In York, Pennsylvania, Specialty Tree Service has been providing top notch tree care for almost forty years. Kyle and Brandon Ritz, part owners of the tree care company, have been working there since high school. Kylie explains, “Our father started the business in 1980. When we were in high school, Brandon and I would help out in the summertime, dragging brush and learning the ropes, but our father never really knew if he was going to keep the business going, he encouraged us to find our own way in life.”
Although it was never the plan for Brandon and Kyle to take over the family business, they decided it was something they were passionate about and wanted to pursue it.
Since then, Brandon and Kyle have focused on expanding the business. The company remained relatively small throughout the early part of the decade, however, in October 2011, a massive snowstorm hit their area which caused their business to grow tremendously.
"That storm alone caused us to double in size. From there, just working hard for people, word of mouth, we doubled in size again.”
The surrounding towns were devastated by the unexpected snowstorm and many of the tree companies couldn’t keep up with the influx of jobs. Brandon and Kyle saw this as a major opportunity to separate themselves from the local competition.
“My brother, my dad, and I split up to start giving estimates. So, we had three estimators on the road, and we were able to put a couple crews together to start doing cleanup. That storm alone caused us to double in size. From there, just working hard for people, word of mouth, we doubled in size again,” says Kyle.
Now, Specialty Tree Service is the largest tree car company in the county, servicing both the York and Lancaster areas. Kyle and Brandons number one goal is to provide their customers with great customer service and great tree work, which is their always looking to improve their business.
"We realized that the quality of the customer was pretty significant to us.”
A lot of their customers had been interested in disease management for their trees, especially considering the fact that the emerald ash borer has been a major threat to the trees in that area. The brothers were, in a way, inspired by their customers because it was clear that they truly cared about the health of their trees. After re-certifying one of their employees in pesticide application, Specialty Tree began providing disease management to their customers.
Kyle explains, “We realized that many of the customers that asked for disease management really cared about their trees and would do anything they could to save them. We realized that the quality of the customer was pretty significant to us.”
"We chose SingleOps because it was designed specifically for the green industry."
Aligning with their ultimate goal of providing the best possible experience for their customers, Brandon and Kyle implemented SingleOps to help them eliminate the discrepancies they were experiencing with their back office work. “All of our estimates were given on carbon copy papers, and so we'd just have all these stacks and stacks of papers in the office,” Kyle reminisces on the old way Specialty Tree Service used to give out estimates. “It looked like a fourth grader wrote the estimate instead of it being nice and typed. We wanted to crisp up the way that our estimates looked that we were handing to our customers.”
“We chose SingleOps because it was designed specifically for the green industry. From front to back, it's a better experience for your customers and it's more dialed-in for your crews when they go out to do the job,” says Kyle.
“We are trying to offer those types of things to all of our workers that are interested in doing it, to add value to our employees and us as a company."
With the expansion into disease management and the implementation of SingleOps, Specialty Tree Service plans on growing continuously in the future. In fact, their employees have a big year ahead of them.
Brandon says, “We have an employee who is going through the training through ISA, and he just signed up for the certification test last night actually. We're anticipating having a second one certified very shortly, and a third guy is actually studying to take it right now. So we're hoping that by the end of this year we'll have three certified arborists on staff, and hopefully that will encourage some of the other guys to get certified as well.”
“We are trying to offer those types of things to all of our workers that are interested in doing it, to add value to our employees and us as a company,” Brandon explains.
By making the customer experience a top priority, they have been able to differentiate themselves from the competition in the area, making Specialty Tree Service a household name with a great reputation. Listening to your customers and in turn providing excellent customer service has been the secret to their success, which is why they continue to grow rapidly every year.