Does it seem like every five minutes it’s time for breakfast? The world is changing fast. Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google are driving the speed of many changes. Some businesses must adapt quickly to survive and may lose their customer service focus.

The majority that does not adapt are being purchased or going bankrupt. The result is business names change frequently. Hopefully, those merged businesses run better. Eventually, we may choose to use their services. In some cases, it’s a good experience and in others, it’s a one-time experience. Some businesses become the only choice and we are forced to use them despite their customer service.

That theory hit home while I was attending a recent Lennox conference in Dallas, Texas. The subject of quality customer service and business survival was a major focus. The speaker during one presentation asked who in the room of over 800 was happy with the customer service from their cable TV provider. Not one hand went up……hmmm.

The cable TV industry has a fairly captive audience for the most part. No matter how much they advertise and claim to provide customer service, the truth will come out. Truth is a patient hunter.

I truly feel sorry for any employees that provide good customer service but work for corporations that are known for poor customer service. It’s not fair and it probably makes your working careers less fulfilling. I understand what’s important in a job because I worked 11 years for a corporation that had 200K employees worldwide. It was time to move on and take control.

The heating and air conditioning industry is a great example where the majority of workers are not “handcuffed” by large corporation policies. Most are family businesses that are locally owned. There are so many to choose from and they may all look the same without understanding the difference.

The difference is good customer service in the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) industry is so much more than just fixing that “hidden box” that provides warm or cool air. It must also include advice to help consumers make responsible decisions to protect their health and safety while providing quality comfort with excellent energy savings. Do you get that service now?

Heating and air conditioning companies that truly care also will have highly talented technicians because HVAC systems have become very complex as energy efficiencies improve. HVAC systems need to be maintained properly or efficiencies go down.

Service maintenance agreements are a wise decision with these complex systems because it increases the odds equipment will not fail during the busy heating and cooling seasons. Many HVAC contractors have a waiting list during those times.

The HVAC trades do not sell energy, so their service maintenance agreements concentrate on making sure equipment is running at top efficiency. It’s important to think about that concept when you decide who should be servicing your HVAC system.

Let’s move on and discuss claims of customer service in the HVAC industry. All heating and air conditioning companies can claim to provide great customer service because they “care.” Do they care or is that just an easy thing to say in a commercial? I like the Missouri “show me” philosophy. Show me you care!

John Henry's Plumbing, Heating, Air, and Electrical’s won a “show me” Centurion Award at the Lennox conference. That makes seven in a row. The Centurion Awards are given to the top 5% in North America for their quality service and proactive business practices. This award reflects the professionalism of John Henry's Plumbing, Heating, Air, and Electrical’s team that truly cares about providing quality service.

Another prestigious award is the 2018 Lincoln’s Choice Award in the Plumbing, Heating, and Air Conditioning category. Thank you to all those that voted for us. You are appreciated.

Are you happy with the overall direction of customer service today? We can encourage better customer service by quality interaction with employees of all businesses. If we do not get it, we can choose to be the customers that quietly go away.

In the end, we all have a lot in common. We believe customer service is more than a cliché. Some of us may be “seasoned” and not fully appreciated for our age, but with age comes the wisdom of knowing the difference in many areas. Regardless of our age, customer service is one area in which we can make a difference by speaking out when we do not get it or by encouraging better customer service with our kind words.

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