Undercover Boss Analysis of Chad Hallock: CEO of Budget Blinds
Name: Chad Hallock
Title: CEO of Budget Blinds
Headquarters: Orange County, CA
Product or Service: Blinds and Window Coverings
In this week’s episode of “Undercover Boss”, Chad Hallock, CEO of Budget Blinds, goes undercover as “Tom Robins” to see the company from the employees’ perspective.
Position 1: Sales Consultation
Overview: Chad follows Keith throw a sales consultation with a customer.
Result: Keith asks many questions, and let’s the potential buyers guide the discussion rather than leading them to an appropriate product. Chad is not a fan of the approach, as it takes too long.
Keith mentions his displeasure in the fact that corporate really does not market to his rural area. He wishes that he had more of a say in where the national advertising dollars were spent. He also says it is difficult to approach the CEO with a suggestion like that because Chad would become very defensive.
How he made amends: Chad rethinks the national advertising effort and decides to start a few regional advertising programs as well, with Keith’s region being one of the firsts, initially starting with a $25k budget. Chad also plans to have his brother Brad go throw a few consultations with Keith, to teach him a few tricks to sell more and sell faster. Chad also awards Keith $15k, per child, to start their college funds.
What he should have done: It’s hard to make definitive recommendations about how to use the national marketing budget, but its clear that several franchisees are unhappy with it as it stands currently. By working with them on regional programs, Chad is showing a willingness and openness, and that goes a long way.
Keith clearly needs more sales training to be more efficient and effective. Perhaps corporate should take another look at their sales training, but we’ll keep our blinders on for this one, Chad.
Position 2: Installation Franchise Owner
Overview: Maris and Chad install some window coverings, and pack mail advertisements.
Result: Chad is clumsy with a drill. Maris comes off as a get-stuff-done kind of woman, and won’t tolerate any errors from Chad.
Much like Keith in the first segment, Maris is also unhappy with the way corporate runs its national advertising programs. She believes that Chicago really does require a regional marketing plan. Maris also has a son who may have a brain illness.
How he made amends: Chad promises to make the national advertising budget much more transparent to the entire company. Corporate will also spend $25k on regional advertising programs, specifically one for Chicago, Maris’ town. Maris is also awarded $30k to assist with her son’s medical bills.
What he should have done: It’s easy to see the problem when multiple employees keep bringing it up – they’re begging for regionally focused advertising campaigns. Chad addressed both sufficiently, for the time being.
Position 3: Paint Line Technician
Overview: Pam shows Chad how to prep and hang blinds for painting.
Result: Chad finds the job to be incredibly monotonous, and is surprised to hear Pam has held the job for over 20 years. Pam misses the picnics the company used to put on for its workers, though recently stopped for the last few years. She does not feel the company does much to recognize the dedicated employees.
Pam admits that she finds Chad attractive, and jokes about inviting him to her hot tub, which is odd because she has a husband whom often travels with her to Mexico on vacations.
How he made amends: Chad promises Pam that corporate will bring back the annual company picnics. Chad and the owners will also pay for her and husband to take a trip to Mexico.
What he should have done: Bringing back the company picnics was no-brainer, but will that be enough to boost employee morale and loyalty? Chad – we bet you can do better.
Additionally, Pam’s job is so monotonous that even Chad is amazed that she’d been there so long. Many plants implement job rotations to keep workers from getting overly bored – if there are a number of tasks requiring the same basic skill level, perhaps a little rotation at this paint line facility would do some good.
Position 4: Installation
Overview: Dennis and Chad visit a customer to install several blinds and shades.
Result: Dennis is an exceptional worker with great attention to detail. While installing blinds on a ladder for a very high window, he offered to dust and clean the window (because it is not very often someone would reach it). Dennis goes above and beyond for his customer at several other points as well.
Chad learns that Dennis’ son was murdered a few years ago, and on the anniversary of his death each year, his relatives gather at his house to pay respects. Unfortunately, his home is not quite large enough to house them all.
How he made amends: Chad pays for Dennis to fly out to an upcoming awards convention and banquet. Chad also gives Dennis $40k to make the additions to his home necessary to house his family and relatives.
What he should have done: Chad recognized Dennis’ exceptional work ethic, and invites him to a convention. Why not go one step further and ask Dennis to share tips with the rest of the company? He eats, sleeps, and breathes customer service – he would surely be an asset on a corporate customer service training team. Chad, give your top talent the opportunity to reach their true potential.
Chad Hallock earned a “B” grade for his appearance on Undercover Boss.
Mr. Hallock was willing to put his defenses down and listen to what his franchisees had to say about the national marketing program (his baby), which from the sound of things was a big step in the right direction. While most of his resolutions to the presented issues were sufficient, we wouldn’t call them above-and-beyond. Chad’s generosity did not go unnoticed.
Don’t like our grade? Drop us a rebuttal, and leave a comment below.