After a rough fall of 2008 — during which time the company had to layoff 13 of its 70 employees, Brothers Air and Heat, Charlotte, NC, is expanding.
To accommodate company growth, Brothers owners Roger and Donald Costner have broken ground on a 9,000 sq. ft. addition to its corporate office.
The secret to the company's rejuvenation is no secret at all. It involves listening to customers, and stepping back and making an honest assessment of the business.
"We paid attention to what our customers were telling us" says Roger Costner. "We analyzed every part of our operation."
Starting with overhead, the management team reviewed every item on Brothers' chart of accounts, to find ways to reduce certain line item costs, and determine each item's importance in serving customers. Items that couldn't be tied to customer service were eliminated.
With overhead reduced and non productive positions eliminated, management set out to retrain every employee and provide exemplary customer service. Using a survey of customers provided by best practice group Nexstar, the management team identified what its clients wanted in a service company, and how Brothers scored in relation to those items.
Among the improvements, an action plan was designed to improve the service mindset of all employees, including customer service representatives, dispatchers, and technicians. A plumbing and sewer services division was also added, and is seeing favorable growth.