Almost all home improvement companies live and breathe the promise of customer satisfaction. But carrying out that promise every day, in every way, is an inevitable hurdle.
Prime Baths of Illinois, a fast-growing bath remodeler based in the Chicago suburbs, has faced that challenge head-on. And they’re knocking it out of the park.
Owner Ken Smith recently spoke to us about the foundations of his company and how a great attitude keeps their profits burning bright. Read our conversation with Ken to learn how an unexpected beginning influenced their success model.
Ken, it’s so good to talk to you. We appreciate your insights.
Thank you, I’m looking forward to this.
Can you tell us about your journey to become a Prime Baths dealer?
In all reality, I got into the home improvement business out of a necessity for a career change. For 16 years I was a union construction worker, I traveled all over the country. That became hard on my family. So, my business partner and I decided to start a bath remodeling company. This was back in 2016.
Bath remodeling is a great market. Sounds like a win-win.
It was. Our ability to build a solid company was based on how good our product was. No matter how good we were, the quality of the product is always going to matter more.
Very true in this business. What has your experience been like as a network dealer?
I’ll tell you, BCI has provided incredible support and training programs. Dealers around the country are willing to give advice and help you reach your goals. Then they’ll come back and ask for your thoughts. It’s a great network because we all participate.
A pay-it-forward model, that’s very unique. Has that been a factor in your success?
Yes. Another factor has been our customer service model. The way we see it, the only way to truly be successful is to satisfy your customer. You have to solve their problems. That’s what we’re here to do, and that’s what we do every day.
What are your ultimate growth goals for your company?
Honestly? The real, true goal with this – all of this – is to make a difference in the world. Prime Baths is just the beginning of what I hope to achieve.
Wow. That’s powerful. I imagine that really shapes your company’s culture.
Thank you, and yes. We’re not all family, but you would think that we are. Our newest employee has been with us for two years.
That’s amazing, especially with the turnover rate in home improvement. How do you find the right people?
We think of it as offering more than jobs. We offer careers – we invest in our employees. I think attracting the right people is one of the bigger challenges a small business faces. But if you have a positive foundation, it’s a matter of those people finding you – as opposed to the other way around.
Thanks, Ken. Switching gears, I would love to discuss what marketing tools and strategies you’ve used to grow your business.
Oh, we’ve tried about everything. Fairs and festivals have been good for us, as well as paid search and social media. We succeed more when we cast a wide net, using multiple channels and so on. The important thing is to consider every option and be consistent in your marketing plan.
Excellent point. Have you ever tried an “out-of-the-box” marketing strategy?
There was one thing, though it wasn’t on purpose. It was the beginning of the school year; I went to buy my guys some donuts. Next door was a haircut place with a long line, all kids and parents. I thought, “How can I help?” So, I went in there and prepaid for a bunch of haircuts.
That is so generous!
Then, the haircut place matched every haircut I paid for. We’re in talks to expand it to the next town over, even make a day out of it. Have a cookout and ads on the radio.
It’s like, inadvertent marketing
I hate to call it marketing, but business came of it. It wasn’t intentional, it just did.
What was the most meaningful experience you’ve ever had with a customer?
This is a difficult question. As you know, our product appeals to a lot of aging homeowners and people who are recovering from injuries. When we get the opportunity to help an older couple stay in their home or give someone who’s had a stroke a safe place to bathe, it’s a great feeling.
Of course. It’s a very vulnerable position to be in.
It is, and we work very hard to build trust and a relationship. It all comes back to our customer satisfaction model. Many times, we’ve left customers hugging and with tears coming down their faces.
That’s so impactful. One last question, Ken. If you were to give yourself one piece of advice when you were first starting out, what would it be?
Hire Keyword Connects a lot sooner.
Why, thank you!
That’s not a bull answer. We have seen a tremendous uptick since starting. We’re closing Keyword leads at a high rate. The lead quality has been amazing. We’re already looking at doubling budget.
We are so happy to hear that! And we appreciate your business, Ken.
Looking forward to more leads.
You can count on it. Thank you for taking the time to talk to us.