Aaron Look, Owner of Glass Doctor of Syracuse and Watertown has been in the glass business for 22 years, first working for a local glass company and then starting his own business in 2004. With two locations in Syracuse and Watertown, Glass Doctor performs full-service glass work for home, auto, and commercial customers either in their shops or onsite with a fleet of mobile glass vans. A locally owned and operated company, Glass Doctor prides itself on creating both a family-friendly workplace and an exceptional customer experience.
Family First Work Environment
One of Look’s main goals as an entrepreneur is to create a business where his employees are happy, and that means putting them and their families first. “I don’t want to own a business where there is no community,”
says Look, “the reason I wanted to be an entrepreneur was to employ people, give them a career, and put them in a position that’s good for them.”
Glass Doctor follows a Code of Values which includes Respect, Integrity, and Customer Focus. These values inform how they operate and how their employees conduct themselves on and off the job. By creating an environment where employees feel respected and valued, Look says they will enjoy coming to work. “If your employees are happy, then your customers will be happy too.”
Frank Watson, Director of Sales and Marketing for Glass Doctor has been with the company since 2019. Watson says Look understands the importance of family because it’s important to him as well. In fact, Look’s mother Katie has been working at Glass Doctor in billing and accounting for the past six years.
Look maintains an excellent relationship with his 14 employees by going out on jobs when they need an extra pair of hands. He also will work with employees to make sure their schedule meets the needs of their families, such as getting home in time to be with their children after school. “He focuses on the future and wants his employees to be healthy and happy,” says Watson, “and in return, his employees work hard for him.
Specialized Knowledge and Expertise
Look prides himself on having the best people for the job. “We use the term specialist instead of technician,” says Look. Expertise is at the core of being a specialist and Glass Doctor employees are trained to answer any question a customer may have. If an employee does not know the answer immediately, Look says, someone in the organization will. All Glass Doctor specialists focus either on flat glass or auto glass and while a job may require someone to cross over to another area, they try to keep specialists within their area of expertise. “The lead specialist on any job is an expert,” says Watson, “we only hire the best.”
The Right Tools for the Job
In order to do a job right, Look believes you must have the right tools. Glass Doctor specialists can do a job onsite using mobile flat glass and mobile auto glass vans.
The vans are mobile workstations, completely stocked with all the supplies a specialist needs to complete the job successfully.
Auto glass vans are equipped to do work on the road, but Look says, he does not send his specialists out in challenging weather conditions. “I am not going to put my employees in an environment where they can’t perform their job properly,” Look says. In instances of heavy rain, snow, or extreme cold, customers can bring their vehicle to the Syracuse or Watertown shops to have work done, or specialists will come to their home or business if they have a garage. “We can do work inside our shop or in their garage. We can supply heat if we go to a customer site and we bring all the tools we need. We try to accommodate our customers as best as possible,” says Look.
Glass Doctor’s flat glass vans are set up with lighting, work benches, and heaters. Specialists can work right inside the van, regardless of weather. “We have the newest technology and our specialists have the best tools,” says Watson.
Exceptional Customer Experience
Look’s second goal as a business owner is to provide Glass Doctor customers with an exceptional customer experience, which begins with excellent communication over the phone and continues when the Glass Doctor specialist arrives at the job site. All of Glass Doctor’s vans are fully wrapped with company branding and are clean and presentable. Glass Doctor specialists are in full uniform and wear a badge to easily identify them. Specialists are also drug tested and background checked. The specialist will lay down a branded Glass
Doctor doormat and put on boot covers before entering a home. “Our service starts on the phone, but where we really shine is when we are in the house,” says Look.
Watson says every Glass Doctor specialist is a sales representative for the company. “They are the ones doing face to face with customers and contractors. We understand the importance of doing a great job, doing it on time, and if there is an issue, we address it and make it go away.” Solving problems for customers is a key part of how Glass Doctor operates. “If we are supposed to complete a job today, we have to deliver when we promise a certain time frame. Delivering the product on time is as important as a fair price,” says Watson.
Look wants his customers to be 100% satisfied with the end result, calling customers personally to thank them for their business and see if there are any issues he can help resolve. “I can’t sleep at night if someone is upset with our work,” says Look. That customer focus is essential to Glass Doctor’s company culture. “It’s great to have growth,” Watson says, “but the key to growth is to retain the customers you already have. It goes back to making a commitment, doing what you promise, and following through. You have to keep those customers happy that made the phone ring in the first place.”
A Clear Advantage for Home, Auto, and Business
Glass Doctor specialists are able to customize and install glass products for home, auto, and business customers. For homeowners, they make tabletops, design and install frameless and semi-frameless
showers, insulated glass units, foggy glass, glass handrails, and replace windows and glass doors. “When a customer breaks a window,” says Look, “they think they have to replace the entire window. In reality, they might just be able to replace the glass and that can save them time and money.”
Glass Doctor Specialists do all auto glass, windshield glass, door glass, back glass, and ADAS calibration for cars, fleets, and trucks. Glass Doctor guarantees their windshield replacement for one year, something that sets them apart from their competitors. “If we replace a windshield for you and something happens to it, whether it’s a day later or 364 days later, we will replace it for free,” Look says.
In the last five years, the auto industry has changed remarkably and in the next five years, Look predicts at least 90% of new vehicles will have Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) features. ADAS features include auto assist, lane departure, and forward collision alert, for example. These features are controlled by a camera behind your rearview mirror, says Look, and when a car windshield is replaced, the camera has to be uninstalled and remounted after the work is done. “When you reinstall the camera,” says Look, “you need to ensure it is recalibrated so that the safety features will work properly. We can do ADAS recalibration in house, so drivers do not have to go to the dealership after their windshield is replaced.”
For business customers, Glass Doctor specialists install glass for storefronts, tabletops, commercial doors and provide lock repair and maintenance, emergency service, and board ups. For large office and commercial buildings or apartment buildings, Glass Doctor offers an apartment advance measuring service. Look explains that large commercial buildings have many of the same window size. “We measure them and manufacture some in advance, so when a window is broken, we can go and replace them same day, instead of having to wait a week or more to have one made,” Look says.
Building the Future for Glass Doctor
The home shower business is Look’s next focus, hoping to double or triple his business in the next year or two. “We come right to your home with samples and provide a full CAD drawing of what the shower would look like. There is so much customization that is possible with shower glass,” says Look.
A recent project included 70-80 showers for the lofts at
300 East Washington Street in Syracuse. “We are available to work with contractors and builders when they need to build out showers or mirror work,” says Look.
Since 2020, Look says they have experienced 600% growth in their business. Look attributes their massive growth to hard work and the right employees. Things have been going so well, they are considering opening a third location in Utica.
Watson says, “Glass Doctor supplies the best technology, the best tools, new vans, and safety protocol for specialists going into people’s homes. We take the extra steps to make people feel comfortable and want to do business with us.”
Glass Doctor has locations in Syracuse and Watertown. For more information, visit glassdoctor.com/syracuse-ny.
Sarah Arnold, Insurance Agent and Glass Doctor Customer
Sarah Arnold is a Glass Doctor customer and an insurance agent. When Arnold and her
husband were building a home, she chose Glass Doctor to build her glass showers. “They were fairly and competitively priced. They are easy to work with and educated me on all the glass
options available. I was extremely impressed when the owner came to do the install himself. It’s clear that they want every customer to have a great experience.”