With a slogan, ‘We Repair What Your Husband Fixed’ and their mascot – ‘Mr Washer’, the guys at Plumber & Electrician To The Rescue, know exactly what the locals are after. We spoke to Tim, the owner, to hear the story behind his local business:
Hi Tim, thanks for taking the time to chat to us.
Firstly, tell me a little about yourself and your business.
Hi. I’m Tim Cook, principal of Plumber & Electrician To The Rescue.
The business has been established for over 30 years now with our team rescuing Sydney residents from all kinds of plumbing and electrical problems 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It’s hard work, but we love it.
Why did you become a tradie?
Simply put, I love to serve people and I love to fix things – being a tradie means I get to do both, which suits me perfectly.
What do you love most about being a small business or tradesperson?
I think I can speak for our whole team when I say we love improving customers’ lives by taking away the hassle that usually comes with home repairs and improvements. There’s nothing better than solving a plumbing, drainage or electrical problem, and then doing that little bit extra for clients, so they become a customer for life. We have many, many clients who we’ve been serving for decades. It’s such a good feeling when people value the work you do, and trust you when they need help. I also love that we have such a terrific team of tradies and support staff, many of whom have worked with us for over 10, 20 and even 25 years.
What are you known for?
Apart from turning up on time every time, doing high quality work and giving customers a solid backup of fantastic warranties, we are known as the company that “repairs what your husband fixed”.
This is because from many years ago I realised that a lot of our work came from fixing up botched DIY efforts – jobs that husbands had tried (and failed) to fix themselves! It still is the case, and to this day we spend a lot of our time repairing what husbands tried to fix!
Also, for most people, organising a tradie can be annoying and stressful. But we are different, we value our clients’ time, there’s no waiting around for a late, unprofessional tradie with us. And, no need to worry about the quality of the work. No mess. No stress. Just great, friendly service with a smile.
What is your top piece of advice for someone about to start up a small business?
Think very carefully about the niche you’re looking to fill.
I don’t think a small business, especially in the trades industry, can survive in the 21st century without a strong awareness of how the market operates. Sure, internet and social media channels give great new avenues for feedback and word-of-mouth feedback, but it’s still about getting out there, and proving yourself in the neighbourhood.
We still find good old fashioned word of mouth is the best way to keep your business going, since most of our work comes from repeat customers and people recommending us to their friends and family.
And to do that means showing a difference. We’ve done this by guaranteeing our services – our 100% Peace of Mind Guarantee is unlike most simple warranties. Offering a lifetime guarantee builds all kinds of trust. Finding something like that, which will show you care about your client’s needs, is the way to go.
Asking for reviews can be tricky at times. What are some of the ways you ask your customers to provide feedback with a review?
We make it easy for the customer.
We give every customer a variety of ways to give us feedback, from giving them a feedback card whilst we’re on site, to calling the customer after we have finished their job, to sending a quick email. This way, the customer can choose the method that they’re most comfortable with making it a quick and easy process for them.
It’s a win-win: if a customer’s happy, they’ll take the time to leave us a great review. And if they’re not 100% satisfied, we can call them and solve any issues. This feedback allows us to keep improving our service.
What advice would you give to other local businesses who might want to increase their online reviews on platforms like True Local?
First of all, you must provide a remarkable and impressive service. Nobody is going to leave positive feedback for a company that only did an OK job – you have to blow them away with the friendliness and quality of service they get.
Secondly: make it simple for the customer. These days, people just don’t have the time to leave a review for every company they use – even if they’re happy with the service – their time is precious, and so all of our review options are built with this in mind.
Why are online reviews and feedback valuable to you?
It’s a great barometer for how our technicians are going. It helps us identify the strengths of our service, that we can leverage and be proud of, and maybe sometimes where a bit of training or a rethink could help. Either way, everybody here meets on a weekly basis to discuss the week’s feedback and see what we can learn from it.
No-one’s perfect, so getting feedback from customers is a great way to build a business, and learn what your strengths are and to remedy any weaknesses.
Also, those customers who haven’t been personally recommended by friends or family usually find out about us from our reviews. So having positive feedback in a public space really helps.
How do you go above and beyond your customers?
We work on providing personal, permanent solutions to plumbing and electrical problems. We give long lasting, effective results, and maintain the best customer service in the industry.
Over the past 30 years in business I’ve learnt that the little things mean a lot. For example, when we book a job, we send the customer an email with a picture and a bio of the plumber or electrician who will be coming to help them. We also make sure we call the client before showing up on site, so they know to expect us shortly. Little things like this all add up and become part of the whole customer experience package.
Do you have any tips and tricks on your True Local listing for other small business owners?
Play to your strengths. And let people know what they are. Don’t be afraid to show pride in what you’re good at!
We’re constantly reinforcing the fact that we’re on time, every time, because it’s such a great aspect of our business, and customers really connect with it.