In the latest part of our series on British Gypsum, we speak to three members of the company’s certified plasterers scheme to find out how it is positively influencing homeowners’ perception of plasterers.
British Gypsum’s certified plasterer scheme has been set up to give plasterers tools to stand out from the crowd, move past a lowest price wins discussion and help earn greater rewards. The initiative aims to support plasterers to deliver the very best job possible and to assure the homeowner that their experience of using a plasterer will be a positive one.
According to seasoned plasterer Mark Hardman: “The scheme really benefits me because of the product knowledge and technical support provided.” Alison Bates from AB Plastering, agrees: “It gives me easy access to a pool of expert knowledge which I often call upon if I have a question.”
Alison advocates the scheme because of the support it can offer in what can sometimes be a lonely profession: “British Gypsum has launched this scheme to support and engage with the industry rather than just leaving us to get on with it alone. It can be hard work when you run your own business so the scheme helps by way of being a support network.” For Alison, the scheme has helped her develop relationships with British Gypsum’s plasterer demonstrators so she can pick up the phone and call them if she has a query. She also finds the certified plasterer scheme’s Facebook group useful for interacting with fellow professionals.
Reassurance for homeowners
It is not a lead generation scheme, but an effort to bridge the gap between the homeowner and the plasterer. The scheme seeks to support the industry by offering reassurance to homeowners that don’t know a plasterer, that the one they have chosen can be trusted to achieve a quality finish in their home.
Mark explains: “It gives customers peace of mind that someone has been accredited and that their qualifications and insurances have all been checked and validated. It assures them that someone is a real tradesman and not just a name in the phone book or online.”
Scheme members can also offer a guarantee for a two-year period covering both their workmanship and the Thistle products used, differentiating them from the competition and offering domestic customers added peace of mind.
A competitive edge
Members of the scheme get access to training on specialist products, services and business methods. They are also the first to be offered new materials to try and the opportunity to input into new product development.
Ian Grayson from IGP Plastering Specialists has learned a lot since joining the scheme and is delighted with the competitive edge it has given him. He says: “I have been recommending ThistlePro PureFinish for a year, but the industry is just beginning to catch onto it now. To be in that position, to be the first person to be using a product and in some ways, introducing it to market, sets you apart from the competition.”
To join British Gypsum’s certified plasterer scheme you must have three years’ experience in the retrofit residential arena, 50 per cent or more work on domestic projects, been self-employed for at least a year and be willing to complete an on-site assessment by independent assessors.