February 09, 2021
Rising to the challenge
Southgate Timber will never use Covid-19 as an excuse to let you down.
Coronavirus has presented obstacles for us all in many different ways. And while it’s not becoming any easier, we must strive to overcome the hurdles we face. Sadly, some businesses just aren’t up for the challenge. From personal experience, I have found some companies have not made the necessary adaptations required to triumph over the barriers coronavirus has built; they’re missing deadlines and not providing the information a customer needs when chasing a delivery or an outstanding transaction. Although some companies like to think so, Covid-19 is no scapegoat and myself and my team are very much aware of this.
At Southgate Timber, we have worked hard to rise to the challenges that Covid-19 has created for business. I won’t lie to you, it’s not been easy. I am no miracle worker, but I am an honest man which is why Southgate Timber will only market products that we have in stock and can supply in the times agreed and stated on our website. More importantly, we will never take your money if we can’t supply the stock. It’s rare, but if we do have an issue with an order, we are sure to contact the customer immediately and offer an alternative or an instant refund. Honesty is one of the most important policies we enforce as we strive to make our word as reliable as possible. Unfortunately, not everyone has been accustomed to such standards. My team and I have received numerous calls asking for advice because other suppliers have not only failed to meet the delivery date, but days before the agreed date the timber has not even been in the country.
What else have we been doing to keep our customers happy? We have made massive investments in stock and forward buying to keep the inevitable price rises at bay and ensure smooth supply to buyers. There are quadrupling costs of shipping containers and high demand that is stripping supply which is having a huge effect on UK timber. Fortunately, the diversity and the number of trusted sources we retain means we are winning the battle where others are failing their customers. We’ve even accumulated a bulk supply of the simple essentials such as printer cartridges, so we are equipped for any possible hurdle.
While the world around us is rapidly changing every day, we aim to give our customers as sense of normality by keeping business as usual, with deliveries typically going within five working days and collections on our online booking system within a couple of days. Not only have things not changed, but they’re even better with our new and effective click and collect online ordering service, where customers are able to select a collection appointment. This successful upgrade means the goods are ready and waiting when the customer arrives. Customer service has never been so good with our staff nicely prepared, giving reliable booking and guide times, and our delivery team are top of the game.
Of course, what is most important to us is the safety of our customers which is why we have implemented strict social distancing measures. Our health and safety team have been working incredibly hard imposing numerous procedures to protect both staff and customers.
We are working diligently to be sure we do not let our clients down and I’m proud to find our hard work paying off with our incredible turnover and a 90% excellent 5-star rating on Trustpilot. “Very knowledgeable”, “excellent customer service”, “great timber”; these are just few of the kind reviews I love to read from our consumers, many of whom are completely new buyers. Quite an achievement when selling a manmade product, a product which is open to interpretation. A delicate product that is so easily damaged which is why we take extra care especially when needing to use external couriers for our deliveries.
Ultimately, Southgate Timber is doing everything we can to be sure we are keeping up with the changes Covid-19 requires because, at the end of the day, what brings me and my team most joy is our customers happiness.
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