Charlie Mullins of Pimlico Plumbers on delivering a good service [Video]
Charlie Mullins explains how knowing what customers do not want helped him to build his business
Speaking to Startups in this video, Pimlico Plumbers founder Charlie Mullins explains how the company developed its winning offering not by focusing on what the customer wants – but on what they don’t want.
Pimlico Plumbers made its name by smashing many of the negative pre-conceptions about plumbers and the trades industry in general, acquiring a reputation for fast, efficient, friendly and honest service, and Mullins explains that this winning formula was largely down to simply listening to customer complaints about the industry. “Customers don’t like a plumber turning up late, so we make sure ours don’t. They don’t like a scruffy plumber, so we make sure ours aren’t scruffy. They don’t like dirty old vans, so we don’t have dirty old vans,” says Mullins. “Once you understand what the customer’s needs are, and what they don’t like, then we put a system in place to give them the complete opposite of what they are expecting.”
The straight-talking plumber explains this ethos runs throughout every facet of the business, all the way from the appearance of the plumbers down to the ancillary aspects of the customer experience. “People don’t like answering machines, and they don’t like pressing numbers on phones – they want to talk to people,” says Mullins. “So we have a 24-hour call centre, someone will always answer the phone. Additionally, we don’t turn up late – 99% of our appointments are on time, and if we’re slightly late we’ll call ahead.”
The Pimlico Plumbers founder finishes with some words of sage advice for aspiring entrepreneurs. “It’s not that complicated – you just deal with the public, know how demanding they can be, and give them value for money,” Mullins says. “If you happen to be smart, and happen to be great at the job, it’s a winning formation – you just can’t go wrong.”