Rather read? Here’s the full interview!

Can you tell us about your background in the industry?

Jim: So why don’t we start the conversation off by giving me a little bit of your background- where you started within the industry, why you got into it, how long you’ve been doing this, and fill everyone in who doesn’t know you.

Ross: I got into the industry when I was in college. I was doing an internship with a construction company and just feel in love with the roofing, siding, and remodeling side of the industry. I did a couple of internships, graduated, and thought, “I’ve got to get a job with my degree”. So, six months after I was in, I was actually in logistics, I hopped back out of that. I went back into the industry, started the company, and really focused on doing the right thing. That means making sure customers are served properly, and that we’re installing things how they should be installed.

Why do you think it’s so hard for the industry to buy into digital?

Jim: There tends to be this notion in the industry that we do it this way because “that’s the way we’ve always done it". You swam upstream and said that’s not the way we’re going to work, we’re going to do things the right way. With that context, you are one of the only true roofers who has embraced digital to its fullest extent. Why do you think that is? Why do you think it’s so hard for the industry to buy into digital in general?

Ross: I think it’s hard for the industry to buy into that because I call the remodeling, roofing, siding, gutters, windows industry, archaic, almost. It’s behind the times. It takes ten years for someone to really adapt and use a piece of technology and for the competitors to use a piece of technology as well. We embrace digital and we embrace all the tools and the technology because that’s what our consumers want. That’s how they want to be communicated with, that’s how they want to find us, and that’s where we want to be. We want to be right in front of them whenever we can.

What has it been like to work with the Spectrum team?

Jim: What has it been like our work with our [Spectrum] team? What has it brought your business in terms of efficiency? What were some of those things that maybe you anticipated coming into this relationship? What are some things that you didn’t see coming, and it’s been one of these positive secondary or tertiary benefits of having this relationship?

Ross: We’re a forward-thinking company and we’re always trying to be ahead of the curve, and Spectrum is as well. We’re always teaming up and coming up with ideas saying, “Can we do this?” and the answer is typically yes. So, it’s a really good thing to work on as a partnership and it truly does feel like a partnership. And that’s what it should be, you know, it’s not just a website.

Another thing that we weren’t expecting, was being able to score those leads and identify more so who our ideal customer is. Who the ideal Cochran Exterior customer is and identifying them through data points. And that’s something that if you ask any other contractor around, “who is your ideal customer by demographics?” they wouldn’t be able to tell you.

Jim: Or they’ll give you their gut reaction and sometimes, we both know that’s not always 100% correct.

Ross: Yes, and we weren’t able to do that before. But now we have a really good idea of who our ideal customer is, so we can make a lot of decisions off of that now.

What Can We Expect from Cochran Exteriors in 2019?

Jim: When you boil down Cochran Exteriors, really and truly, it’s a business that one, cares about the community, two, cares about its customers, and three, cares about its reputation and its place within that community. So, it’s not just that you embrace digital, it’s not one of those things that makes you successful. I think it’s a combination of all of those factors, and it’s not easily repeatable. So, I want to commend you on building a fantastic business, and what you guys have done. We love having you guys as a partner. So, what can we be on the lookout for in 2019? What new things are coming to Cochran? What should we be on the lookout for?

Ross: We’re always trying to better our customers’ experience and giving them the option of how they would like to buy. So, for our customers, since we do have such a great location, we’re going to be inviting those customers in and have more of a digital and design session with an estimate. Instead of just an estimate on a piece of paper, we want to be able to provide that service at no cost. We want to give an insight, with a 3D model, to what the project is going to look like afterwards. Sometimes you can’t get a good idea of what that’s going to look like off of a small sample board. We really want to use some visual tools to be able to provide that to them.

Also new to 2019, is going to be our window division. We’ve been training all of our staff, our install training, making sure that we know windows in and out, and we’ve already had some really good success stories.

Jim: I appreciate you sitting down with me. This is a little bit of a change of pace for us, and something that we’re trying to invest in by bringing quality contractors to the table, quality businesses to the table, talk about the industry, talk about their insights, and how we can actually help others grow. Because I think there’s a really large gap in quality content within this space, and it’s something we’re trying to do to help educate others, help entertain others, and help bring something that actually matters to them. I appreciate you being the first. Thank you for your time. Great talking with you.

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