Gilberto Linderos, owner of Fix It Auto Glass in Houston, Texas, has pulled from his experience as a first responder in Mexico to bolster the confidence customers have in his business. By incorporating decals on his vehicles that read “Auto Glass Response Unit,” Linderos says those in need know that help is not only on the way but that it will also be delivered properly and efficiently.
Linderos moved to the United States some four years ago with the aim of becoming licensed as a firefighter and paramedic as he was in Mexico. But long before he came to the U.S., he was replacing windshields with his grandfather in Mexico when he was only 12 years old. Upon becoming a firefighter, he continued working in the auto glass field.
“When I got to America I always thought I would start my own company,” Linderos says. “When I started my own business replacing windshields, I immediately thought that I could include ‘emergency auto glass’ on our vehicles.”
The City of Houston, however, communicated that there were issues with having an “emergency” decal on a vehicle not falling under the category of first responders, i.e., firefighters, paramedics and police. That meant Linderos had to slightly amend his idea by removing some aspects of emergency symbols placed on the truck. After doing so he received the green light from the City of Houston.
“If you see it closely, it looks very different,” he says in comparing his decal to emergency decals like those on first-responders’ vehicles. “Now, it says ‘Auto Glass Response Unit.’”
For Linderos, the decals are a way to let customers know that they will receive assistance immediately, or as close to immediately as possible.
“These days, my customers feel confident in my service and all of my customers ask me about the reason for the logos,” he says. “I explain that I used to be a firefighter and paramedic, and that I understand the importance of the safety role. It gives them confidence in my company.”
That confidence, Linderos says, is increasing his customer base, especially with respect to first responders. It’s a route he recommends for others in the industry.
“I probably replace one windshield for fire department personnel per week,” he says. “When I arrive, the customer is immediately confident and then more open to see the quality of the job.”