Vincent Berkun left his career as a computer software programmer to follow in the family business. Now he works with an entirely different kind of windows than one might expect and he couldn't be happier about his decision.
I was pretty good at it, Berkun says while sitting in a shaded area in Westport outside of the Suntech of Fairfield County office. His parents started the business 30 years ago, and he now works as the general manager. He pauses and adds, But it was boring. There wasn't any human contact.
Human contact is something he makes sure his customers get. Berkun's phone rings regularly, and he is quick to answer. One call leads to an immediate follow-up, which generates another for confirmation. Nothing waits if he can help it.
If someone calls me for something, I want to get back to them immediately. I don't want to just send somebody to my voicemail and let them wait a few hours, he says.
Aside from helping to run the business, Berkun maintains a blog where he writes about all things related to windows. He enjoys educating the customers, and his topics range from aesthetics to the myth that new windows make a huge difference in energy bills.
Berkun says Suntech isn't the least expensive option around, nor is it the most. He stands by everything the company does, though, and refuses to shave costs on cheaper materials. He may not push the volume that some competitors do, but he estimates that his success rate is better. Some of them have a 96 percent success rate on installations and do 400 homes a year. Well, that's still 16 they got wrong. I can't mess up 16 homes a year, I'd be out of business, he says.
Computer programming wasn't the path Berkun intended to follow early in life. He originally sought out engineering, which he says helps him wrap his mind around interesting and complex window placements and designs. Engineering is about designing something to be built, while construction is really building something based on a design, he says.
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