Volume 17, Issue 1 - January/February 2013

Tinting City Limits
Russell and Denise Haertl
Sun Tint Inc., Austin, Texas

In a city that is famed for keeping things “weird,” Russell and Denise Haertl are working to keep customers happy in their Austin, Texas-based tint shop, Sun Tint Inc.

As recipients of the Angie’s List Service Award for the past three years, it appears they are using their perfect “marriage” of skills to do just that.

“We’ve received the Angie’s List Super Service award for the past three years now,” says Denise. “They have criteria they base awards on such as customer reviews and we are blessed enough to have wonderful customers who are willing to take the time to share their reviews. It’s exciting to get this news.”

“We have great customers and they reciprocate. We have, I believe, the most reviews of any tint company in Austin. We have about 154 total reviews online for our business; our customers are savvy in regard to that,” says Russell.

Russell, shop owner and former sous chef, attributes the company’s success to his background in hospitality.

“Austin expects a certain level of service. We understand and maintain the level our customers desire. I grew up in the service industry in hotels all around the world; my dad ran hotels and restaurants so customer service was implanted into me at a young age and we provide that to our customers,” says Russell. “If we do our job right, we like to think each customer will give at least two referrals to family and friends,” he says. “From being greeted at the door, to having a golden retriever [Haertl pet dog, Sammy] to play with while they wait; they’re beautiful surroundings with a coffee bar—we keep a great environment for our customers.”

Much of the shop ambiance can be attributed to the style skills of former interior decorator, Denise. “We like to make our business feel like an extension of our home; from the furniture that we choose through the comfort of the design,” she says. “We just work together really well on [the vision for the shop].”

Denise’s training has helped with other facets of the company as well.

“My education in interior design helps me read blueprints,” she says. “When we get jobs to bid from blueprints for new construction or [developing] floor plans, I can read those to help with bidding.”

In addition to their unique skillset, superior customer service and established customer relationships the Haertls say their employees set their shop apart from the competition.

“Turnover rates in window film can be high, but we have employees who have been with us for more than 10 years,” Denise says. “We’ve created a relaxed, stable environment that makes employees want to stay.”

“We’ve got installers that have been with us for 11-12 years. Our managers are … the face of our shop and they feel that they have stake in the company as well.”

As for marketing, Russell says word-of-mouth has been key.

“We’ve been in the business for more than 30 years so we have a consistent following,” he says. “We have customers that continue coming to us and some even have their grandkids coming to us.”

Send your nominations for “Film Stars” to Casey Neeley at cneeley@glass.com.

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