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Plumbing firms that have not yet returned to full work schedules should be positioning themselves as ‘COVID-19 Secure’ if they want to restore their normal operations, according to the Association of Plumbing & Heating Contractors.
APHC recently worked with research company Eureka! to assist them in an industry survey during the COVID-19 pandemic. CEO John Thompson says this research revealed that the sector is operating at an average of 42% of its normal level, and COVID-19 remains a difficult issue. The research found that only 31% of respondents had created an explicit ‘COVID-19 secure’ policy, which is why APCH says installation businesses need to understand what can be done to gain customer confidence.
“Seven in 10 businesses highlighted a lack of demand for their services as being the largest obstacle to returning to normality,” says John Thompson.
“It is clear that demand for new installations and ‘larger’ projects is going to continue to be lower than before the pandemic due to sustained uncertainty. This means businesses, now more than ever, need to be able to reassure customers that they are reputable and safe. So having COVID-19 Secure health and safety measures are vital in winning new business, and for the survival of plumbing and heating businesses.
“It’s about being a trusted and COVID-19 Secure business,” adds John Thompson. “The government has published guidance on creating COVID-Secure working environments, and this requires operational changes to be implemented. If businesses haven’t yet reviewed and implemented this guidance they need to do so.”
APHC further advises businesses that they need to be proactive in making customers aware of their COVID-19 Secure processes and hygiene measures. The Health & Safety Executive offers a free COVID-19 Secure Certificate which can be printed off from its website.
Businesses looking to inform their customers of the steps they have taken with respect to health and safety measures can consider the following tips from APHC:
• Creating a COVID-Secure webpage on your website and referencing your COVID-Secure status clearly on your website’s homepage
• Inserting information regarding your company’s COVID-Secure practices in the footer of your work email template
• Communicating your COVID-Secure processes on social media
• Developing a basic script which you or your employees can use to help verbally communicate your company’s procedures
• Displaying COVID-Secure stickers on company vehicles
• Producing a simple flyer which can be given to prospects and customers
• Including a COVID-Secure reference in all adverts and promotional materials