That rumble around Nashville, TN wasn’t caused by an earthquake. It was caused by the hundreds of HVAC professionals arriving in the city for HVAC Comfortech 2009: Succeed. Grow. Dominate.
HVAC Comfortech 2009 offers everything the industry has come to expect from Comfortech, and more of it. The number of presentations has been increased over last year, in response to numerous requests from attendees at the 2008 show. And that’s fine with us. We’re networked into some of the HVAC industry’s leading contractors and consultants. And they’re happy to be here for the good of the industry.
Wednesday afternoon was a great launch. As attendees registered in the main hall, sessions got underway, including:
- Market Domination in a Slow Economy, by Tom Grandy
- Sales Management Troubleshooting, by Drew Cameron
- Hire the Right Person for the Right Job, by Bill Kinnard
- Branding Dominance in a Recessionary World, by Matt Michel and Steve Miles
- Using Web 2.0 to Grow Your Business, by Matt Prazenka
- Cause Marketing: Good for Your Wallet, Good for Your Soul, by Barbara Duffy
- …and more.
Wednesday morning included the Annual Meeting of Women in HVACR, a leading organization that is providing women in the HVAC industry a forum for networking and learning among their female peers.
“The focus of today’s program is to educate and inspire,” said Barb Keil, president, Keil Heating & Air Conditioning, Riverdale, NJ.
To kick off the WHVACR meeting, ContractingBusiness.com Woman of the Year Donna Lanier, owner of All Seasons One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning, Huntsville, AL presented the keynote address.
Lanier began here career as the owner of a Chevron dealership, during which time she earned a Bachelors of Science degree in human resource management from the University of Alabama. She later became general manager of All Seasons, and eventually purchased the company in 2005. Lanier’s career is a textbook example of someone who wouldn’t give up in pursuit of her dream of owning a successful business. And she got there through education, determination and courage.
“It’s all about the climb, and how you deal with adversity along the way,” Lanier said.
Get Branded with Service
The WHVACR meeting continued with a presentation on customer service branding by Blaine Fox, vice president of business development for Warm Thoughts Communications.
Is your company “branded” with superior customer service? In an industry where consumers think al the providers are the same there are only a few serious or compelling ways to differentiate yourself, and superior customer service is the most effective. Blaine Fox, a 25-year industry veteran and former HVAC contractor general manager, provided strategies to deliver superior service every day. Those include gathering customer feedback, and implementing the Net Promoter Score, an important part of a customer service-centered business.
“Without clear differentiators, all companies look the same.” Fox said. A brand, said Fox, is how people feel about your company. “The brand is the promise. Know, sell, and live the promise. It’s what people think and feel when they see your company’s name and logo.”
Your goal must be to eliminate the number of “detractors” who feel negatively about your company, or your brand, Fox said. Detractors call customer service three times more frequently than average customers. They defect at higher rates, and hold shorter and less profitable relationships with the company. They’re responsible for 80-90% of negative word of mouth, based on a Dell case study.
Other topics at the WHVACR meeting included:
- Panel Discussion on Social Networking, moderated by Ruth King
- How to Conquer Fear and Meet New People, by Barbara Keil
- Managing Change, by Vicki LaPlant
- Power Hour of Self Development, by Sharon McGee.
HVAC Comfortech 2009: Succeed. Grow. Dominate. continues through Saturday afternoon, Sept. 26.