When you think of the humble beginnings of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs, Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates may come to mind. They each began their careers working from their garages, defying the odds to become titans in their industries. This is precisely what happened with Kyle Cox, the Founder and CEO of Blindster, when his entrepreneurial journey to build one of the largest online retailers of custom window treatments began in 1999.
Starting From Scratch
Kyle started his career in sales management at Black & Decker. He climbed the corporate ladder faster than most, with four promotions in five years. His dad was an entrepreneur, so he always had the idea of starting up his own business.
In 1999, Kyle Cox started an online window treatment company in his garage, with no business experience and only $5000 in the bank. He relied on his mother to help process payments and other administrative duties. With hard work and dedication, his business became a massive success and was ultimately sold to Home Depot, where it remains today.
Starting A Business Through Changing Times
Five years later, he founded Blindster, a window treatment company with a unique model: DIY, easy-to-install blinds for everyone, guaranteed to fit their customers’ windows, even if they make a mistake. Cox wanted the cornerstone of his business to be outstanding customer service. “Customer satisfaction isn’t just our goal; it’s the lifeblood of our company,” Cox said. Their approach is to maintain exemplary customer service to keep customers for life, not just for one sale.
Growing a new business after five years was far more challenging than he expected. He found that standard advertising and the cost of pay-per-click advertising on Google was ten times higher than when he first started in 1999. He also had no competitors at that time, but when Blindster launched, other players were already on the market.
Customer Service is Key
One way to set his company apart from the competition was to produce consistently stellar customer service.
“We train our employees to treat each customer like they are family,” Cox said.
Each customer is unique in their needs, so Cox doesn’t believe in “cookie-cutter” responses or “copy-and-paste” answers. They approach each situation differently and work to resolve every question and issue that arises quickly.
Blindster is a family-owned company, and Cox encourages a family atmosphere. He attributes a lot of his success to his family and their support, with some relatives currently working for him. He maintains that family has been some of his best employees, and his door is always open for family members to apply.
Cox created a company culture that employees believe in, featuring a fun-loving workplace that inspires employees to be passionate about their work and helping their customers. He describes his team as his “merry gang” of employees. A group picture featured on their website shows the Blindster team wearing silly hats, feather boas, and oversized sunglasses, smiling from ear to ear, with Cox smack-dab in the middle.
Cox gets creative with job titles, too. Throughout the company, you will find Master Magicians, Captains, Generals, and Gurus.
What is his title? Fearless Leader.
Leadership Done Right
Cox’s leadership excelled in 2020 when he started the Blindster COVID-19 Program that donated $2 from every sale to the United Way Community Response and Recovery Fund. This fund helps families devastated by COVID-19 by providing food donations, rent and mortgage assistance, access to shelters, and more. Cox and his customers helped raise $60,848 and, as a result, was named the gold winner for Executive Excellence: Business Role Model of the Year by The Customer Sales & Service World Awards®.
In 2021, Blindster was chosen from a pool of 2,300 nominees for the Silver Winner for the Stevie® Awards Customer Service Department of the Year for Retail award, a worldwide honor for top-tier customer service, contact center, business development, and sales professionals.
The Sky’s The Limit
From modest beginner to industry leader, Kyle Cox has perfected an award-winning recipe for success. He has grown and evolved through ever-changing times, learned new technologies, and adapted on the fly. He maintains his unwavering compassion for people, devotion to service, and his love for family. Cox has earned his title of Fearless Leader, and that’s something to look up to.
For more information on Blindster and its high-quality, custom-made window treatments, please visit Blindster.com
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