After more than two decades in business, Todd Whittaker Drywall has evolved well past its original niche. Having built a solid business providing customer-service-focused drywalling for builders and remodelers, founder Todd Whittaker took that philosophy and started applying it to his own remodeling business.
“We realized from day one that all we could offer was customer service,” says Jamie Whittaker, the firm’s secretary. “As long as we had that core value, everything else fell into place.”
For the Whittakers, offering the best customer service means having onsite designers and salespeople who don’t work on commission, so they can focus on educating the customer rather than selling. “Having commission-based salespeople is one of the worst things, because clients can never trust them,” Whittaker says. “We build that trust first.”
Once trust is built, customers can confidently come to the firm’s showroom to do one-stop shopping that includes a local, made-in-the-USA cabinet maker. “That’s important to customers,” Whittaker says.
Of course, putting a suite of technology into place helps the company provide a new level of customer service, especially for its many out-of-town clients. Thanks to Buildertrend, clients can stay in the loop on projects no matter where they are. To build on its customer base, the Whittakers are now using an online visualizer that allows clients to explore how different products would look in their homes.
Still, the company recognizes that not all customers are tech savvy, so it’s now working on creating project binders that do the same thing in hard copy. The company also still sends out handwritten thank-you notes to prospects and referrals. An after-hours receptionist and chat line that goes directly to Whittaker make sure someone is always available to address client needs.
“We try to be everywhere, not just in a sales-pitchy way but informative and building trust,” Whittaker says. “It’s all about building that trust. We have customers that come back to us from 20 years ago. That just blows my mind. And it makes you realize you’re doing the right thing.”