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Christopher Thompson's Closing the Deal: The advantage of a local, family-owned company

August 12. 2017 6:11PM

Every once in a while, I come across a company that gets it. And whenever I do, I make it a point to provide that positive feedback and recognition to the company and also use the experience to share some powerful lessons with other businesses. And today, I'm happy to share an experience I had with Soil Away LLC ( located in Hooksett.

I recently had to deal with a challenging family situation. My father had a fire in his house, and I had to help deal with the aftermath. Fortunately, he was not seriously injured, and most of his belongings were recovered. But dealing with all of the logistics after the accident was a complete nightmare.

There is a lot to manage. You have to deal with the way the insurance company handles the claim and the processes and red tape involved. You also have to worry about where the displaced people are going to live and how they will be able to resume as normal a life as possible while their home is being repaired.

And of course you also have to deal with the contractors and other companies that will do the work to make the home livable again. There's just a lot of moving pieces, and it wasn't a fun experience. I hope this is the last time I have to deal with something like this.

But there was one bright light throughout the entire process, and that was the experience I had with Soil Away, a 27-year-old family-owned business. Soil Away is the company I hired to perform all of the fire and smoke mitigation. To say they are true professionals would be an understatement. They are amazing at what they do and I can't say enough about them.

First and most importantly, they were extremely responsive when the incident happened and immediately deployed workers to begin the cleanup process. They took every single item out of the house, one by one, inventoried it, cleaned each item by hand and boxed it up for storage. All of the belongings were organized to ensure the least amount of work when everything was ready to be moved back in and unpacked.

They also took care of all the smoke damage and meticulously cleaned every inch of the house. But the work they performed isn't what made them stand out in my mind - it was the way they conducted themselves. From the people who came to the house to clean, to the project manager I dealt with, to the COO checking in with me every week or two to ensure everything was on track and we were happy, it was a rare and unique customer experience.

But most importantly, they handled everything with compassion, patience and true professionalism. Every time I interacted with them, they didn't start by asking about the work that was being done or when the contractor would be finished with the repairs or where their payment was. They always started by asking how my father was doing. They asked and truly cared. And they care because they really understand the situation a family is in when something catastrophic like this happens. And for that, I am extremely happy I chose them over their competition.

I hope you never have to use Soil Away or any other company like them. Because if you do, it means that you are dealing with a challenging situation. But if you are ever in a situation where you need their services, know that you will be in very good hands.

Christopher Thompson ( is vice president of business development at Talient Action Group in Manchester and writes Closing the Deal weekly for the Sunday News.

Business Hooksett

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