Association's Members Get Counter Certified

Steve Coscia offers e-learning to help HARDI wholesalers create a positive experience for their customers.

HAVERTOWN, Pa. - For HVACR wholesalers, first impressions happen at the counter, often in the time it takes to snap your fingers. Nationally known customer service expert Steve Coscia understands the critical nature of those first encounters. He offers e-learning to help HARDI (Heating, Air-conditioning and Refrigeration Distributors International) wholesalers create a positive experience for their customers. Coscia’s customer service training system enables wholesaler staff to complete requirements for HARDI’s sought-after Certified Counter Specialist (CCS) credential.

“If you believe that your frontline line people are delivering 100 percent customer satisfaction, you don’t need me,” Coscia said. “But if you’ve observed or heard about customer service that raises questions, we should talk.”

His e-learning course helps employees to listen better, handle difficult situations, improve relationships and ultimately increase sales.

“These e-lessons teach HARDI members about the importance of good communication between a customer and the counter salesperson, especially since 50 percent of this activity involves listening,” Coscia explained. “The art of listening includes the ability to qualify the details. For example, a customer who orders a grille should have his order qualified with the following question: Do you need a supply register or a return grille? An informed HVAC counter salesman knows the difference and should be prepared to explain. Namely, that a register is used for supply (usually includes a damper), and grille is for the return (no damper). Listening is more than hearing. Listening occurs when the counter salesperson does three things: hears, qualifies, and understands what was spoken.”

Coscia has authored HARDI’s Counterline newsletter since 2004. He counts numerous HARDI members among his clients, including APR Supply, a wholesale distributor that has been in business in Pennsylvania for more than 75 years. APR Supply used Coscia’s customer service e-Learning course to achieve HARDI Level 3 counter certification.

“Coscia’s online customer service training meets HARDI’s requirement for counter certification,” said S. Rene Numer, director of human resources for APR Supply. “It provides exactly the right content and it’s easy to access.”

West Chester, Pa.-based American Air Distributing, a HARDI member, sought out Coscia to train their counter staff.

“Our employees are No. 1 in delivering customer service and Coscia’s e-learning lessons have helped our counter staff achieve this status,” said Karen Eaton, office manager at American Air Distributing.

The company has been working with Coscia since 2003 and has scheduled additional sessions for 2010.

“Not only are the e-lessons educational, they are lively and sometimes even whimsical,” Eaton said. “We learn something new every time we watch them.”

According to HARDI, a company actively participating in this program benefits from fewer returns, reduced warranty expenses, decreased customer wait time, increased customer dependency, increased repeat business, and increased employee satisfaction.

For more information, visit

Publication date: 06/28/2010

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