58 HPM 1216

HPM-12-DEC-2016

58 B O I L E R S , S E R V I C I N G & PARTS Making the most of boiler breakdowns As winter approaches, Richard Harvey, category director for heating at Plumb and Parts Center, gives five tips on how to make the most of the impending surge of boiler breakdowns Every winter, thousands of installers walk through our doors to buy the parts and products they need to service boiler breakdowns – it’s inevitable at this time of year. In fact, it’s estimated that there are around nine million boilers in the UK that are inefficient and vulnerable to sudden failure. We also know from official statistics that around 20% of all UK household boilers fail during the colder months. While the pressure of increased winter breakdowns has always existed, installers also have to deal with the increasingly impatient consumer. Mainly driven by the internet age, it is unthinkable to customers that they should have to wait more than a matter of hours, perhaps a day at most, for their heating to be fixed. This is now the public’s default expectation of all sorts of services; waiting for boiler parts to arrive or a gap in the installer’s schedule to arise just seems too old-fashioned to consider. This modern day phenomenon allows smaller operators to compete with the market leaders on the basis of reliability and customer service. How? Plan ahead, choose your merchant carefully and make best use of them. So, here’s five top tips on how to take advantage of the boiler breakdown epidemic: 1. Stockpile Make sure you are always thinking ahead. A hint here is to make a list of everything you need for a boiler repair (including tools and consumables) and stockpile those essential items ahead of time. In doing so, you will increase your chances of quickly meeting your first calls. Our everyday essentials range makes this easy and affordable. 2. System sell When you are called out to fix a ‘zombie’ heating system in the middle of winter, it is likely that other parts of the heating system will be similarly aged and in need of some help. Your customer is going to be even more impressed if you can fix or replace all relevant parts of the system in one go. 3. Choose your merchant wisely Ensure you have a solid relationship with an extremely reliable merchant, one that can provide you with anything you need at very short notice, that has plenty of branches on your ‘patch’ and anywhere else you are likely to go, and can provide expert information and advice on everything from boiler parts to regulatory requirements. This will allow you to develop a reputation for speed and efficiency that will bring customers back time after time. 4. Think about availability and access to products We always say ‘treat your merchant as your own warehouse’ and it couldn’t be any more applicable than in the winter months. You need to be sure that you can get hold of all items very quickly. This will allow you to meet your own customers’ demands for fast and efficient service in an even wider range of situations. For similar reasons, you may want to choose a merchant that can deliver on site, saving you even more time. We know that the days of the standard nine to five are long gone, so it helps if you can place orders in a variety of ways, for example, by phone, in branch and online, at whatever time suits you. 5. Network with peers When you’re next in your preferred branch, take the opportunity to grab a free coffee and catch up with peers and branch staff. It’s amazing what you can learn from a casual chat with a colleague. With the overwhelming amount of inefficient boilers still in operation, installers should now be stocking up and fully armed to take on the inevitable breakdown epidemic that is upon us. And it’s just as much of a business opportunity for small traders as it is for the larger companies. If you pin the preparation down then you can be sure your reputation as an efficient installer will carry you through the heating season and beyond. What is the name of Redring’s new boiling tap? A: Reditap B: Steditap www.hpmmag.com December 2016 enquiry number 141 For your chance to win this prize, simply answer A or B in response to this question and fill in the form at the back of the magazine: Available from January 2017, Reditap from Redring is a ‘3 n 1’ boiling tap with a difference. For the installer, Reditap is easy to connect, requiring minimum tools and comes complete with all the necessary fittings in one box. For the customer, it offers an affordable option for those looking for a contemporary mixer tap that dispenses both instant boiling water as well as conventional hot and cold water. Reditap offers class leading heat recovery times and excellent controlled flow rates with a whirlflow refill system that maximises initial hot water draw off. Festive Giveaway 10 prize Answer A 142 REMEMBER: enter all 12 competitions, and you could win the grand prize - the lot! Prize 10 Redring ‘3 n 1’ boiling water tap Answer B 143


HPM-12-DEC-2016
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