Since acquiring the St. Louis affiliate of Renewal by Andersen in 2013, Paul Birner has grown the replacement window business from seven employees to more than 150 and from $7 million to $32 million in annual sales.
He attributes the growth in part to building a workplace where employees enjoy working and want to excel. And where everyone knows the customer is king.
“We had a really good core to begin with, and we’ve taken a lot of pains to hire the right people,” Birner said. “And even though we’ve grown, we’re still a family. Everyone here calls me by my first name and they know how important it is to me to keep our reputation top notch and to keep customer satisfaction high. We talk all the time about how we can improve our service to our customers because without our customers, we’re out of business.”
Renewal by Andersen of St. Louis was selected as one of 75 winners in the small employer category of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Top Workplaces contest. The company, a division of Minnesota-based Andersen Corp., a century-old window and door maker, touts a hassle-free process that includes an in-home consultation and custom-manufactured, energy-efficient replacement windows and doors that are professionally installed. A customer care specialist is assigned to keep the customer in the loop throughout the entire process.
Paul Birner himself makes it a point to call homeowners after each project is complete to make sure the job was done to the customer’s satisfaction. He also sends along a tin of chocolate chip cookies as a thank you.
If there’s a problem, he said, “we step up to the plate immediately to make it right.”
The St. Louis affiliate is among the highest-ranked in a nationwide network of more than 100 for customer satisfaction. In fact, it won the top corporate honor, the Green Diamond Award, five years running, Birner said. The success led him to move into two additional markets — Springfield, Mo., in 2017 and Memphis, Tenn., earlier this year.
Birner’s sons, Blake and Austin both work side by side with him daily. “Austin has done such a great job building our sales force,” Paul Birner said, adding that affiliates around the country send new employees to him for training. “They’re constantly sending people to shadow him for two or three days.”
What sets Renewal by Andersen apart as an employer is the emphasis Birner places on making sure his employees feel appreciated and like part of the family.
“We spend a lot of time thanking our employees,” said Birner, who received the top owner/general manager award last year at the corporate awards dinner. “Everyone here bleeds RBA and I love that. They feel like this is their company.”
From holiday parties and celebrations to monthly financial incentives designed to reward good work — such as exceptional customer service or superior workmanship — employees feel the spirit of partnership. “Everybody is motivated to do a good job,” Austin Birner said.
Last year, Paul Birner made an investment into his employees’ comfort, moving into a spacious and inviting facility in Maryland Heights that features all-new office furniture, flooring and technology. A state-of-the art warehouse features new racking systems, forklifts and a drive-through to make it easier for crews to load up for a job.
“We invested a lot of money into making it easier for everyone to come to work and to making sure they’re happy,” Birner said.
Visit rbastl.com/careers to join our team.