RainMaker Signs recently designed, printed and installed several murals and wall graphics for Fast Water Heater in Bothell, WA. It was a fascinating project that really brought their brand to life inside the organization. In the process, Jason Hanleybrown introduced me to the book "Double Double" by Cameron Herold which offers some great tips to double the size of your company and create an organization (and work place) that attracts top talent. Many of these wall graphics and mural projects were inspired by the book. I recommend it to anyone interested in growing a small to medium sized business.
Interview with Jason Hanleybrown - CEO Fast Water Heater
1.) Tell us a little bit about Fast Water Heater
Fast Water Heater Company installs all types of water heating equipment throughout Washington, Oregon and California. We have several warehouses in all of our major markets. We have our back office functions centralized in Bothell, Washington. In addition to water heating, we also partner with utilities to deliver various energy efficiency measures while we are at the customer’s home.
2.) I would guess the word "Fast" in your name is an indicator of what sets you apart from your competition. Is there more to the story about what makes Fast Water Heater's products and service special?
We are a Mission and Values driven company. Uncompromising Integrity and Caring for our customers are key values that we try to uphold every day. Usually when a customer calls us they are stressed out about not having hot water. We try to deliver a professional service that services the customer quickly but also with a degree of Professionalism and Caring that surpass our competition. And, we try to do all of this at a competitive price.
3.) The majority of our clients choose to work with RainMaker Signs for external marketing. You had something entirely different in mind when you contacted us. Tell us about your wall mural and graphics projects.
We wanted to accomplish two things with our wall murals – first have a large visual reminder about our core values that our employees see every day. So, we have interesting graphics that communicate our Mission and Values at our primary entry ways. In addition, one of our Values is “Enjoyment” – we want to create a positive and enjoyable work experience for our team members. For example, our call center is staffed by our Install Coordinators and our Satisfaction Experts; that tends to be very interested in sports. We noticed that people would often decorate their desks with sports paraphernalia – often even huge rival teams. Given there was already this fun spirit – we decided to run with that and we posted logos of the major teams around the room for all of the markets we service. We also created a decompress nook – we call it the “Pressure and Temperature Relief Area” which is a pun on water heating equipment – with a lounge chair and view of a mountain lake for employees to recompose themselves so they can re-energize and deliver A class service to our customers.
4) When/how did you develop the idea that visual communications are powerful tools to use inside your organization?
It really started a year ago. As we’ve grown, we’ve realized that while a great operations process is critical to high performance, to attract and retain great people we needed to spend a lot more time thinking about and creating a great culture that energizes people to take care of our customers. It started with little things like sending people cards on their birthdays or work anniversaries and continued to grow.
5.) What are some of the benefits of creating a remarkable work environment for your employees?
What we really want to do is to help our team enjoy their jobs more so they can deliver a great customer experience. We have high expectations for all of our team members; we need to help them meet those expectations by driving engagement and creating a fun work environment.
6.) There was such great energy in the room as we installed logos of professional sports teams above the work space of your sales team. It was clear your sales representatives take pride in the markets they serve. What has been their reaction to the new wall graphics?
The reaction overall has been very positive – they clearly appreciated the office upgrade. We encourage healthy competition and it’s lead to a few fun office rivalries. We have 49’ers fans AND Seahawk fans; we have a few Huskies on the team who snarl at the Ducks logo occasionally and as a Giants fan I personally get motivated by looking at the Dodgers logo.
7.) Many companies find themselves with interior windowless conference rooms. You opted to fill a full wall wth a mural. How has changing the interior of the room changed the use or dynamics in this room?
We went with a combination of our water themed company branding plus “Blue Sky”. The idea is to encourage out of the box “Blue Sky” thinking. It’s still new but I can tell you at a minimum it’s a lot nicer to have meetings in there now! (See our 1 min time lapse video of wall mural production and installation)
8.) It's exciting when a company defines a space in their office that is clearly for the benefit of employees and not directly or explicitly linked to operational efficiency. For one of our previous clients we installed wall graphics that deemed a particular chair as "The Chair of Creative Inspiration" . In your space, we installed a wall mural in a space now referred to as "The Pressure and Temperature Relief Area" Tell us more about your decision to create such a special place for your employees?
We expect our Installation Coordinators, Satisfaction Experts and our Accounting Team to deliver best in class customer service – even when we are dealing with a difficult customer. And, when you install 20,000 water heaters per year you will get a few difficult customers. Most people who call us start off upset because they really didn’t plan on taking a cold shower than morning. So, sometimes they get to us already upset simply because they are having a bad day. Our goal is to turn what starts off as an unpleasant experience into a best in class customer experience. So, we train our teams on listening skills; we motivate our field teams worksmanship but also on customer satisfaction.
And occasionally, when you have a particularly challenging customer – it helps to take a break before you move onto the next customer so that you can keep delivering that service level.
9.) Why did you choose to work with RainMaker Signs? How would you describe your experience working with Rainmaker Signs? Would you recommend RainMaker Signs to others?
I chose RainMaker for two reasons: 1) I trusted they would deliver a low hassle professional service and they did. They were proactive about how they managed the project even redoing one section because they weren’t happy with the work – without us even mentioning it and 2) They were well priced for the level of service they provided. I would definitely recommend them for both reasons.
10.) How can interested readers find out more about your business?
Visit us online at www.fastwaterheater.com – we would love the opportunity to serve you!
Thank you Jason for being so generous with your time and sharing your insights with our readers. Most companies only think of their brand for outbound marketing and miss an opportunity to leverage their brands within their own organizations.
Find more images of Fast Water Heaters wall murals and graphics project by checking out the individual projects the portfolio tab above or the Main Lobby Wall Mural project here..
Our blog is loaded with informative interviews and information on digitally printed wall graphics and murals by reading Everything You Need to Know About Wall Graphics or How to Achieve Great Wall Graphics - Start to Finish.
RainMaker Signs specializes in wide format services including wall graphics, wall murals and vehicle wraps. You've got an opportunity and we've got the expertise to help you maximize your advertising and visual communications. Together we can create powerful visual impressions to grow your business.
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