About our companyOur History starts way back in the beginning of the 20th Century with our Great Grandfather. He cleaned windows his entire life, and due to his extraordinary work ethic and commitment to service, he only missed one day of work his entire life (he had pneumonia). Great Grandpa John was known for his great sense of humor and incredible quality of work. We proudly carry on his tradition by giving our clients outstanding service since 1993.
Although my brother, Mike, and I (Eric) started Technicare back in 1993, most people don’t know our personal story very well. Mike and I grew up along with our older sister and brother in Worthington. We were inseparable from an early age. Mike is two years older than me, so naturally whatever he did I wanted to do. I thought he was the coolest guy in town (and still do). We played the same sports, had the same friends and went to the same school, Worthington Christian.
When we were younger, Mike and I used to go up to Chicago for a couple of weeks in the summer to work in our grandfather’s machine shop. Our grandfather (the son of our Great Grandpa John) made surgical instruments his entire life, from the time he was 16. Working hard was very important to our grandfather, who grew up during the Depression and constantly reminded us that he made 36 cents a day when he started out.
I have many fond memories of our grandfather teaching us how to make surgical instruments. He even taught us what our facial expression should look like when working hard: teeth biting the lower lip and nose scrunched up. Our work had to be perfect and we couldn’t mess around. Our grandfather was so well known for his hard work that a Chicago newspaper wrote about him in an article when Cal Ripken Jr. retired from baseball, comparing their work ethic. He refused to stop working even into his old age. He did not fully retire until he was 78 years old. Mike and I went up to Chicago recently to visit our grandparents. At the ripe old age of 91, our grandfather beat Mike in chess, three games straight. He is still sharp as a whip and made sure to let us know how proud he was of our hard work.
Mike and I had a great time during the summers working for our grandfather and being adventurous. We grew up down the street from the Worthington Train Museum which provided an endless source of exploration. We also spent a lot of time together in the summers exploring all of the woods and streams in the Worthington area. There wasn’t much Mike and I didn’t do together growing up. When we were in high school, we even worked for the same landscaping company during the summers.
Fresh out of high school back in 1993, we decided we needed to do something to pay for college. The only natural thing was to start a company together. We ended up starting a residential window cleaning company and naming it “Kombi Window Cleaning Specialists.” Our mission was simple: work our tails off and give people outstanding service. We knew if we did that, the phone would start ringing. By the summer of our first year, we had five employees and the phones were ringing off the hook. At 19 years old, I knew very little about running a business or how to advertise effectively. However, our customers were so impressed with our work that they told all of their friends and neighbors about us. Most people were not used to seeing such young guys working so hard. “Word-of-mouth” has always been the largest contributing factor to the growth of our company. From day one, we made sure we were doing everything possible to take care of our customers. I remember in those early years working 15 hour days in 95 degree weather. My hardworking grandfather was very proud of that, of course. We were starting to get so many calls everyday that we hired our sister, Karen, to answer the phones.
After a couple of years we noticed our customers wanting us to offer more services. They would say things like, “If only my carpet cleaners worked as hard as you guys!” After many requests for different services, we decided to offer blind cleaning because we thought it would be very similar to window cleaning and a natural extension of our business. We went out and found the best equipment possible, the best cleaning solutions and obtained very rigorous training. Blind cleaning ended up being quite a bit different than window cleaning because we didn’t want to just dust them the same way a house cleaner would do it; we wanted to get them really clean! We had to go to the customer’s house, take the blinds down, bring the blinds back to our facility to clean them in an ultrasonic blind cleaning machine and then return the blinds to the customer the same day. Our customers loved it and blind cleaning took off. We learned some very important lessons. First of all, our customers have very high expectations based on their past experience with us. We had to make sure we did everything top notch. We also learned no matter what services we offered, as long as we were the best and lived up to our reputation, our customers would love it. The key is doing a lot of research to find the best systems, equipment, solutions and training, and then adding our outstanding service. We also learned that we needed more space, so we purchased three acres in Powell off ofLiberty Road and built a new facility.
The next year we decided to start cleaning air ducts because our customers were complaining so much about shady companies ripping them off. Our customers have come to trust us over the years because we have always treated them honestly and respectfully. The same thing happened with air duct cleaning that happened with blind cleaning; we found the best equipment, received the best training possible and air duct cleaning took off.
With window cleaning, blind cleaning and air duct cleaning services being preformed, we had to focus a lot on systems to make sure we were giving every customer outstanding service every single time. Mike and I were no longer able to go out on every job to make sure everything was done to our standards. We understood very early on that we needed to hire outstanding people that shared our same values. That became a challenge as we started to grow, so we focused a lot on finding the right people and training them well. A lot of our customers comment on how genuinely nice our technicians are. We also thought it was only right to give our customers a money back guarantee for our service. We wanted to personally guarantee the service, just as if Mike and I were at the customer’s home ourselves.
At that point we were no longer just a window cleaning company, so Mike and I decided to change our name from Kombi Window Cleaning Specialists to Technicare. We went through a long and arduous process of selecting a new name that would be appropriate for our company. We wanted something that not only described what we do, but how we do it. After having a name like “Kombi” we wanted to make sure the new name was easy to say and spell, so people could find us in directories easily. We wanted to focus on the people in our business and the importance of being careful and respectful of our customer’s property. We ended up combining the word “technician” and “careful” to form Technicare. We thought the hard work of choosing a new name was over. We discovered that a lot of customers we had been working for over the years loved our old name and did not want us to change it. For them, “Kombi” had become synonymous with outstanding service. Our customers didn’t want anything to change. We assured them nothing would change other than we were planning on adding many more services for them in the future.
Soon after changing our name, we decided to offer carpet cleaning. Carpet cleaning was a whole new animal because there are so many different ways of cleaning carpet. We decided that we needed to spend more time and effort on R & D to make sure we got it right. We looked into the “dry cleaning” technique, the “steam cleaning” technique, truck mounted units, mobile units and many other options. There are pros and cons to all of the techniques, but when it comes down to getting carpet the cleanest, steam cleaning is the clear winner. The main down side to most steam cleaning systems is the dry time, so Mike and I decided to invest in the most powerful equipment in order to extract as much moister out of the carpet as possible after cleaning. We also use a technique called “double extraction” which means after cleaning the carpet, we extract the remaining moisture twice. The result is that the carpet ends up drying very quickly, not much longer than “dry cleaning.” The problem with “dry cleaning” is that only a portion of each carpet fiber gets cleaned (and it’s not truly dry); “steam cleaning” gives a very thorough, deep clean. It is our responsibility to make sure our customers get the best. Along with carpet cleaning, we also started stretching carpet, cleaning upholstery, draperies and tile & grout.
For a couple of years one of our partners, Shawn Sizemore, had been talking about starting another branch. We had finally grown to the point where we thought our systems were strong enough to support another branch, so Shawn ventured off to Louisville,Kentucky to start a new branch.
Over the years and after a lot of research, we also started deck refinishing, power washing, mobile auto detailing, epoxy garage flooring, screen repair, gutter cleaning, holiday lighting, snow removal and more. There is a full list of our services on our web site. With each service we have specialized technicians and a service manager to make sure we are providing outstanding service. Mike and I are still very involved in the day to day operations of Technicare. Sometimes we are on the phones and sometimes we are out in the field meeting with customers, in addition to managing the business. Our main role is to make sure every person at Technicare is focused on providing outstanding service. Angie’s List recognized this by awarding us the 10 Year Super Service Award for earning their Super Service Award for 10 years straight. We are one of 19 companies out of 9,000 to earn this award.
Because we are so focused on outstanding service, we decided to start the “Outstanding Service Revolution.” The Outstanding Service Revolution is based on our service philosophy and is a different way of thinking about service. We’ve noticed over the years that many of our customers have been burnt by bad service from other companies. Some large companies with slick commercials send technicians who show up at your door that don’t quite cut it. Other companies employ bait-n-switch techniques and hire careless and inconsiderate employees that give inconsistent service. Our knowledgeable technicians are clean cut, well-trained and very careful… consistently, every time. We do not allow any pushy sales techniques, and we reward our technicians for focusing on the best interest of our customers. We provide the very best service experience possible and then follow-up to make sure our customers are delighted with our service. Mike and I have developed a lot of systems to make sure each customer gets outstanding service every single time. If we ever fall short, we can catch it by providing comment cards and following up with each customer after every job. Our customer’s feedback is so important that we send each customer $10 Technicare Cash when they fill out a comment card, and we reward our technicians for positive feedback. Even though Mike and I can’t be at every job and talk to every customer on the phone, we make sure all of our customers are receiving outstanding service.
Mike and I know the economy can be tough at times, so we are coming up with ways for our customers to take care of their homes in the same way they are accustomed to and save money at the same time. We have a referral program that pays our customers $10 Technicare Cash for referrals and a rewards program that saves customers $100 after only using our service four times. It doesn’t take a lot of referrals and comments cards before our customers have a lot of Technicare Cash. We also do a drawing to give away $500 of free services. To enter the free drawing all customers need to do is “like” us on Facebook, customers are also entered into the drawing each time they “post” on our Facebook page. We also send out periodic discounts to our current customers that no one else receives. Our customers have been loyal to us since 1993 so we want to make sure we are doing everything we can for them.
Mike and I have had such a great experience growing up and raising our families in this community; we wanted to find a way to get more connected and “give back.” Years ago we decided to get involved with some local community events in Powell and Dublin. The Powell Festival is one of the larger festivals around that still has a great, small town, family-oriented atmosphere. It has all of the elements that keep it nice and quaint with the benefits of being large enough to attract outstanding music, great food and impressive fireworks. We have also sponsor the Dublin 4th of July Celebration. In addition to sponsoring community events, we provide free services for charities to raise money through silent auctions. We love this community and plan on being a part if it for a long time.
Over the years Mike and I have learned to work together very well, and we have developed a relationship that most brothers don’t get a chance to experience. Our offices are right next door to each other and we even live down the street from each other. We seldom make any decisions without consulting each other first. Even though we spend a lot of time together, we have grown into our own roles; Mike is the head of operations, while I focus on marketing and technology. At the end of the day we make a great team and I wouldn’t want it any other way!