We visited Cambs Lock & Safe at their Cambridge based master locksmiths and engineers business, and spoke with Kim Pilmer to get to know a little more about them and the impact SoleTrader.com has had on their business.
Hi Kim, it’s nice to finally put a face to a name. First off, could you tell us a little more about your business and the service you provide?
We are locksmiths so what we offer is security advice alongside the supply and fitting of all types of locks, access control, safes, security grilles and door/floor closers. From our Cambridge city centre shop we cut keys and design master key systems as well as send engineers out on the road to both private and commercial customers to specify and fit all types of locks and security systems. As Locksmiths go, we do it all.
Why do you feel your business needs a website? Is it for business, as an online portfolio, or both?
Both. All businesses need an online profile these days, it’s extremely important. Not only does it generate work enquiries and boost our intake of jobs, but it’s a great tool for brand awareness as well. A business, in our opinion, could not manage without a website.
Was there anything in particular that made you decide to use SoleTrader.com as your sole website provider back in 2013?
SoleTrader.com advertised through our trade organisation The Master Locksmith Association. Our website was very dated, so we thought that if ST has partnered with our trade association, then they would have an understanding of our business and be able to bring our website up to date. Having the content managed for us was also a deal breaker as we struggle to find the time to maintain a website ourselves whilst responding to jobs and running the business.
What would you say has changed or improved in SoleTrader.com’s service in the 4 years they have provided you with your website?
We have always been happy with the service we have received during the last 4 years. The standard was excellent at the beginning and it has continued that way.
What do you feel has been the most beneficial aspect of SoleTrader.com’s service for your business?
That we can email requests for updates that are then very quickly implemented.
How are SoleTrader.com helping you achieve your objectives?
By allowing us to contact ST easily by email whenever we have changes that we need implementing quickly. ST are prompt and there has never been any issues with responding to our requests.
Have you generated increased work through your website and do you feel it has paid for itself?
Yes we believe so. We get regular enquiries from the website and we managed to turn most of those enquiries into actual jobs, although virtually all the enquiries are from private customers, so it would be good if we could get more enquiries via our website from the business sector.
How often do you make changes to your website?
On average probably once or twice a month.
Do you use any forms of paid advertising other than your website?
Yes we advertise on Yell.com
Have you had offers from other companies in regards to building a website for you, and have you been tempted to move away from SoleTrader.com?
We have had offers, but we have been very happy with the service from ST and we like our website so we can see no advantage to moving. It’s not just about money, the ease of which we can make changes is the most important thing to us and why move from a company we are happy with?
What would you say is the most beneficial aspect of a SoleTrader.com website over local competition?
Our competition do also have websites, however, keeping the website current, continuously updated, looking professional and contemporary is important and what SoleTrader.com excel at.
You mention on your website that you’ve been Cambridge’s number 1 locksmith since 1991. Have you noticed a difference in the jobs you’ve received since first owning a website?
Our private customer enquiries are where we’ve seen the most impact. Being easily searchable online many more private customers get in touch with us, and this wouldn’t likely be the case if we didn’t have an online HQ for the business.
Would you say a website has given you access to customers further afield than usual?
Yes definitely. Since acquiring a website for our business we’ve found that customers further afield can find and contact us much easier than ever before. Hence the greater distance we get inquiries from regularly now.
Has a website given you the chance to expand your service in any way?
One of the most notable expansions we’ve been able to implement is making full use of any special offers. Now we can advertise our offers to much wider groups.
By Oliver Roche and Mat Gornall
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