Saturday, September 22nd, 2018

S Shopper Stories


PREMIER ROOFING AND SIDING

Embracing a hands-on approach to customer service

by Rob Lauer


General Manager Ann Strader and Owner Pam Standish of  Premier Roofing and Siding.

General Manager Ann Strader and Owner Pam Standish of Premier Roofing and Siding.

Recently, Pam Standish drove to the Hickory area of Chesapeake to deliver a pay check to an employee who was there installing windows in a client’s home. Since assuming sole ownership of Premier Roofing and Siding following the untimely death of her husband, Jeff, Pam has made a point of spending more time in the field where her team of skilled installers are hard at work.

Arriving in Hickory and inspecting the work in progress, she immediately saw that something seemed askew. “Why has so much siding been removed?” she asked the installer. “We’re just replacing windows.”


“When I commit to a job, I’m all-in.
I don’t care if something
is part of my job description or not:
if it needs to be done, I’ll do it.”

—Ann Strader


A closer examination revealed that a portion of the wood hidden beneath the siding had deteriorated with time, and needed replacing. It was an unexpected find—one that could have serious repercussions to the house’s structural integrity later on. Pam knew the issue needed to be addressed immediately. Ascertaining what materials were needed to repair the damaged area, she hopped back into her truck, made the trip to get the replacement wood and immediately  returned with it. The home owner was impressed. “I was just at Home Depot,” he said; “I could have bought the wood myself.” Pam wouldn’t hear of it: Premier Roofing and Siding had been hired to do the job, and she wasn’t about to inconvenience a client.

Pam’s hands-on approach represents a major change from when she became the sole owner of the company following Jeff’s death. Initially, in dealing with the shock of losing her husband, she was reticent to involve herself in such matters. After all, Jeff had been the skilled roofer and installer, while she had devoted her efforts on keeping the company’s books and overseeing its finances. Finally, after having a personal epiphany, she decided to become  involved in all aspects of the business. Any apprehensions that some clients may have had about a woman running a company in the traditionally male-dominated field quickly evaporated as they saw her take-charge, hands-on, doing-what’s-best-for-the-customer attitude.

But Pam insists that any credit for Premier’s continued growth and success must be shared with Ann Strader, who now serves as the company’s general manager. The two women’s friendship began when Ann was only eight years old.

“When Jeff and I moved to Hampton Roads from upstate New York, we bought the house next door to Ann’s family,” Pam explains. “Ann and her sister were close in age to our daughters, so they really clicked as friends.”

Years later as an adult, Ann was a busy stay-at-home mom who, nevertheless, wanted to work outside of the home. “My brother-in-law was a sales rep here at Premier,” Ann relates. “He knew that I wanted to do something more, so when Jeff and Pam were looking for a receptionist, he suggested that I apply for the job. I did, and was hired. But I’m not someone who can sit still and twiddle her thumbs when things are slow. When I commit to a job, I’m all-in. I don’t care if something is part of my job description or not: if it needs to be done, I’ll do it.  Soon, Jeff realized that, and he started giving me more responsibilities.”

“Sometimes, Jeff would ask for a report on this or that,” Pam remembers. “I wouldn’t know where to begin looking for the information, but Ann would figure out how to get those reports done. When she began working for us, we were literally handwriting everything. Ann brought us fully into the digital age; she upgraded our whole operation. I am so grateful to now have her as our general manager.”

“Both Ann and I have been hands-on,” Pam continues. “Recently, we hired a production manager to oversee the work being done out in the field, but whenever we’re needed, we’re out there, too—meeting home owners, and answering their questions. In a sense, I’m just carrying on Jeff’s way of doing things. People were always asking him why he was involved in all aspects of the company’s business. His answer was always: ‘Who else is going to do it?’ As the co-owner of Premier Roofing and Siding, he was very hands-on.”


“Both Ann and I have been hands-on...whenever we’re needed,
we’re out there, too—
meeting home owners,
and answering their questions.”

—Pam Standish


Such an approach necessitates having an in-depth knowledge of the latest products available, of the ever-evolving advances being made in materials used throughout the industry, not to mention knowing the tell-tale signs that indicate when a house needs new windows, roofing or siding.  As women working in a traditionally male-dominated business, do Pam and Ann get any push back from customers?

“We really don’t run into those situations anymore,” Ann replies. “I think that men in general have accepted the fact that women now work in all sorts of jobs.”

“We know our materials and our products,” Pam says with a smile. “We have a terrific team in place, and we have a 29-year history of offering great service—so, we go into any situation with a lot of confidence.”

A fan of Star Wars, Ann raises her arms in the air and declares, “The Padawan become Jedi!”
The two share a laugh. “We make a lot of  Star Wars references around here,” Pam confesses with her trademark warm smile.


“We have a lot of repeat customers—
which we think is a positive reflection
of the caliber of service we offer.
As of now, we have installed
roofing, siding or windows
on over 7,000 local homes.”

—Pam Standish


Picking up on the Star Wars theme, one could conclude, given their satisfied customers, that the Force has indeed been with Pam and Ann.

“Siding is a major purchase that most people may only make once in a lifetime,” she continues. “So, we always strive to meet and exceed customers’ expectations. Today they might need siding, but if they need new roofing or windows in the future, we want them to come to us.  We send out a yearly ‘Thank you’ letter to all of our customers, offering them a discount on their next purchase.”

“We have a lot of repeat customers—which we think is a positive reflection of the caliber of service we offer,” Ann adds. “As of now, we have installed roofing, siding or windows on over 7,000 local homes.”

“I am very happy that we’ve not only kept the business going, but that we’re continuing to grow,” Pam beams. “We have great expectations for the future.”




Premier Roofing and Siding Contractors, Inc.

1215 Bainbridge Blvd.
Chesapeake, VA 23324

757-543-8958
http://www.premierroofingandsiding.com