West / Regional Reports

Dealer Says First Impressions Are Important

January 18, 2002
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PHOENIX, AZ — First impressions are important, according to Ray Spreitzer of R&D Refrigeration.

He says when service technicians arrive in a nice truck in clean uniforms, customers perceive them to be more professional.

R&D Refrigeration has been in business for 21 years and has eight employees in uniforms.

“We’ve always used uniforms,” said Spreitzer.

Why?

“We wear them so we look professional,” he said. “If you go to the doctor, and he comes in wearing cutoffs and a T-shirt, you would probably be a little leery; yet on the weekend, maybe that’s what he wears.

“You need to have that serviceman look, and without uniforms, that’s pretty tough. So we have both pants and shirts for uniforms, and we wear Comfortmaker jackets in the winter.”

He said they like the Cintas uniforms because they are sized appropriately, have the best fit, and are made of softer material.

“Over the past 21 years, we’ve tried different kinds, and we like the Cintas uniforms best,” he said. “We get the pleated pants, because it makes it easier to get in and out of pockets. We’ve been real happy with the Comfortmaker uniform program.”

COMFORT PLUS

R&D Refrigeration is a member of the Comfortmaker Comfort Plus dealer alliance program. “Through the alliance, we are getting better prices on uniforms than we had before, and we are looking into other benefits,” he said. “The alliance has been good for us.”

He said the employee profit sharing program makes alliance membership a good investment. A percentage of dealer sales in Comfortmaker products goes into a profit sharing program. That brings his company to a breakeven point on the cost of the program — plus it is an added incentive for his employees.

“Anything else we get is just an added bonus,” he said. “It’s like getting in free because of the volume we are selling.”

R&D buys Comfortmaker products and uniforms through Bush Supply in Phoenix.

This article was published in the December 2001 issue of “The Comfort Zone,” a newsletter for dealers who sell Comfortmaker products.

Sidebar: Survey Says —Uniforms Help

Do uniformed employees in a workplace setting create a different perception among customers than do employees not in uniform?

A recent survey of consumers, conducted by J.D. Power and Associates and sponsored by the Uniform and Textile Service Association (USTA), shares these findings:

  • Over 75% of consumers prefer that heating and air conditioning employees be in uniform.
  • Consumers have more confidence and trust in employees wearing uniforms.
  • Quality of products and services is perceived to be higher when employees are wearing uniforms.
  • When price, quality, and service are equal, consumers are more likely to buy from an employee in uniform.

    Publication date: 01/21/2002

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