Washington Energy Services: Right at home.
By Cameron Poague / Master Builders Association
I met him, Brian, inside the cozy confines of Washington Energy Services’ deceptively large office/warehouse in Lynnwood. For those who have never been, or haven’t been to Lynnwood in a while, the word I would use to describe the city is busy. Washington Energy Services, located on a busy street, is surrounded by busy fast food joints and other assorted nondescript businesses, which I’m sure are also busy. There’s a Fred Meyer nearby. Busy. Then again, busy is the norm in our region. And while all this is happening outside, like the Washington Energy business plan, it’s what’s inside that matters.
Trust comes from knowing your Washington Energy craftsman is going to have an answer, the right answer, to any question you have.
I’m thankful to be inside now, away from the bustle and awash in the welcoming glow of the lobby that makes me feel welcome right off the bat. What exactly is producing this cozy glow? I’m not sure. All I know is that I’m glad they have it.
Having it is maybe what Washington Energy does best. What is ‘it’? It’s many things, the most apparent thing being that they are a warm and welcoming company, not unlike some of the products they sell for happy homes across the Puget Sound region. For 60 years, they’ve been doing HVAC and plumbing, along with windows, doors, insulation, and siding. Home improvement contractors extraordinaire. This year, 2017, is their diamond anniversary. It takes many things to hang around for 60 years, including expert customer care, along with that warm and welcoming spirit I mentioned. Washington Energy prides itself on ensuring clients are nothing but happy after a transaction. In fact, happy is just the baseline for what they’re going for and they’re very persistent about it. If, by rare chance, something goes wrong, it will be made right.
And guess what? This intense level of care makes them very busy. But not too busy for you.
This is where the Customer Happiness position comes back into the fold. Brian’s job is to do just as his title says. One of the things he is most proud of is the fact that more than one customer has been so impressed with one thing or another, oftentimes the whole thing, that they took the time to actually draft an old-fashioned letter meant to be transported via physical mail—a thing so unheard of nowadays that it truly is impressive.
Impressive is also a word I could use to describe the warehouse I’m now touring. Many people walk briskly by, transfixed by some task I know not, other than the fact that it’s important based on their pace.
People doing their jobs are prompted to acknowledge me, all pleasantly, mind you, and maybe tell a brief story about how a customer helped them realize how much they loved working for the company. It would seem almost contrived had not everyone been so convincing and animated in their regalement.
It’s cool to care
Here’s one story. David works in the field. One day he was called out to a senior man’s home. We’ll call him William. William had a simple request. He wanted to add heating to a new room addition. However, the room didn’t exist yet. And it never would. William, it turns out, had dementia and was confused about the state of things. David sat William down and, for three hours, talked about probably many things, but mainly the fact that William did not need any services at all. Total charge for this time and visit: $0.
For 60 years, Washington Energy Services has been doing HVAC and plumbing, along with windows, doors, insulation, and siding.
Here’s another story. In 1957, Ballard-born H. “Vern” Olson had a vision. That vision was Northwest Water Heater Exchange, which at the time was a small family business powered by superior customer service. When the company saw the opportunity to purchase Washington Energy Services and become an all-in-one entity offering product ownership, installation, and that same superior customer service, they took it. It’s what they called the “all in one call” business model, and it worked. They still do everything in house, including permits.
Washington Energy is also still family owned, just a bit bigger in company size, client scope, and, I’m assuming, warehouse square footage. There are many items getting ready to ship out inside the warehouse on the day of my visit, among them some beautifully crafted wood doors—made of both real and engineered wood. How do you decide which one? It’s whichever one works best for you. They’ll let you know. They do tailored windows and doors, along with HVAC and plumbing, often working with historic homes to seamlessly match the original components while creating a custom seal for all of the perfectly replicated traditional charm with none of the traditional problems of living in an old house.
Home Energy Audits: know them, love them, live them
New or old—pardon, historic—Washington Energy wants to make your home great. When you call them up for whatever services you need, one of the first things they’ll say they’d like to do is to perform a Home Energy Audit; the capitalization means you should pay attention. These Home Energy Audits are pretty advanced, using terms like depressurize, infrared imaging, and computerized analysis. Basically, one of their experts tests your home for potential health and safety issues, including air leaks, heat loss (or gain), and basement and crawlspace oddities. The whole point is to pinpoint exactly where you’re losing money or suffering from potential health hazards so that these things can be fixed and you can live in comfort in a home that has been made (or remade) for you. The audits are extremely thorough and the auditors know exactly what they’re talking about and how to answer every question. Refreshing.
On the business side of things, a Home Energy Audit acts as a kind of incentive for companies who may want to do business with WES. For example, real estate agents may give the gift of an audit to a client as a thank you. Multi-family complexes, HOAs, and condo associations find flexibility in the rebates they receive and know homeowners will like the new, lighter look and feel of their bills. Whatever need you present, whatever want you aspire to see come to light, Washington Energy Services has a department—or dedicated individual—whose sole job is to make sure you get exactly that. The community relations team, for example, doesn’t throw out a 1-800 number. They want you to call them directly for all your single-family and multi-family home energy needs—so do that, and be happy.
I am HVAC
Washington Energy Services—never heard of them? You have now. They’ve been making the Puget Sound work for 60 years. WES customers save an average of 21 percent on their utility bills. Find Washington Energy Services at mbaks.com and washingtonenergy.com.
Oh, and about that word ‘expert.’ The employees here really are experts in their field, as training is intense and crafted toward making one a true specialist. In fact, they call themselves craftsmen—technicians who have done it all and are ready for whatever you throw at them. The window guys live and breathe windows. Same goes for the door people, furnace pros, etc. Most employees have been working in a specific category for more than a decade.
When you want windows, trust comes from knowing your WES window craftsman is going to have an answer, the right answer, to any question you have—even if it’s not the answer you want to hear at the time. They’re looking after you and your home’s long-term care.
All this work has saved their customers an average of 21 percent off their utility bills. And we all know how great saving money is. What’s even greater, maybe, is having peace of mind and control of home.
Of course, Washington Energy does all the surface level things a prominent company should do. Products and services are personally guaranteed by the CEO. They recycle materials, they provide employees healthy snack options, they have free estimate guarantees. They’re philanthropic. People get excited to come to work each day. Many new sales come from referrals. That’s not a coincidence.
It’s not the money, it’s the home
Hang around with this crew long enough and you’ll hear some favorite philosophical phrases such as “There isn’t one way to do things, but there is a right way.” Customers’ needs come first, and sometimes that means simply sitting down and talking with someone (like William) or being heard (as Brian is there for). Sometimes it’s not wasting time, energy, and money on solutions that won’t solve the problem (as a Home Energy Audit will help prevent) or simply having a friendly, approachable face and warm, welcoming lobby.
Maybe it’s all these things, which Washington Energy has in spades, along with the doors, the windows, the HVAC systems, the attitude and aptitude you want, and the confidence you need that they’ll give you a product or solution that works.
It’s like we already know each other
Washington Energy Services—heard of them? You have now. They’re your Puget Sound friend and neighbor. Give them a call anytime—they have live people ready to take calls after hours—and tell them what you’re looking for. They’ll have it. And when you find the solution you wanted or needed, if you have the time, maybe write Brian a letter.
He really appreciates them.