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Cevisama 2017

Friday, 24 February 2017 16:33:15 Europe/London

Cevisama 2017


Last week, Eddie and Reuben jetted off to Valencia in Spain for the annual Cevisama Expo. Cevisama is an annual event where tile manufacturers and sanitary ware manuacturers from around the world gather to display their wares to architects and specifiers. There was lots to see and do over the four days, and even Villareal CF football team visited one of the stands on Tuesday 21st. 

There werre a lot cool things around the show, and a lot of evidently emerging trends, a couple of which we'll feature in separate Image of large format wooden tiles and a grey feature wallblogs, but we'll round up the main trends here. 

One of the main emerging trends was the "going large" trend - there were enormous slabs of marble-effect porcelain and sheets of wood-effect tiles that were over two metres long. The tiles were roughly 12mm thick, so they look like they would have been a four person install. 

A continuing trend is grey tiles, which were once again a prominent feature throughout the show, used in a lot of feature walls and bathroom mockups, continuing the sleek and designer look of the bathrooms. 

Mosaics were less prominent at this year's show, with almost no stands that we saw displaying any mosaics other than border strips, and the border strips that were there were being done with a band of textured tiles the same colour as the plain tiles. 

Image of some wood effect tiling and a cool outdoor tiling areaAnother trend that seems to be falling out is the wood-effect tiles, as these seem to be getting squeezed out by the textured tiles. There were stil wood-effect tiles around, but they certainly weren't as prominent.  

Stay tuned for a couple more blog posts on the big trends of the year!

 

 

Comments | Posted By Rachel Kelsey

Is Staff Training a Carrot or a Stick?

Wednesday, 9 November 2016 14:39:37 Europe/London

Is Staff Training a Carrot or a Stick?

 Image of a man running towards a carrot with a stick behind him

 

It cannot be denied that staff training is beneficial to sales. A team that has a well-rounded knowledge of the products you sell and any objections they might face is going to be better at selling these products than a team that has never been trained. 

However, staff training is not always the most exciting topic to bring up with your sales staff. Often, they see it as being sat in a room, being talked at by a salesperson for hours, when your staff has something more important to do. This negativity then stops your staff from engaging properly with the training and the whole session is a waste of time.

So how do you have a training session that is a carrot and not a stick? We believe the answer lies in the attitude surrounding the training. If you can create a mentality that staff training is about being empowered to develop your skills and not about being punished for not performing well, then half the battle is won. Once you have created the air of positivity, the culture starts to change. 

Before you even start with the training, you should assess your audience - their prior knowledge of the product, their age, their backgrounds etc. This will help you prepare relevant content at the right level for your audience and stop disengagement. 

Another way to have a great training session is to make it interactive - to create an engaging training session is to get the staff members involved with the products they are learning about. Having some interactive demonstrations can go a long way towards getting your staff to connect with the trainer, and can help a lot with understanding. There are many different learning styles, and studies have shown that some people learn by hearing, some people learn by doing. If you can incorporate as many of the different learning styles into your training, it will be a benefit to everyone.

You should implement breaks in your sessions, especially if they are all day sessions. Most studies tend to say that the average attention span in a lecture is 10 minutes, but lectures are often over an hour long, so breaks can really help your group to regain their focus and keep them happy. It also gives them an opportunity to take in what they've just heard. 

Finally, you should always ask for feedback on your sessions. Feedback is a great way to measure how well people have engaged with your session, how well they have taken in the information you have presented them and what they liked most and least about your session. Feedback can either be presented as a survey before the participants leave or as a follow up email. You should be open to criticism and use what you learn to improve your sessions. 

We at STS have great belief in positive and productive training sessions that can be used to help staff reach their highest potential. As Richard Branson says " Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don't want to." If you look after your staff, they in turn will look after your customers. 

 

Comments | Posted By Rachel Kelsey

The Importance of good customer service

Thursday, 6 October 2016 16:23:32 Europe/London

The Importance of Good Customer Service

 

Good customer service is about understanding the needs of different customers, keeping promises and delivering consistently high standards. Eight out of ten customers say that good customer service can influence their choice of company, according to the 2013 Which? survey. Four in ten would be willing to pay more for better service and 86 per cent of respondents would leave an organisation that treated them poorly. The cost of bad customer service far outweighs the cost of good customer service. 

A great customer service team is an integral part of any successful business. Whether your customers are one-man operations or huge companies, treating them with respect and care is one of the best ways to strengthen your company’s reputation. Having a great customer service team is what is going to keep your customers coming back to you time after time - initially, good prices and cheap deals might entice new customers, but having a good relationship with a customer is what will keep them. 

Having a great customer service team doesn't just benefit your customers, it also benefits your business. The best way to promote your business is by word of mouth marketing. Similarly, bad customer service can impact massively on your company's reputation. With the popularisation of social media, you can almost guarantee if something good or bad happens, people are going to share it on their social media networks. This leads to direct publicity for your business, and there are many, many examples in the news these days - some good, and some awful. This proves that your customers are talking about you, and it's up to you to join in the conversation and influence the outcome.

So, what are the easiest ways to encourage a great customer service team? Being honest and open with your customers is a great starting point, even if it means confessing to a problem. Communication is always key, especially when something has gone wrong, and if your customers know about problems then you can work with them to resolve them. Ease of communication is another big factor - having information readily available in different formats for your customers is a great way to keep a relationship strong. Finally, you should listen to feedback. It might get tiresome listening to complaints, but then at least you have direction on what needs fixing and it allows you to understand your customers' experiences. 

Do you have any feedback to share with us? Let us know here.

Natalie's faceWritten by Natalie Wainman, Customer Service and Office Manager at STS

 

Comments | Posted in Features By Rachel Kelsey

Drill Bits - What's the difference?

Thursday, 1 September 2016 14:11:03 Europe/London

Drill Bits - What's the difference?

As the popular ranges of porcelain tiles have become more and more difficult to drill, STS have stayed ahead of the game by bringing out different drill bits to suit different situations. In this article, we'll go over the differences between the different drill bits.

 

PorcelPlus

PorcelPlusThe PorcelPlus drill bits come in 6mm and 8mm, both of which come with two 4mm pilot hole drill bits. For best results with porcelain tiles, pilot with the 4mm and then follow with the 6mm or 8mm. The drill bits last longer if kept cool with water but are not water fed. The life expectancy is around 10-15 holes.

 

 

PorcelPlus Extra Dry  

8mm PPXDThe PorcelPlus Extra Dry drill bits are designed to be used dry, so no water tank is required for these bits.The PorcelPlus Extra Dry drill bits have a wax centre which keeps the bits cool during use. The drill bits are diamond tipped for longevity and come in 6mm, 8mm, 10mm and 12mm. The expected life of the bits is around 20 holes. 

 

PorcelPlus Extra Wet


8mm PPXW The PorcelPlus Extra Wet drill bits were designed for wet use only and come with a 
water  tank, which incorporates a drilling guide on the back. The bits come in a range of sizes from  6mm - 35mm and the expected life of the bits is 15 holes. 

 

 

Both of these drill bits are handy little tools to keep in your toolbox and are ideal for a bathroom project.

 

Porcelain Drilling Kit

Porcelain Drilling Kit The Porcelain Drilling Kit is a full kit comprising of a five litre water tank, a water fed swivel  connector, an adjustible drilling guide and a 6mm and 8mm bit, and other drill bits can be  added as required.The drill bits come in a wide  range of sizes, from 6mm - 126mm. The  expected life of the bits is 75+ holes.

 

This is a professional tool designed for long usage. 

 

We hope this has helped to outline the differences between the different types of drill bits. (Click Here) to view our range of drill bits.

 

 

Comments | Posted in Features By Rachel Kelsey
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