ATLANTA, GA — WhenThe Newsvisited Mallory & Evans Service Co. three years ago, the affiliate company of Mallory & Evans, Inc., was just beginning to “proactively pursue maintenance, retrofit, and design-build opportunities in the existing building market,” according to Bill Flynn, executive vice president for service.

Flynn, a News contractor consultant, said that the service company, formed in 1997, has an objective of building on Mallory & Evans’ strong reputation for quality by actively marketing to customers looking for building services.

“Basically, our customers asked us to expand our capabilities so that they could get Mallory & Evans quality to cover their other building needs,” Flynn said. “This service expansion has been extremely successful, adding over 100 new customers and 30 new employees.”

The program involves obtaining immediate feedback from customers and putting the data into various subcategories, including response time, technician expertise, workmanship, personal service, follow-up, and billing and documentation.

“In monthly team meetings, customer satisfaction levels are reviewed, corrective plans created, and outstanding performance recognized,” added Flynn.

Money for Employees

The company keeps high levels of customer satisfaction by rewarding employees for outstanding performance. A semi-annual customer satisfaction audit is performed by an independent company and from that, a team bonus is paid based on the level of customer satisfaction.

Since the program began, employees have averaged $2,000 per year in customer satisfaction bonuses. Customer satisfaction has averaged 98.7% during a three-year period.

Flynn said, “This program lets the employees know that the company is committed to customer satisfaction and that the company is going to stand behind the employees to make sure that that happens.

“The monetary bonuses are very important to most of the employees also. It lets them know that they are going to be rewarded for going a little further to please the customer. It is also important to the employees that the company is going to please a customer before making a profit if they need to.”

Some Mallory & Evans employees talked about the benefits of this program:

“The financial benefits are obvious, but more than that, I think it helps create a closer working relationship between everyone, and a more pleasant workplace,” said Jimmy Henson, field service supervisor.

“I have benefited from the fact that I can know more about the customer, anticipate problem customers, and generally have the knowledge of what they expect from us. Also, the semi-annual bonuses are a definite plus as a result of the program,” said James Lapp, service technician.

“Besides the bonus program, it has increased my awareness to putting emphasis on customer relations. It is a lot easier to work for people if you can talk to them on a personal level,” said Morgan Pakluck, service technician.

“The survey is conducted semi-annually instead of annually,” added James F. Brown, account manager. “Only if your hire date is between surveys are you prorated for the bonus program.

“Beyond that, every employee receives an equal share of the bonus program regardless of employment seniority, staffing position, or professional status,” Brown said. “This is a fair program that enables every employee to benefit from providing a basic element of good business practices: customer service.”

Lapp added, “I have been in the hvac business for 35 years and know of no other company that even comes close to this type of program or would be willing to invest in the resources to engage in such. My previous employer of 14 years, a major corporation, treated their employees as someone to push around and customers as an expensive annoyance.

“This company does well financially and is able to maintain a content customer base and a pleasant work environment, at least in part, by the customer satisfaction program.”

It Works for Everyone

David James, marketing coordinator, said that every phase of the program is geared toward total customer satisfaction, which isn’t always true with other companies.

“Most of us here have worked for large corporate organizations where customer satisfaction was talked about, but certainly never measured like the way we measure it,” he said. “The survey results are shared with all surveyed customers shortly after the survey is completed. Each completed survey is reviewed by all employees to discuss any areas that need to be improved.”

Henson added, “It [the survey] causes everyone to work together toward a common goal. Our company is unique because we put customer satisfaction ahead of profits. We believe if we take care of our customers, profits will take care of themselves.”

Brown praised Flynn. “The leadership qualities of Bill Flynn have exemplified the importance of ensuring customer satisfaction. There have been several related issues I have witnessed that show this program is not lip service.

“Once you have experienced these results, it will change your business conduct towards customer service and satisfaction for the better.”

Flynn summed up the program and Mallory & Evans this way: “This consistent level of excellence in satisfying customers speaks tons about our talent, our commitment to customers, and our ability to work as a team.”

Publication date: 06/18/2001