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At the Redwood City location of Gray’s Paint, which has four stores in the Bay Area of California, customers taking on painting projects can purchase 2-oz. paint sample jars to test colors before buying a larger quantity.
“We have the largest collection of sample paints in the area, and it’s only 85% or 90% of Benjamin Moore’s colors,” says Daniel Engels, manager of the Redwood City store. “We spend a couple of hours daily filling them. Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays are always big fill-up days because we have to recover from the weekend.”
A third-party company previously made the samples over 20 years ago, but when they stopped, the store’s employees started making the samples themselves because they were so popular with their customers.
“It allows our customers to get six 2-oz. paint samples for the price of two quart-sized samples,” Engels says. “We’re often shocked at how popular this size is, and our offering is unique because paint companies can’t make them in small enough increments accurately.”
The sample jars are neatly organized on several floor-to-ceiling shelves spanning one side of an aisle.
“We can match any color brought to us,” Engels says. “So if a competitor is out of sample sizes and a customer brings the color to us, we can provide that sample.”
Above and Beyond Service
Serving has always been a part of Kevin Schramm’s career. After retiring from the U.S. Navy, he wanted to continue making a difference in the lives of others and looked for a career where he could benefit his community. That career search led him to become a franchisee and owner of LIME Painting in Boise, Idaho, where he has created multiple job opportunities for the community and partnered with local organizations to give back.
Schramm and his local franchise partnered with Make-A-Wish Idaho, which grants life-changing wishes to children with critical illnesses. When customers join the LIME Loyalty Membership Program, 50% of the membership fees are donated to LIME Light Outreach Inc., the nonprofit arm of LIME Painting. LIME Light Outreach then gives the donated funds to support Make-A-Wish Idaho and grant life-changing wishes to local children.
“I’ve always had the desire to give back to the community in a big way, and now I have a vehicle that allows us to make a difference,” Schramm says. “When we have a cause that’s bigger than ourselves, we tend to do extraordinary things. That’s my goal with my team and company—to always think about how we can better ourselves and our community at the same time.”
For his work in the community and staying true to the brand’s values of love, integrity, mission and excellence, Schramm was awarded the LIME award for the second year in a row at the LIME Painting 2022 Conference.
“I strive to be part of the big picture and buy into everyone’s success,” Schramm says. “I’m always available to help anyone that asks and participating in conversations on how we can become better business owners and serve our clients and community better.”
Nicole Durant strives to offer something different when customers visit her two Exeter Paint Transform and Design stores in Exeter and Epping, New Hampshire. She implemented several different technologies to improve the customer experience, including the Popl digital business card platform, a simple but effective solution that has boosted business and customer awareness.
Popl is a circular device that sticks to the checkout counter. When a customer wants the information of the store or any employees working with them on a project, the customer simply taps their phone to the Popl device and it brings up the contact information, email address and even social media account information. This information is added to the contact list on their phone.
“All the customer has to do is hit ‘Save’ and the information is stored right in their phone; they don’t have to type it in,” Durant says.
The system also includes wristbands employees wear around the store that offer the same technology. A customer simply scans the QR code on the bracelet and can instantly save the store or employee’s contact information to their phone.