First impression is everything. Before our customers even get an opportunity to see how LeafFilter performs at their own home, they’ve already formed an impression based on their interaction with the team that handles their installation. However, the install team isn’t just a local endeavor… there are local, regional, and corporate representatives working hard to ensure that the installation process is going smoothly day in and day out. Recently, we sat down with Scott Garbe, National Director of Installation, to discuss what makes this big team so special.
Our Installation Team Consists Of:
· Regional Directors of Installation
· Corporate Installation Managers
· Corporate Trainers
· Corporate Field Trainers
· Installation Managers
· Assistant Installation Managers
· Installation Admins
· Field Trainers
· Service Technicians
Scott Garbe: I am the National Director of Installation. I oversee the installation department, and I’ve been here a little over ten years.
LeafFilter: Your department is pretty big, correct?
Scott: Yes, there are four Regional Directors that work directly under me, and then you have twenty regional managers. Under them is all your installation managers, assistant install managers, service techs, trainers, admins, all the local personnel.
LeafFilter: That’s awesome! What is it that makes your department so important to the success of LeafFilter as a company?
Scott: The business of installing, providing customer service, providing customers with a quality product… Really, that’s often what leaves the greatest impression on customers.
LeafFilter: What are the biggest challenges faced by your department?
Scott: One of the challenges we always face is recruiting. Finding those installers is the hardest part. With marketing, as it goes up and down, this leads to workload changes on the local level. It’s never slow, we keep steady, but we do face those peaks where there are a lot of installs needed. If the estimate team sells any amount one day, we strive to be available to install that exact amount the next day. But, really, we want to have the capacity to do same-day installs. That is our goal.
LeafFilter: That’s awesome! I know you have been here for ages… are there any other people on the team that have been with the company for years?
Scott: On the local level? We do have Dave Jenson, he’s the Regional Installation Manager in Maryland, who has been here since June of 2010. Steve Saller in Nashville, he was actually my replacement in Chicago when I moved here. He moved from Chicago to Charlotte for a little bit and then settled into Nashville, so he started in August of 2010.
LeafFilter: That’s so cool! We are so lucky to have them on our team.
Scott: We are! And Rene Bermond out in Philly started in South Jersey in 2011. Those are our most tenured managers out in the field.
LeafFilter: Sounds like there’s a lot of opportunity there, both in terms of growth and in exploring different areas. You started in the field, correct?
Scott: I did. And, really, the biggest take away from starting there was the importance of recruiting, time management, and multitasking. When you’re able to multitask and you’re diligent with time management, that allows you the time to recruit. That sort of organization is essential to success.
LeafFilter: When it comes to recruiting, what kind of backgrounds do most of our installers come from?
Scott: Well, since we can train them, we mostly look for a general set of skills. Construction knowledge, satellite installation, cable installation, window washing, roofing, siding… there are a lot of different backgrounds that have produced some incredible installers over the years.
LeafFilter: There are a lot of different skills that can be gleaned from those backgrounds. I know we install all year — what makes that process successful? I know we chip out debris by hand and use an ice melt.
Scott: Correct! It may take a little longer for us to do jobs because of the circumstances. However, for a customer, that’s a good thing to have done in the winter. For one, we’re reinforcing the gutter. Any potential they had for their gutters or fascia to come off the house because of the weight of snow and ice is addressed.
LeafFilter: And that’s a good time for our team to keep busy, because many outdoor industries consider that to be the off-season.
Scott: For other industries, it is. And for us it’s not slow, but it is a slower pace. So we take that season to retrain individuals that should see new techniques or brush up on skills, and really just to develop our local teams more than anything.
LeafFilter: It’s important to never stop learning.
Scott: We agree, and that focus on developing skills has allowed us to retain that core group of installers. And focusing on skillbuilding has led to many of them moving into service tech positions, to trainer positions, and we even have some now that are install managers. People have moved from the field to corporate.
LeafFilter: And how about the newbies — what’s it like as a new recruit on the install team?
Scott: When we hire new managers, we bring them all to corporate and they work with Matt Burichin. He’s a Corporate Trainer. He trains them on all of our processes, we have our manual or handbook that he goes through with them. It’s essentially a week of classroom training.
LeafFilter: That’s great! Education really is at the heart of your team.
Scott: And from there, it continues, depending on if it’s a new office opening. If they are joining our team with a new office, we may send them to another team just to see that flow. As simple as we make the job and processes, there are a lot of moving parts and moving pieces.
LeafFilter: And what if they join an existing office? What additional training would they receive?
Scott: The training process in an existing office, you’ll get them in, we’ll train them at corporate, then we’ll put them in the office and they will have a Regional with them for three weeks. It may have a floating Installation Manager there as well. But, all in all, we give them four to six weeks of training.
LeafFilter: Awesome! For the new offices, then, team members would typically start training about a month in advance.
Scott: Yes, we do try to get them in about a month early. Some of the managers in those new offices, however, have already been here a couple months.
LeafFilter: I know LeafFilter is a unique product, as other styles of gutter protection may install under shingles or may just be a one piece system, necessitating the removal of old gutters. Have you encountered any surprise when installers or managers realize how different it is?
Scott: I think most people that come in to talk to us about installing have a little understand of what the product is, but they are typically surprised when they see a piece of the product in person. “Oh, this is not what I’m used to seeing,” they’ll say. Most of them are used to seeing DIY gutter protection from box stores, like the kind a handyman would use. When they see something like LeafFilter… it’s impressive and surprising to them, but they always meet it with an enthusiastic, “No problem!”
LeafFilter: I know a lot of the real challenge with installing LeafFilter is the kind faced by any handyman, homeowner, or contractor… it’s reaching those hard-to-reach gutters, reaching gutters higher than two or three stories…
Scott: Yep, every home is unique. There are times that we have poor access to areas, and they may have to grab a harness and tie off and have a rope to do it off the roof. There are times we get boom lifts in to get people into areas safely. So there definitely are those situations where we need different equipment and different safety measures to get the job done. And that really is a big part of what we do; we strive to keep homeowners’ feet safe on the ground, and we aim to keep safety as the number one priority of our own team of professionals.
LeafFilter: Absolutely. Is there anything else people should know about your team?
Scott: Customer service is another huge portion of what we do. When you think about installation, we’re not just installing the product. We’re diving into addressing existing problems, we’re collecting the money, and we also handle post-install customer service. Concerns, questions, issues, anything that may arise, we’re here for.
This team is integral to LeafFilter’s success and customer relations. Know someone who would be perfect for this job? Direct them to LeafFilter.com/Careers to join our team!