How Tudodesk helped a leading UK Restoration shop revolutionize an industry

Ashford Chroming is one of the worlds leading Chrome restoration shops they make it super simple for restorers, DIY'ers. Car and Motorcycle enthusiasts to restore metal parts in Chrome.
Martin Webb
Posted by Martin Webb.
Restoration Shop

The challenge

Ashford Chroming is a leading chrome restoration shop. They make it simple for restorers, DIY'ers and enthusiasts to restore metal parts in Chrome, Gold and Nickel.

One of the best features of this restoration shop is they make it easier and safer for customers to restore parts. Typically this work would be carried out by local electroplating plants that are not set-up to deal with the general public. The company handles thousands of parts from nuts and washers right up to car bumpers and boat winches.

The family-run restoration shop, in the heart of the British Kent countryside, receives just short of 7500 job requests a year - and is growing.

The problem

Customers send photos of the parts by email and the company then goes about pricing each part and sending the customer an estimate. If the customer accepts the company then ships the job to the companies workshops. Unpackers then carefully unpack boxes of wrapped treasures. From tiny screws and washers to heavy boat winches and bumpers. Every part, screw nut and washer has to be photographed and logged.

As rusted and old these parts may appear, some of them have un-replaceable values running into the thousands; losing parts is not an option for our customers.
Louise Claydon
CEO/Director Ashford Chroming Ltd.

The parts are put into an order queue where they are picked off and run through the restoration plants.

Customers need to be notified when parts arrive at the workshops. Parts need to be checked by the workshop team. Any extra work or repairs has to be communicated and agreed with customers. This results in a lot of phone calls and emails.

On large jobs, the company requests a percentage pre-payment upfront. On smaller jobs payment is requested when the work is completed. When the job is finished and the accounts team has payment the job is then ready to be wrapped packed and shipped.

Ashford Chroming struggled with the huge number of emails it received, having a system to manage photos and keeping the team focused on what stage each job was at and generally dealing with customer requests and updates. This made it difficult for the team to give a first class service from start-to-finish; without having to increase costs for staffing and ultimately its fee.

We knew that for us to grow and continue to be the market leader we had to revolutionize an out of date industry and the customers with it.
Louise Claydon
CEO/Director Ashford Chroming Ltd.

Ashford Chroming approached Tudodesk with all these problems and our system turned out to be a perfect fit.

The solution

The first step was to shorten the wait for estimates and improve how many leads it get's from its online website. A call to action button was added to the landing pages and the Tudodesk inquiry widget was installed on their site with a simple copy and past script. With the built-in file picker customers were able to snap photos from device cameras and send directly from the site, for pricing.

An automation was added to send an automated thank you email and a drip mail triggered 1 day later with a personal welcome message from the director outlining the companies history, tradition and goals; nice touch customers love.

Leads were arriving in real-time onto the inquiry board and with more photo's than ever the company now had a managed visual system. New leads were being enriched with customer profiles, social links and geo data giving a more informative visual view of a lead.

The Tudodesk Proposal app was installed to handle the task of creating and sending customer estimates. Proposals are branded, live documents that feature built-in live chat, document tracking and the ability for customers to place the order and provide billing and shipping info at time of order. Customers can now open, review, discuss and negotiate terms from mobile phones and most importantly place orders. A groundbreaking step for not just the company but for its customers.

Customers were now able to "Accept" or "Decline" the job estimates and this made an enormous impact overnight. 6 Automated follow-up emails were added make sure that all estimates were followed up and this resulted from an enormous response from customers. The company now had a revolving sales process and it was being driven not by the sales team but by the customers.

The company saw a decrease in phone calls and an increase in inquiries (18%) and sales (33%).

The next stop was to integrate the Tudodesk shipping module. Now that the orders were being placed online this removed all of the admin load of getting shipping and billing info. The company could create professional shipping notes, but more importantly, the customers could open them on devices and download a pdf copy which could be printed and attached to the shipping label.

When jobs now arrived the unpackers can look at the shipping note tap in the ID or scan it with a barcode reader and pull-up the customer's file, take photos add them to the app, list the parts and mark the job as landed. The automation engine then sends an automated email "Your parts have landed". Any photo's attached when the job is landed are attached to the updated document which the customer can view to verify all the parts arrived safely solving a huge otherwise impossible process.

The Job management board was used to deal with the job queue and what jobs were in production, what jobs were finished. This again makes use of the automation engine allowing "job status update" emails to be sent as the job progressed.

Once jobs are completed an invoice is raised, sent and paid by the customer online. Unpaid invoices are collected by the auto payment reminder emails. The company can now scale their billing without any real increase in time.

Tudodesk solved the issue of dispatching work since the team can now clearly see what jobs are paid. The packers print the professional packing sheets, check the project photo's, and the inventory list.

It takes a couple of clicks to send one proposal. Seconds later I get a notification when the customer received it, when they opened it and when they read it.
Louise Claydon
CEO/Director Ashford Chroming Ltd.

The result.

There was one final step Tudodesk had up its sleeve. 3 days after the job was returned the automation engine sends survey request, using the apps NPS survey system. Is it a simple question?

How likely are you to recommend Ashford Chroming to friends or colleagues?

All the customer has to do is open the email tap the rating from 1-10 and then they are asked to post a review or comment.

The team can now deal with unhappy customers quickly and resolve issues. The automation AI Bot then sends an email with a link to entice customers to post reviews on Google Places.

This resulted in the company gaining a significant increase in positive reviews on Google, something the Director had frustrated over for years.


Ashford Chroming is now just short of 100 reviews on Google with a rating of 4.2. They are the most reviewed chrome shop in the World. They have managed to significantly reduce administration time, improve their customer service, increase their market share and overall provide a more modern, scalable way for people to restore cherish parts and items, but without sacrificing the service you expect from a family run business in the heart of the Kent countryside.

Martin Webb
By Martin Webb

Founder/CEO at Tudodesk

I'm a tech nomad entrepreneur with more than 35 years experience in start-ups, development and coffee.

Sign up for a Free 30 Day Trial of Tudodesk Software

Or, talk to our sales team and get the answers you need.
Get in touch at [email protected].
Start Free Trial