It’s why we don’t have any bad reviews and why people tell their friends about us,” he says. “In our industry, it’s all about recommendations. It’s been hard work but we’ve got 5 star reviews on our website, all over Facebook and on trade websites.”
Kevin believes the company’s ‘no sales people’ approach is another factor in the glowing testimonials. “I never wanted to send sales people out. I do it all myself and speak to customers face to face. It’s more personal that way,” he says.
Glass half full
Kevin and his team approach every job with positivity and enthusiasm but that’s not to say there aren’t day-to-day challenges – one being, having to rely on sub-party suppliers.
“We don’t physically manufacture so we have to buy in,” explains Kevin. “So if we’re not getting the right material at the right time and it’s not arriving in 100% perfect condition then that cause problems for us.”
Another challenge is the competition and under-cutting that’s rife in the industry. “It’s getting harder and harder,” admits Kevin. “We’re competing against ‘the man in the van’ who’ll do the job, walk away and probably won’t go back if there’s a problem. But, we’ve found that people will spend an extra £50 if they know they’re going to get an all-round great service.”
Window of opportunity
Despite the hurdles, Kevin hasn’t looked back since setting up his business. Explaining the decision to leave the glazing company he’d worked with for years, in 2015, he says. “One day, I just thought: ‘You know what, I can do this better’. I already had my customer base so the next step was finding a premises and getting the word out there.”
He tells other people launching their own business to be prepared for 24/7 blood, sweat and tears.
“The first year was crazy. I was flat out, building the showroom. I was working seven days a week, every week. When you own your own business you never really switch off 100%, but eventually I was like ‘Right, that’s it. I’m not doing every weekend anymore. I’m spending time with my family.’”
He advises other small business owners to factor in downtime to avoid burnout – and not rush into things. “I see a lot of companies do the work too fast in order to get more jobs in and then fall flat on their face. Go steady, it’s the best way – and don’t give up. It might seem tough at beginning, but you get out what you put in.
“I can imagine some people might stop after the first year of running their own business as there are so many different things to juggle – but you have to work through them and find ways to better yourself. Having a good team around you helps.”
Unlocking your potential
Thinking you’ve got it all sussed, all the time, is a no-no, too. “It doesn’t matter how much you think you know, there’s always so much still to know,” says Kevin. “I’m learning new stuff every day. I’ll happily take advice from people. If it helps me and can make my business better – great!”
One team of experts Kevin was happy to turn to was Bionic. “I started using them two years ago for gas and electricity and I’ve been really happy. They’ve really helped us get the best price possible on utilities, which is essential as a business owner. It makes a big difference not having to do that myself. I know how important good reviews are and I would definitely recommend Bionic to others – the service ticks all the boxes.”
Having Bionic deal with some of the practicalities gives Kevin more time to focus on his team. “Finding the right staff has been one of my biggest achievements,” he says.
“Finding the right staff has been one of my biggest achievements. We're like a family now.”
“We’re like a family now and I think my staff are happy coming into work – that’s important to me, 100%. I’ll always keep building my team and finding those key people. Because ultimately it’s people that make a business.”
A fitting future
With a stellar crew in place and a loyal customer base, Kevin is now evolving his business to introduce customer finance packages.
“We like offering people new ideas and products, and we want to make our finance service a big success. It’s important to me to keep evolving and looking into different avenues,” he says.
He’s also set his sights on making another big tick on the to-do list. “One day I’d like us to be doing our own manufacturing. If I can get to that stage that’ll be a big goal reached,” he says.
Something tells us Kevin and his team won’t have to wait too long.
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