Ask Kevin Hunter how his company has survived and thrived for more than 35 years, and his answer comes without hesitation: doing the right thing. Hunter, who is the president of Windows, Doors & More, talks about people before he talks about products. He conducts business based on The Golden Rule – treat others as you want to be treated – and time after time, the company earns customers.
“I just want to do the right thing,” says Hunter. “Home is a really personal space for people. It’s their refuge, so they need someone who cares. We show them we care by making sure every job is done right, using excellent products and only sending people I would use in my own home.”
Windows, Doors & More opened in 1983 as the factory store for Home Guard Industries, a local manufacturer of replacement windows, entry doors and security doors. Over time, its reach has far surpassed its name, and Windows, Doors & More has become a full-service remodeling business. Customers browsing the showroom will find kitchen and bathroom finishes, siding, roofing, decks and flooring. In fact, the unique showroom features five life-sized housing facades that allow Windows, Doors & More to showcase every area it touches.
“People tell us all the time that there’s nothing like our showroom anywhere in the country,” says Hunter. “It really gives us the ability to highlight everything we do.”
The products featured represent some of the best available, according to Hunter. Home Guard windows and doors, for example, are made to withstand even more severe weather environments than that of this region, so they perform well over a long time span.
“Because we are affiliated with locally-manufactured Home Guard products,” says Hunter, “we are the beneficiary of some of the strongest manufactured doors and the best finishes available. It’s wonderful to be able to buy products that are made for much harsher climates than Fort Wayne.”
Even with the best products, however, building a solid business and thriving for three and a half decades also requires having the best people to represent them, design around them and install them.
“Our people make the difference,” says Hunter. “You can have all the right systems, but without the right people, it won’t last.”
To Hunter, his employees are just as important as his customers. He’s extremely pleased that many have been with Windows, Doors & More for more than twenty years, an infrequent occurrence elsewhere in the industry. Hunter believes that treating them like family and rewarding their efforts make the difference.
When employees are treated well, they do the same for their customers. That’s just human nature, but it’s also good for business.
“It’s about more than selling products,” says Hunter. “We’ve built relationships with our customers that you wouldn’t believe. When you start working with us, you just might end up as more than a customer.”
Throughout the design, product selection and installation processes, Windows, Doors & More personnel spend a lot of time with their customers. As they help customers re-envision their homes, they get to know their likes, dislikes, wants and needs. They frequently develop lasting friendships, and more than once, a Windows, Doors & More employee has slipped away to help a customer perform a task or an odd job that fell outside the scope of the project at hand.
“When there was a need, I know some of our people have helped customers get their homes back in order [after a remodel],” says Hunter. “I’ve actually mowed a customer’s grass.”
Hunter continues, “What it comes down to is that people don’t want to know how much we know. They want to know how much we care.”
Over its 35 years of existence, Windows, Doors & More has touched more than 40,000 homes within a 60-mile radius of Fort Wayne. More than two-thirds of installations come from referrals and repeat business, and that’s Hunter’s biggest measure of success.
“I’m really grateful that so many people in this region have entrusted us with their homes,” says Hunter.
Of course, Hunter backs up his solid people principles with solid business principles.
“We’ve been really strategic with our growth,” he explains. “We pay for things as we go and borrow as little as possible. When we do, we pay it back as quickly as we can.”
In addition, Windows, Doors & More sells only fairly priced, high quality products. Unlike many other companies in the same industry, it also guarantees price quotes for 60 days. Hunter and his team operate as transparently as possible.
“Remodeling can be a roller coaster for people, so how we communicate and handle adversity is important,” says Hunter. “We have to set expectations, and then we have to handle them.”
Windows, Doors & More employees do as much as they can to make sure customers are happy. When a job is done, employees call to follow up, and they also survey every Windows, Doors & More customer.
“We really strive to do right by our customers and provide them with a great experience,” reiterates Hunter.
As Windows, Doors & More celebrates 35 years in business, punctuated by nineteen consecutive years of fiscal growth, Hunter says the secret to the company’s success is actually no secret at all.
“The Golden Rule really works,” he says. “If you can truly love your neighbor as yourself, it makes your business decisions so much easier.”
Hunter and the team at Windows, Doors & More will continue to build customers’ trust one project at a time, one relationship at a time – just as they always have.
Address: 1121 W. Washington Center Road Fort Wayne, Indiana 46825
Phone: (260) 399-6037