One of the most underutilized business tools is customer communication, especially when it relates to homeowners. To make sure a homeowner has a positive experience with your business, you must communicate effectively – in more ways than one.
No one knows this more than Morgan Exteriors Inc., one of the most respected home improvement brands in West Florida.
We asked Joseph Shumaker, Director of Marketing at Morgan Exteriors, to share his insights on the company’s continued success. Keep reading to learn how developing a homeowner communication process can generate more leads, more sales and more revenue.
Hi Joseph, thank you so much for talking with us, we appreciate it.
Sure, I’m always happy to talk with you folks.
Can you tell us how Morgan Exteriors started in the industry?
Certainly. Kirk Morgan, the owner, was working long hours at another home improvement company. He found out that the company was mistreating their customers, so he got his own license and created Morgan Exteriors. Kirk vowed to never let that bad treatment happen to his customers and employees.
One of the best business plans you can have. What was the market like?
Let’s see, Kirk got started in 1995. That was after Hurricane Andrew, one of the most devastating hurricanes on record in Florida. That gave Morgan a huge opportunity to grow, a lot of homeowners rebuilding.
How long did it take you to grow into multiple markets?
We’ve always wanted to become more of a footprint in Florida, but we only started expanding into new markets five years ago. We opened our second location two years ago, and then Fort Myers within the last year.
What have been the growth factors behind that?
Our in-house call center has been the driver. Being able to call customers in real time and talk to them. There are a lot of companies down here that do what we do, but they don’t have our call center.
That customer communication is crucial.
Yes, we also send out GuildQuality surveys to generate reviews. We want to know what we did wrong so we can fix it immediately. We are very focused on getting the job done and satisfying our customers.
Have you used any other marketing tools to grow your business?
Oh yes, general online marketing. But when you get an online lead, you need the right people taking those calls. Otherwise, you’re not getting the best value.
Dare we ask your thoughts on paid search?
I think paid search is a great way to get your name out there. As long as you have the reviews to back it up, it’s a great tool to have.
Definitely, brand presence is a huge benefit. Have you ever tried anything ‘out-of-the-box’?
We do a $15,000 sweepstakes twice a year and it works. It draws website traffic, draws in customers at the trade shows. When they give us their contact info, we convert those entries into customers.
Another thing – we use a brand ambassador to deliver a gift at the end of each job.
How does that work?
Our ambassador contacts all installation jobs to see if there were any hiccups at any point. Then, they give the customer a basket with branded coffee mugs, scented candles, gift cards with our name on it, chocolates, things like that.
That’s a nice touch, makes the experience more meaningful.
Exactly, and we have had so many meaningful experiences with our customers.
Can you share one with us?
Recently, we raffled tickets to a hockey game during military appreciation week. The family that won got to sit in the ice box during the game, which is right between the two team benches. The father was actually serving in Iraq at the time and he FaceTimed them while they were at the game. It was on the jumbotron and everything.
It felt great. You could really tell we made that family’s day.
One last question- if you were to give yourself one piece of advice starting out, what would it be?
Follow a proven system. And don’t be afraid to hire and train people. That can be the hardest thing to do, hiring someone to do a job you’re already doing. But you need to delegate if you’re going to grow.
Excellent advice in any industry. Thank you so much for talking to us, Joseph.
It has been a pleasure.