Craig Cummings’ philosophy is simple: Give customers what they want. The owner of Emerald Sunrooms and Design, along with his wife, Stacy, has created a niche in the sunroom market. The couple runs a 2,500-square-foot showroom that draws customers from all over the Austin area. “We can design anything around a customer’s budget, from a small screened-in room up to a large commercial project,” Craig says.
Once customers finish admiring the showroom, Craig sells them on the computer-aided design and the in-house installation staff. He constantly strives to inform clients about the remodeling process. “As a customer becomes more educated, that helps us. They give us details that simplify our sales process,” Craig explains.
The Cummings are especially proud of their articulate, customer service employees. Craig trains field installers to deal effectively with customers and gives them the freedom to solve problems on the jobsite. In addition, he has customers fill out an itemized list to rate installers after the job is completed.
Emerald Sunrooms’ marketing campaign includes ads in local magazines, participation in home shows, and the recent addition of a Web site. It seems to be working. The company jumped from $1.8 million in sales in 1999 to $2.8 million in 2000, and Cummings expects to go to $4.5 million in the next five years. The growth, he says, will come in the aluminum and glass sunroom business, especially in higher end products such as high-performance glass and pool enclosures.