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Service: World According to Peaden

November 22, 2010
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Mike Murphy

In addition to regular meetings, Peaden Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing in Panama City and Fort Walton Beach, Fla., communicates weekly through a company enewsletter called As the Fan Turns. I am on the e-mail list. I think the people at the company like me so much they want me to know about the employment opportunities at the well-organized company (in case the publishing business ever turns sour.)

Well, thankfully, the magazine biz is actually looking good these days, but I’m still taking notes from Peaden’s enewsletters. I hope The NEWS is keeping our readers as well-informed as the Peaden company does its employees. If I were an employee of Peaden’s, everything I could ever want to know about the company’s activities is in that weekly communication.

EMPLOYEE COMMUNICATIONS

What information will you find on the pages of As the Fan Turns? Residential and commercial service agreement sales, employee birthdays and accomplishments, a note from the boss, community service announcements, goal tracking and attainment from various departments, special customer promotions, company announcement and milestones, to name just a few.

Many contractors ascribe to the belief that providing excellent service to customers begins with providing excellence service to one’s employees. Being in the communications business myself, I am always impressed when I see companies that effectively communicate and market their own businesses internally. That is one way to service internal customers - your employees - by keeping them in the communication loop.

Building team unity and pride are two of the most powerful means for ensuring a commitment to providing excellent customer service. Much like a good football coach realizes that players must first believe in themselves as a team before attaining greater goals, a company that takes pride in itself may be destined for greatness.

Granted, keeping one’s employees informed is only a baby-step toward developing a successful business, but nonetheless, a very important step.

CUSTOMER COMMUNICATIONS TOO

In addition to As the Fan Turns, Peaden Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing offers a customer enewsletter, Creature Features. It only sounds like a silly name for a newsletter until you discover the trio of little creatures that are crawling around on nearly every piece of communication that the company puts out from newsletters to invoices. Sometime around 1989, the first creature came into existence at the Peaden company. It was fun - it was branding, and it worked. Today the company has lots of happy customers.

What could possibly fill 12 pages of Peaden’s enewsletter for customers? A recent one had information about R-22 and R-410A, tax credits, Chinese drywall, energy savings, and household HVAC and plumbing tips. In addition, recent promotions, certification, and awards of its employees are touted for customers to read; new employees, why to choose a NATE-certified technician, letters from raving fans, company honors and awards, past news stories about the company, and six pages of special coupons.

Realizing that a business has internal as well as external customers is perhaps one of the most important turning points for many a fledgling company. The old adage that says, “The customer is always right,” may not always be right, but forgetting that employees are customers, too, is always wrong.

The investment that an HVAC company makes in its greatest resource, its employees, is money well spent. Of course, there is always much more to be done than can be accomplished with a simple internal newsletter, but for companies that have yet to implement such communication, it might be a good first step.

The Peaden company is just one of many that has perfected its communications efforts, and many other facets of running a successful business. Do you have any examples of model service? The NEWS is always interested in learning about innovative people and companies in the industry. Pop me an e-mail sometime, or better yet, put me on your enewsletter list.

Publication date: 11/22/2010
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