Dealer of the Year Awards 2016: Honoring Excellence

Meet Your 2016 Dealers of the Year
Ann Gregory and Laurie Scarborough, owners of The Door Store and Windows. (Images by Tara Young Photography.)

Overall Excellence: Leadership in the Homeowner Market

The Door Store and Windows

LOUISVILLE, KY., DOORSTOREANDWINDOWS.COM

Women are still a minority in just about every facet of the window and door industry, but The Door Store and Windows is breaking that tradition. Owned and operated by sisters Ann Gregory and Laurie Scarborough, the Louisville-based local window and door business is known for being “very knowledgeable and very friendly,” as ProVia’s Joe Klink puts it. “Their design expertise and product selection is a great benefit to homeowners.”

Besides earning a Platinum ProVia Dealer title, the company is a Marvin Dealer of Distinction and has been an Angie’s List Super Service Award winner every year since 2012. Door Store also carries an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.

“I think as women, we come at it from a very unique perspective,” says Gregory. “Between the two of us, we have a pretty high level of expectation of what quality means. We expect to give the best and we hired a team that thinks the same way. They are absolutely amazing.”

Scarborough agrees. “We have the best team in town; fabulous people who work here and who stand behind our company values.” The duo seems to have figured out the labor aspect—something that traditionally plagues so many businesses. The question is: how did they build such a great team?

TEAM BUILDING EXTREME

They say it all starts with the hiring. They administer a skills test to all of their potential installers that covers reading and math (especially fractions), and require proof that sales applicants can actually sell. To become a Door Store employee, candidates must also take a behavioral assessment, which Scarborough says gives them a “good head start on making a decision about whether they would be happy in a position or not.”

She says that this predictive indexing is only about 40 percent of what they look at, instead really focusing on those that fit in with the company’s core values—“official” values that were developed about three years ago by employees at the time. Gregory and Scarborough think about how they behave as employees and how they want people to behave around them. “We hire to those behaviors. We look for those kinds of behaviors when we do reference checks,” Scarborough says. “Amazingly enough, we end up getting people who want to work like we like to work.”

The installation team has a combined experience of over 100 years.

Once they’re part of the team, Gregory and Scarborough “train relentlessly and motivate effectively.” The result on the sales side, they say, is a team of engaged design consultants truly motivated to help people while providing an outstanding customer experience. Says Gregory, “Our strong repeat and referral business is a testimony to the success of our sales team.”

To back up those sales, the installation team members, with an estimated combined experience of over 100 years, are ambassadors for the company who “enjoy nothing more than making homeowners happy.” The company reports that many of the customer reviews on its website even mention its installers by name.

This begs another burning question: how do they keep such talent? “We try to pay fairly and treat people fairly,” Gregory says. “We treat them with respect. And it’s not just treating them with it. We genuinely respect them for who they are, what they are and what they add to the company.”

GENERATING BUSINESS

In order to keep its 19 all-stars gainfully employed, The Door Store does a great job at drumming up business. They do so via the company’s “idea showroom,” which features dozens of windows and doors in a home-like setting.

“We know we offer outstanding products,” says Gregory. “But we also know that successfully managing the full customer experience of product selection, design, installation and after-the-sale is what creates returning and referring customers.” She says that seeing, touching and operating products before purchase gives customers confidence in their design decisions. “It allows them to know exactly what they will get when the product is installed in their home."

“We have the best team in town," says co-owner Laurie Scarborough. "[They are] fabulous people who stand behind our company values.”

The newly renovated space also features a learning center with classroom-style seating and state-of-the-art audio/visual technology. The company utilizes the learning center for training and homeowner education, but also hosts building professionals for idea-sharing lunches and other events.

One of the marketing tools Gregory and Scarborough use to get customers through the door is a 30-second TV spot that focuses on members of the team describing how they enjoy helping homeowners transform their homes with new doors or windows. The commercial features warm lighting, quality cinematography and polished graphics to reflect the brand identity of Door Store and Windows.

Another way the company shares its message is through custom content on doorstoreandwindows.com that is optimized for search engines, yet is also highly localized. Website traffic has increased more than 175 percent since 2013 and form fills are up more than 195 percent in the same period. The company also invests in its own photography of local projects rather than relying on manufacturer-supplied images. This allows customers to see “how their neighbors are improving their homes.”

The ultimate goal for The Door Store and Windows is to provide products that help its customers “fall in love with their homes.” The company’s strong repeat and referral business is a testimony to just that.