The best water softener companies are members of The Association of Independent Water Softener Experts.
The Water Softener industry is part of the water treatment industry, which covers everything from small domestic drinking water filters to municipal sewerage and water plants. Our little niche, is very customer facing, be it domestic or commercial clients looking for solutions to their hard water problems. To date, nobody represented this band of generally, local family run companies who fulfil this very important role. Our various suppliers recognise that we sell, service and repair more water softeners than plumbers, direct sells or the internet. Yet we are a very well kept secret.
With this in mind, in 2018 some members of the industry recognised that the time was right to start the process of getting engagement with water softener installers across the UK. This was a slow process that required gentle steps and the understanding of various needs and requirements of these companies.
After thousands of hours of phone calls and emails a meeting was set up and companies that had never met came together to discuss what might be needed.
Nobody, including the organisers, were prepared for the amazing time that we had. Luckily our hosts the Stevens who own Clarity Water in Suffolk organised the best food and location we could have asked for.
New friendships were forged and old friendships renewed and the most important thing was, we had fun.
The discussions went on all day and the first order of business was that we wanted to be called experts, not the horrible name that we often used 'dealers'. Next, what did we want to achieve?
Many of us have employees and we realised that our industry does not have a recognised training scheme and that in a modern business, employees like to progress and engage in learning that results in certification. Okay, let's see what we can do. In the room we had a combined knowledge of many generations, so we need to share that with each other. Next.
Perhaps we should call this misinformation. When we visit potential customers, we all found that many of them talked about how difficult they found getting good, factual knowledge and that the internet, plumbers and some national water softener sales teams seemed to know very little or nothing about how water softeners worked, regulations, efficiency and the general knowledge that customer wanted and expected to find out.
We actually did some research on the day and found that an internet search of 'the best water softener' brought up pages paid for by water softener companies and written by people who plainly did not understand about the products. So how was the average customer meant to fathom out what they might need?
We wanted to help customers find their best local expert and obviously the best way, was to have a register of members who have been peer approved and have agreed to a Code of Conduct. Then to help you find these independent experts we have developed a website that allows you to search locally.
Working together to help each other and the public get the very best knowledge, products and most importantly, after care service. When people come together, as this day proved, great things can happen.
That took all day and people enjoyed themselves so much, they did not want to go home and demanded to know when we would be having the next meeting. Success!
January 2020, was the first AGM of the AIWSE. This was a formal meeting that went on all day to clarify all of the needs and legality of the Association. The most important part was that the AIWSE must be owned by its' members and that they must all be local independent experts.
We had commitment from the attendees and a core committee was formed who were tasked with bringing this entity to life.
Then there was lockdown! Belts needed to be tightened and everything changed, except the need for the AIWSE. So in lockdown me, as the Chairman and my son decided that we would create the website and make it happen. Logos, email accounts, membership areas, FAQ's and social media pages were done. Many members wrote articles and so we moved forward. It was brilliant, we actually had time to make what we needed. It is not perfect and new members are joining, so every time you look, you will see new names on the website search. Also additional FAQ's and social media posts.
Our members want to help you. Simple. If you see a water softener company with their AIWSE membership, then you will know that you are dealing with a company that is one of the best in the country. Please help us to help our local independent experts in these difficult times. Remember to shop locally.