|Mr. Rogers shakes hands with Jim Powell, his first customer, 20 years after Mr. Powell gave a young man with a lot of heart a chance to do things right.|
Even so, the replacement window business grabbed him hook, line, and sinker. You see, Gerry had proven his character and values to Jim Powell, the very first customer who took a chance on him. Powell believed Gerry would live up to his promise of doing whatever it took to satisfy him.
"I just told him the truth," said Rogers. "I told him I would do the work right… and Jim's heart went out to us, and he gave me the chance to make it right. That's the feeling I want with every customer."
The day he made that promise to Jim Powell, he realized how it felt to be able to do what he said he was going to do. He grew more determined than ever to help homeowners with their window purchases and make a difference by doing it right.
The next few years Gerry devoted every waking minute to overcoming the business challenges he acquired. He took two moonlighting jobs (delivering newspapers in the morning and pizzas at night) and enlisted the strength and support of his family to get the window business on its feet. His brothers and sisters actually came to work for him, visiting homeowners and calling prospects on the telephone.
Finally his perseverance began to pay off. Customers noticed Gerry's unquestionable commitment to their satisfaction, and Gerry understood how important it was for customers to believe his commitment, because he had witnessed first-hand the dubious practices of other window companies.
His next realization was that people wanted a tangible, shopping experience – a place they could go to see actual, life-size windows. So he opened a small window showroom, set up operations, and continued to work hard to ensure complete and unconditional customer satisfaction.
By 1995 Gerry formalized his Lifetime Performance Guarantee, changed the company's name to Mr. Rogers Windows, and became your neighborhood window replacement guy. He continued providing what any friend, neighbor or family member would – his sincere help and a commitment to do the right thing.
You know how sometimes it feels like everything just falls into place? Well, the business model clicked, and Gerry had his formula for success. Over the next several years, Mr. Rogers Windows achieved double-digit growth and the company expanded.
True to an entrepreneurial spirit, Rogers acted on the feeling that it was time to invest in property on which he could develop his own building from the ground up. As luck – and hard work – would have it, Gerry struck a favorable real estate deal, hired an architect and was poised to truly plant his roots in the community with enough space to manage his growing fleet of installation vehicles and inventory instead of using public storage. The business was thriving, Mr. Rogers Windows’ reputation was well respected and in May of 2000 the new facility opened.
Managing inventory and operating a showroom and sales business from a single neighborhood center was not the ideal solution, especially when his installation vehicles were taking over the street corner.
Plus, Gerry was ready to realize another part of his vision. He had now spent 15 years honing a series of predictable, trainable, repeatable processes for success in every area of his window and door business – from sales and administration to installation to service – Gerry was ready to share the information. He needed a venue to promote a more reliable, ethical home improvement industry as well as to train his employees and associates for future expansion.
With these objectives in mind, Gerry purchased another building to accomplish the dual purpose of a warehouse and fleet management location as well as his training center: Mr. Rogers University.
In 2006, Gerry successfully expanded: Mr. Rogers Windows Charlotte, North Carolina. He brought highly-trained salespeople and installers, his Lifetime Performance Guarantee, and Renewal by Andersen FIBREX windows to the growing Charlotte metro area.
Even with expansion, you won't find that Gerry has lost any passion for his desire to do the right thing. When his first customer, Jim Powell, called with a window problem, 17 years later, Gerry was there and took care of the problem for free.
"We built a team of good people, we carry the right products, and I still lead them to do the right thing. I still get that satisfied feeling in my heart and so does our whole team," says Rogers.