As vital as sourcing paint for your scheme is, it is also important that you generate the demand for your paint locally. Otherwise the paint you collect will just sit on your shelves taking up space. The longer it is on your shelves, the greater the risk is that the paint will become unusable.
Ensuring you have a high turnover of paint will also make sure you always have space to accept more!
There are a number of things that you can do in your premises, locally and online to promote your scheme.
Why customer service is important
Customer service is something you take seriously, and what would your customers say if you asked them?
If you have a large retail space, or offer a number of different services to your customers and clients, ensure that all the people you work with in the local community know about your scheme. You may have lots of people coming to your premises who don’t realise you sell paint. Signage in your premises can help, but also making sure all staff are briefed on your scheme will mean they are able to recommend it more confidently to your other customers and clients.
Have you ever been into a shop and been annoyed at the customer service you were given, or more to the point, what you were NOT given!
This is an area where sometimes the basics are so often forgotten. The effects of poor customer service can go far beyond the revenue or reputation lost with that one person. Customers are the foundation of success for any business, and if customers are not treated right, the business can lose its reason for existence, and sales will ultimately fall. Do you treat yours right, or is there more that you can do to welcome them and then ensure that they have a ‘good experience’ when coming to buy paint.
Some suggestions to think about:
- Do customers meet smiling cheerful faces when they walk into your premises?
- Are they greeted with a simple ‘hello’, and made to feel welcome?
- Are your staff/volunteers aware of the products you are selling and can, therefore, give knowledgeable information and help to customers?
- Is the signage clear so that customers know where to go and look?
- Is the paint display tidy and looking presentable and professional? If so, this will mean that they have a very good impression of you, and not think you are in any way inferior to the commercial sector.
A good rule of thumb is to ask yourself the question: what do I expect from good customer service when I go shopping and is this something we mirror in our premises?
If your organisation is well networked, think about the organisations you work with and if they also work with people who might need paint from you. For example, if you have good links with local housing associations, they could include details of your scheme in their newsletters to their tenants or display your flyers in their contact centres.
You can also reach out to new organisations who you might not have previously had contact with. Search for local groups and organisations who might need paint and contact them to let them know about your scheme. Some organisations who might be interested include:
- Voluntary and community groups via a co-ordinating body e.g. a local volunteer organisation
- Citizen’s Advice Bureau
- Local libraries
- Sports clubs
- Allotment groups
- Amateur theatre groups
- Community cafes
- Conservation/environment groups
- Girl guides/scouts groups
- Prince’s Trust projects
- Other reuse organisations – they could act as ‘outlets’ for your paint
- Parish/town councils
- Community buildings
- Faith Groups