Franchising Today - Fall 2016 - 69

SIR GROUT

	 Customers	began	asking	what	other	services	the	new	
company	could	offer	and	Gill	learned	of	a	grout	coloring	
and	sealing	product	developed	by	a	company	in	Florida.	
Around	the	same	time,	Gill	was	trying	to	bring	Lindberg	
into	 the	 business.	 However,	 Lindberg	 worried	 competitors	 could	 easily	 duplicate	 Sir	 Grout's	 steam	 cleaning	
service.	"Initially,	I	thought	Jeff	was	crazy	with	the	grout	
business,"	he	says.	Then	≠≠Lindberg	traveled	to	Florida	
and	saw	the	product	in	action.	"When	we	both	saw	this	
coloring	technique	it	was	an	'ah-ha'	moment,"	he	says.
	 Lindberg	was	confident	the	coloring	and	sealing	would	
set	Sir	Grout	apart.	The	first	Sir	Grout	locations	opened	
in	 New	 York/New	 Jersey	 and	 Connecticut	 markets	 in	
2007,	just	as	the	recession	began.	Despite	this,	the	business	 proved	 to	 be	 resilient	 to	 economic	 downturns.		
"People	 still	 want	 to	 take	 care	 of	 their	 homes	 but	 they	
can't	spend	a	lot	of	money,"	Gill	says.	"We	were	an	inexpensive	high-end	result	that	they	could	afford	to	do."
	 "We	 had	 people	 ready	 to	 sign	 up	 before	 we	 had	 our	
UFOC	[uniform	franchise	circular]	together,"	Lindberg	
says	of	the	early	excitement	over	Sir	Grout.	The	company	now	has	38	locations	in	15	states	and	Singapore.	It	has	
also	expanded	its	services	to	include	hard	surface	restoration.	"We	morphed	into	hard	surface	just	by	listening	
to	our	customers,"	Lindberg	adds.	"They	pulled	us	into	
new	directions."

any	 support	 they	 need.	 The	 entire	 process	 is	 highly	 automated.	"If	you	have	Internet	access	you	have	access	to	
everything	you	need	in	the	organization,"	Gill	says.	
	 After	 finding	 a	 way	 to	 disrupt	 the	 grout	 market,	 the	
company	is	now	turning	its	attention	to	the	tile	industry	
with	 a	 new	 concept	 called	 Restyle	 Your	 Tile.	 "Tom	 and	
I	are	releasing	what	we	feel	is	the	most	state-of-the-art	
process	in	the	tile	and	grout	industry,"	Gill	says.	
	 The	company	is	utilizing	a	thin,	Italian	porcelain	product	 that	 allows	 it	 to	 redo	 bathrooms	 without	 the	 need	
for	 demolition.	 As	 a	 result,	 Restyle	 Your	 Tile	 can	 have	
the	same	impact	as	a	bath	re-fitter,	but	with	a	higher-end	
product	 at	 the	 same	 cost	 and	 timeframe.	 Existing	 Sir	
Grout	locations	began	offering	Restyle	Your	Tile	services	
in	March	but	the	company	hopes	to	spin	it	off	into	a	separate	franchise	next	year.
	 "Our	plan	is	to	revolutionize	the	tile	restoration	industry	by	all	but	eliminating	the	need	to	rip	tiles	and	walls	
out,"	Gill	says.	"We	think	we	have	something	new	here.	
We	know	we	do."	

Controlling CommuniCation
Sir	Grout	prides	itself	on	being	a	stickler	for	service.	The	
company	 operates	 its	 own	 in-house	 call	 center	 where	
customers	 are	 guaranteed	 to	 talk	 to	 a	 real	 person	 every	
time	they	dial	Sir	Grout's	number	during	business	hours.	
Ninety-three	percent	of	calls	are	answered	within	three	
rings.	"Missed	phone	calls	are	missed	opportunities,"	Gill	
says.	"Missed	opportunities	are	lack	of	revenue."
	 The	goal	is	for	the	call	center	to	resolve	customer	issues	within	one	phone	call	with	a	single	representative.	
"Most	 people	 won't	 call	 a	 competitor	 if	 they	 get	 everything	satisfied	with	the	first	phone	call,"	Gill	explains.
	 Having	control	of	the	customer	service	process	is	important.	Sir	Grout	handles	all	communication	on	the	corporate	end.	"We	take	all	the	phone	calls	because	we	want	
to	optimize	the	customers'	experience,"	Lindberg	says.
	 The	corporate	team's	involvement	allows	the	franchisee	to	focus	on	running	their	business.	When	customers	
request	an	appointment,	whether	by	phone	or	online,	the	
corporate	team	sets	all	of	the	appointments	and	work	for	
the	franchisee.	Field	crews	can	also	contact	corporate	for	
FALL 2016

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Franchising Today - Fall 2016

Contents
Franchising Today - Fall 2016 - Cover1
Franchising Today - Fall 2016 - Cover2
Franchising Today - Fall 2016 - 1
Franchising Today - Fall 2016 - Contents
Franchising Today - Fall 2016 - 3
Franchising Today - Fall 2016 - 4
Franchising Today - Fall 2016 - 5
Franchising Today - Fall 2016 - 6
Franchising Today - Fall 2016 - 7
Franchising Today - Fall 2016 - 8
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Franchising Today - Fall 2016 - Cover3
Franchising Today - Fall 2016 - Cover4
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