Ask any business owner and they’ll tell you: success doesn’t happen overnight. It takes years of hard work, determination and integrity. High West Siding and Windows, a Colorado-based contractor, is one of the industry’s best examples of this principle.
Recently voted the Best Siding Contractor in Colorado Springs, they are well on their way to becoming the Best in the West.
Read on to learn how Marketing Director Melissa Ellis built a perfectly oiled marketing machine that continues to drive revenue in a competitive market.
Melissa, it’s so great to chat with you.
Of course, I’ve been looking forward to this.
Awesome, awesome. Can you tell us a little about how High West Siding got its start?
It started off as a mom-and-pop operation and turned into High West Siding and Windows in 1996.
Right on the cusp of the digital marketing boom.
Yes, that’s what we primarily focus on now. Social media, digital, the whole nine yards. We even make DIY videos; we’re working on our own YouTube channel now.
What prompted your interest in YouTube?
It was unexpected, to be honest. We made an in-house training video and posted it to Vimeo for our crews. More and more people started watching, they really appreciated it and said it answered their questions. We ran with it.
So, it’s been a successful marketing tool.
Oh yes. We’ve found that homeowners watch videos and the information sticks with them. But you don’t want someone who’s dry and monotone doing your videos. Our guy has a personality that’s so big and bright, it would be impossible to hide. People really enjoy his quirks.
I bet! Does his personality align with the company’s personality?
Definitely, we’re a fun-loving bunch. Always ready for a challenge.
What do you think has been most instrumental to your continued success?
Our foundation has always been custom work; it has yet to fail us. Our designers have special training so they can custom-build every project.
We also have a well-oiled sales and marketing system. Most home improvement companies separate those departments, we stopped doing that. When we combined sales and marketing, we saw major growth.
Interesting, would you recommend that to other contractors?
Absolutely. It takes patience, but sales and marketing need to work together as one. It took us a few months to figure it out, but now we’re cooking with grease. Now more than ever, homeowners are choosing us over the big brands.
Have you ever received strange requests for custom work?
Oh yes. Like I said, we love a challenge. I don’t know if it’s strange, but we recently built a 2,000-foot solarium sunroom with a small enclosure for a cat litter box. The customer was thrilled about not having the litter box visible in the home.
That’s a brilliant idea.
We do a lot stuff like that. The only thing that can limit us is a customer’s budget. Even then, we only scale down the project size, never the customization.
I imagine that is very meaningful to the homeowners you serve.
I think so. Once, an older woman called us. Another contractor installed a patio enclosure for her and overcharged by several hundred dollars. The poor woman couldn’t even reach or open the blinds, it was impossible to operate. We fixed the situation with easy-slide windows, now she can enjoy the fresh air without her pets getting out. She still writes us and sends us cards.
That is tremendous and so touching. And truly what customer service is all about.
Thank you, our integrity is extremely important to us. We think about the long run with our customers – if you cut that corner now, you’ll be hearing about it later. Why cut the corner at all?
Integrity first, couldn’t agree more. Thank you so much for your time Melissa, you have so many great insights.
Of course, thank you for having me.