How to advise customers to find a tiler

How often has a customer been in your store and having selected tiles for a project then asked you, “Can you recommend a good tiler?” Now it may be that you work for a large retailer and you have a ready-list of “recommended tilers” that you can hand the customer but even if you do, you should do more than hand over the list, you should advise your customer. Because the recommended tilers are separate, independent companies, you can never be absolutely assured that they will do a perfect job this time around. It’s important that the customer take responsibility for appointing a tiler and not you. If anything goes wrong you don’t want to be held accountable for something completely beyond your control. Remember the vast majority of tiling failures are due to improper installation not product defects.

So what do you say? Here are five points to mention to your customer.

1. Get other referrals. Not all projects are the same, ideally get referrals from friends, family or colleagues who have had similar projects successfully completed. Ask referees whether the tiler was professional, how was their communication? If there were delays were these adequately explained? Finally ask the all important, ‘Would you hire that tiler again?’ Now check other references from the tiler who should be happy to provide these.

2. When you meet with a prospective tiler consider whether they look and act professionally. What is your first impression? Now ask them to quote. It’s almost impossible to quote accurately without a site visit so plan for this.

3. Get quotes from at least three tilers. Make sure the quotes include labour, equipment hire if any, materials and an estimate of how long the project will take. The purpose of this is not to find the cheapest quote but to evaluate whether the quotes are ‘in the ballpark’. If one quote is vastly more or less than the others, be suspicious.

4. This point stands alone because it is so important: Get it in writing! This contract is really your only come-back if something does go wrong.

5. Lastly find out about maintenance and care from the tiler. Get this in writing too. Some installations will require special treatment for days or weeks after installation.

Good luck with advising your customers and naturally improving your own professional standing.

All the best from KREM tiles and the Link International team.

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