Bowa Builders Inc., a large-scale residential construction firm in McLean, Virginia, isn't big on advertising. Instead, the company--which had 2005 sales of about $38 million--has found that its best marketers are its 90 employees, who deliver on the company's pledge of "heroic customer service."
Co-founders Josh Baker and Larry Weinberg, both 42, make sure employees take the commitment seriously. They only hire builders who enjoy interacting with clients. Then, they reinforce the message during a new hire's orientation and through internal newsletters, performance reviews, and quarterly awards for those demonstrating good customer service and other core company values like integrity.
Today, 90 percent of business comes from repeat customers or referrals. "People are shocked when they're talking to a friend who says what a great experience they've had with a remodeler," says Weinberg. "It really differentiates us."