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IronmongeryDirect Study Reveals Tradespeople Waiting Time

Oscarhill iStockphoto 538872918
  • Roofers have the longest waiting lists, with an average of nine weeks
  • The people of Manchester currently have the longest wait for tradespeople (six weeks) 
  • Expert shares advice for tradespeople on keeping staff and customers happy 

The average waiting time for a tradesperson in the UK is now almost five weeks, according to new research. 

The study by IronmongeryDirect, the UK’s largest supplier of specialist ironmongery, surveyed workers across the nation to reveal the length of waiting lists in the industry and the trades with the greatest demand. 

One in six (17%) say they can’t see customers for at least two months. 

Staff shortages is the biggest factor, with more than a quarter (28%) of tradespeople saying that this contributes to their long waiting lists. Finding staff with the right skillset is also an obstacle for many (16%), as are delays for parts (17%). Roofers are the most affected by this latter issue (40%). 

Workers in Manchester have the longest average waiting list time, with an average of six weeks, followed closely by Leeds and Liverpool (five weeks). The shortest current wait for a tradesperson is three weeks, which is in Sheffield. 

Waiting times are longer in some trades than others, with roofers having the longest average (nine weeks).  

The trades where workers have the longest waiting times, on average, are:  

1) Roofer - 9 weeks

2) Locksmith - 8 weeks

3) Joiner - 7 weeks

4) Scaffolder - 6 weeks

5) Carpenter - 5 weeks

6) Builder - 5 weeks 

7) Electrician - 5 weeks 

8) Landscaper - 5 weeks 

9) Plasterer - 4 weeks 

10) Caretaker/ Maintenance - 4 weeks

To help tradespeople keep customers happy while experiencing long waiting times, Ellis Osborn, Ecommerce Manager at IronmongeryDirect, has shared tips for periods of high demand.  

1) Prioritising your waitlist 
“Prioritising your waitlist is crucial for ensuring your business runs smoothly. Review your list of jobs and identify those which are most urgent so you can complete these first. You may have an emergency call out, or some customers who have been waiting a number of weeks. Whoever you choose to prioritise, it’s important to keep all staff and customers updated and be transparent about why you have to push work back.” 

2) Keeping in touch with customers 
“No matter how long your wait list is, it’s crucial to keep a constant line of communication with your customers to let them know when planned work is due to commence. Be honest about waiting times from the beginning, and open about potential delays, such as materials shortages, or larger jobs taking longer than expected. Being clear with people will help to avoid any confusion and keep them happy.”  

3) Quality assurance 
“The most effective way to keep customers happy is to ensure that when you do get to their job, you do it to the highest quality possible, justifying their long wait for your time. Nothing is more important than doing the job well, so providing a brilliant service is key to a satisfied client base.”  

For more expert advice on how to manage long waiting lists and keep customers happy, visit:  
How to manage your waiting lists effectively ( 

Source : IronmongeryDirect

Image : Oscarhill / / 538872918

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22 March 2024

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