Monday, July 29, 2013

Bath Planet Featured in Buffalo Grove Countryside

Bath Planet was featured in an article in Buffalo Grove Countryside that ran on Wednesday, July 17. The article begins by focusing on the Executive of the Year award that Vice President Rick Hirschhaut received at the American Business Awards 11th annual banquet in Chicago. The article focuses on Bath Planet's attention to customer satisfaction and doing the little things to ensure a 97 percent satisfaction rating from their customers. Furthermore, the article discusses Rick's gold Stevie award for Bath Planet next year, after receiving the silver award for the second time this year.

Award-winning exec closes service gap

BUFFALO GROVE — The hole in Rick Hirschhaut’s industry was gaping: 47 percent wide. He has closed it 44 percent, and his efforts earned him national recognition.
Hirschhaut, a 52-year-old Buffalo Grove resident, is the senior vice president of Palatine-based BathPlanet, and on June 17 earned the Executive of the Year Award in the Consumer Products and Durables category of the American Business Awards’ 11th annual banquet, in downtown Chicago.
His company makes products that can cover up your bathroom’s 1970s look and 1990s mold, but he won his award because he prioritized customer service in an industry that leaves half its customers disappointed.
“Half the people in America wish their contractor never stepped on their property,” but Hirschhaut said that almost every Bath Planetcustomer felt like they had been working with a professional. “If we say we’re going to be there at 9 o’clock, we’re ringing the doorbell at 9 o’clock.”
Bath Planet custom-makes acrylic liners that fit over old bathtubs and showers, covering out-of-date looks and scrub-defeating scum with a modern appearance. When Bath Planet’s parent company, BCI, hired him four and a half years ago, his job became to position the company in a customer-service gap that had eluded so many others.
Hirschhaut said home remodeling industry studies he’s seen indicated that 47 percent of homeowners end up dissatisfied with what their contractors’ work. His approach: become known for arriving and finishing on time and supplying a strong warranty.
“Everybody seems to have a bad experience with home remodeling,” Hirschhaut said.
Doing the little things to change that experience changed Bath Planet’s bottom line, he said. He boasted that 97 percent of his customers ended up satisfied with their work.
“Without question, we’re taking market share,” and he said his firm had seen 36 consecutive months of one-year-later growth. “To me, there’s nothing more exciting than business growth.”
BCI created Bath Planet three years ago, and Hirschhaut said one of his first objectives was to make the company successful enough to qualify it for consideration for the American Business Awards. He achieved that goal last year, when they brought home the second-place “Stevie” (the AWA’s title for its trophies) in Consumer Products and Durables.
Last month, Hirschhaut won the top individual honor in that category.
“I was stunned, to be honest,” he said. “Although my name is on it, it’s a team award. Without the hard work of a whole lot of people, I would not have been there.”
But his next objective eluded him: He wants a gold Stevie for Bath Planet, but his company brought home a silver for the second time. The key could be in further closing the industry’s gaping customer-service maw.
“We’re going to keep trying,” he said.

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