Bellingham Electric: A Family Business
Aug 30, 2018 06:00AM ● Published by David Dunbar
story & photo by Dave Dunbar, Contributing Writer
“We do seven or eight jobs a day,” adds 27-year-old Kyle Martin, another service tech at Bellingham Electric. Many of these service calls are completed in one day, going a long way to make Bellingham Electric’s customers happy.
Ben and Kyle are Bellingham residents and graduates of the town’s school system. They both started at Bellingham Electric delivering appliances and worked their way up to become service technicians. Ben has been with the company for two years; Kyle, for nine. Both played soccer at Bellingham High School.
Bellingham Electric is a family-owned company that started 65 years ago and currently has 22 employees. The company sells a wide range of home appliances (including KitchenAid, Maytag, Amana, Samsung, LG, GE, Bosch, Speed Queen and Whirlpool) and provides full service for its own products as well as for items purchased elsewhere.
Jeff Allaire is third-generation family at the store, which is located at 250 Pulaski Blvd.“My father [Bob Allaire] runs the operation and has for 54 years; working for him is great!” Jeff currently serves as marketing director; he started two years ago after working locally in the residential and commercial real estate industry for 12 years.
Part of Jeff’s responsibility is to constantly improve the looks and functionality of the company’s website. A visit to www.BellinghamElectric.com will offer lots of choices beyond photos of dishwashers and refrigerators. You will find a Buyer’s Guide and Trending Articles plus helpful videos all created in-house by Bellingham Electric staff.
“We are problem solvers. We want to make someone’s day,” says Jeff.
One of the ways they do that is by sending thoroughly trained service technicians like Ben and Kyle to the customer’s home when a problem arises. Says Ben,“We fix the problem efficiently, usually with one visit.”
Favorite part of the job? Kyle says that it’s “working for a family company instead of a big corporation; we actually have fun!”
Ben and Kyle recalled one of their more memorable service calls. Not long ago, they were called to a local home to repair a refrigerator. When they opened the freezer door, a shower of twenty-dollar bills came pouring out. A couple of thousand dollars had been hidden in the freezer. All of the cold cash was returned to the homeowner, and the guys came away with an unforgettable story.
Both service techs have been thoroughly trained. There are formal classroom trainings and also trainings from product manufacturers.“I like it; it’s rewarding, satisfying,” explains Ben.
Retention is key. Jeff explained that just last year the company’s lead service tech retired—after 47 years working for the company. Bellingham Electric also employs a full-time service manager who oversees the company’s three service technicians. He has been with the company since 1984.
If you have a problem with an appliance, a simple phone call to Bellingham Electric may provide you with the information to fix it. For free. Bellingham Electric provides no-charge preliminary diagnosis by phone. If a service technician is required, then you’ll probably get to meet Kyle or Ben, maybe both.