Buying a roof online can be as easy as ordering from Amazon, thanks to a new online roofing platform by Gunner Roofing. Its industry-changing innovation won the Connecticut-based company the esteemed recognition of Cutting-Edge Contractor at the 2023 GAF WealthBuilder Conference and Expo in Austin, Texas.
Leading with Customer Service
Innovation is a main focus for co-founders (and brothers), Andrew Prchal and Eddie Prchal, but customer experience is the force that drives Gunner Roofing. "Every aspect of our business is customer experience," Eddie notes in an online interview with GAF CARE.
In their quest to perfect their customers' experiences, the Prchal brothers considered how to simplify the roof-buying process. This led to the innovative idea to create an online roof estimation and purchasing platform. "The [roof-buying] program is a part of us," Eddie explains. "We designed the platform for our brand, thinking of our customers, wanting them to have a specific experience each step of the way."
Simplifying Customer Experience
The Gunner Estimator does away with lead follow-up phone calls, sales visits, and hassle. "People can interact with the quote process in their own way, on their own time," Andrew says. Instead of communicating with a sales representative, customers enter their contact information and address into Gunner Roofing's easy-to-use website. Within hours, they're emailed a detailed roofing estimate with an interactive 3D model of their home and proposed roof.
The 3D model lets customers visually experiment with their options. They can select different shingle colors, siding materials, and additional features like skylights. Once the customer is happy with the roof design and price, they can purchase the roof and schedule their installation online—all without talking to a person (unless they prefer to). It's fast, easy, and pressure-free for buyers.
"Customers aren't as hesitant to seek out quotes because it won't mean 10 people contacting them and then being on a call list," explains Andrew.
Revolutionizing Lead Generation
Both customers and contractors win as a result of the company's proprietary new software. The increased accessibility has also increased interest among homeowners and property managers, which has led to a surge in requests.
The Prchal brothers say that during the first month of the program launch, Gunner Roofing received a double-digit jump in quote requests. Overall, they've seen a 50% increase in their lead volume. In fact, Andrew shared that two new customer quote requests came in through their website in the 20 minutes the brothers were on stage presenting their program to fellow GAF Master Elite® Contractors* at the 2023 GAF WealthBuilder Conference.
Building a Business
The Prchals got into roofing to "push the industry forward as far as customer experience," Eddie says. The two brothers had been living in Arizona when their brother-in-law—who does solar installations on the East Coast—told them he couldn't count on his area roofing contractors to complete roofs before his solar installations. They saw the opportunity to help and "packed a U-Haul and moved with our Siberian Husky, Brooklyn, and just went for it," Eddie notes. Coming from Arizona, they weren't used to the snow, but now they "love the weather and the seasons and the people," Andrew shares.
From day one, Eddie and Andrew say they were driven by their desire to improve the customer experience. Their passion for innovation got them to where they are today.
Learning from Leaders
Ready to positively impact the roofing industry like the Prchal brothers? Eddie explains the realization of your dream idea lies in being persistent—the Gunner Estimator wasn't just some overnight idea. The two men developed the concept and worked on refining the program for 2.5 years before it officially launched. "We're not computer scientists," Andrew jokes. "The real factor was having the idea but then believing in it and taking action."
Thanks to the Prchals' dream, interest in innovation, and dedication to customer service, their roofing business is now recognized as an award-winning industry leader. In addition to its latest designation, Gunner Roofing received the GAF Master Elite® President's Club Award in 2022. "At Gunner Roofing our online estimator is just another show of our commitment to the customer," the company's website explains. "We believe this allows us to deliver the easiest checkout process, the highest install standards, and the perfect customer experience from start to finish."
Want recognition for your innovative business idea? Contact your local Territory Manager for information on submitting for next year's Cutting Edge Contractor award.