2014 Dealer of the Year: Leadership in the Homeowner Market
LEADERSHIP in the HOMEOWNER MARKET
LEADERSHIP: Co-owners Ted Kirk, president; Jonathan Collum, vice president
LOCATION: Roswell, Ga.
SALES VOLUME: $4.6 million
EMPLOYEES: 10, plus subcontractors
PRODUCTS: Vytex vinyl replacement windows, Weather Shield clad wood windows and doors, Precision Millworks PVC composite windows, and additional products for particular color extrusion needs
Homeowners can be finicky, but North Georgia Replacement Windows seems to have figured out the best way to convert potential customers to informed buyers who purchase from NGRW and are willing to recommend the company to others. “They’ve found the ‘secret sauce’ to make people happy,” says Justin Tuggle, manager of WSB-TV/Cox Media group, who helps with the company’s advertising.
|North Georgia Replacement Windows Co-Owners Ted Kirk, right, and Jonathan Collum|
“We’re a relationship-style company,” says NGRW President Ted Kirk, who started the company in 2003 and was joined two years later by co-owner Jonathan Collum. “There’s no high pressure sales tactics. We may follow up two to three times before we close a deal. We do larger jobs, and we give a concierge level of service for windows and doors.”
That service begins with sales. “We invest a lot in sales training,” Kirk says. It’s important to the sales people to understand the varying personalities of their clients, so NGRW uses the DISC profiling system to identify a customer’s buying behavior. “Some people want a quick hit of information and answers to price questions. Some want long presentations and lots of details. Still others want to build a rapport and trust. You have to identify the different personality types,” and tailor your sales pitch, Kirk says.
The company also follows what Kirk calls the “Platinum Rule”: Treating customers not in the way you would like to be treated but in the way the customer would like to be treated. It’s all about good communication from start to finish—with five or six touches during a job—and finding out what the clients want and need. Phased projects are often part of the company’s proposals, and NGRW doesn’t require customers to choose a minimum quantity of windows. Then there’s the “Red Carpet” experience, in which the installation crew actually rolls out a rubber-backed red carpet with the company logo to “protect the clients’ home during the install process,” Kirk says. And, everything is backed up with a lifetime service warranty.
In 2013, NGRW won a Guild Master award from Guild Quality, which surveys clients of home improvement companies. It found that among NGRW’s customers, 99 percent would recommend the company to others. “A customer’s recommendation of a business is a direct reflection on whether or not that company met or exceeded that customer’s expectations. It’s a key indicator of a customer’s overall satisfaction,” says Geoff Graham, president of Guild Quality. “We’ve gathered feedback from close to 1,000 of North Georgia Replacement Windows’ clients and have had the pleasure of seeing them achieve high levels of customer satisfaction, including their 99 percent recommendation rate.”
“They do their homework from measuring to planning to install,” says Withers “Buzzy” Moncure, regional sales manager for Weather Shield. “When they’re done, it looks like nobody’s been in the customer’s home. They are thorough, detailed and professional.”