901 755 4797
” I feel so rewarded every day with what we’re doing in the community getting to know the people that I work with and really seeing the fruits of our labor, we work incredibly hard and we’re constantly striving to improve and I’m just excited to go to work every day and that is a true blessing it really is …”– Justin Giles
What Makes a Successful Service Company?
Our very own, Justin Giles from Choate’s Air Conditioning, Heating And Plumbing joins Uncle Joe’s Podscast. Justin talks about the 3 Things Key To A Successful Service Company. This is a must listen to episode of The Service MVP Podcast!
Podcast Episode Transcription:
Alright everybody welcome to the service MVP podcast that my name is Joe Crisara, America’s service sales coach and today we have a very exciting guest his name is Justin Giles and he is with Choate’s air heat and plumbing air conditioning heating and plumbing is in Memphis TN he has a unique story he is not in Memphis although he definitely helps to assist the company to operate Justin welcome to the program I definitely appreciate you being here thank you Joe I appreciate it I’ve been looking forward to this me too me too and definitely every time I spend with you is precious time so I’m happy you’re giving me this gift that’s something we can never get back which is our time but definitely I got I got to feeling it’s going to be time well spent Justin why don’t you go ahead and tell me a little bit about you know I know that shots is a company in Memphis TN tell us a little bit about how you got involved with the position that you’re in what do you want people to know about your involvement and shots in general give us a little snapshot about shots and also about you absolutely well first I want to thank you for having me on the show Joe it’s a true pleasure Choate’s was started in 1958 it’s a family owned and operated company at this time we’re probably one of the two biggest air conditioning and plumbing companies in the Memphis area we have about 150 employees and we are growing at an exponential rate and we are doing the best we can to provide the best customer service to the community I came that shoots about seven years ago eight years ago from private practice of law I used to be Choate’s outside council developed a relationship with Sol Choate and Brian Choate uh who are the sons of Chris Choate’s the current owner and his father Joe Choate’s started the company back in 1958 so they twisted my arm talked me into coming over and we haven’t looked back it’s been a great ride and every day I’m thankful to be at the company well that’s really great we give up the practice of law in the in the in the state in the United States of America to get the law of service which definitely I think you got a higher calling with this law for sure that’s I would say I’m going to tell you I did not know what to expect when I made the switch but you know after making the move and listening to all my law friends tell me I’m crazy to get into the service industry and leave the private practice I feel so rewarded every day with what we’re doing in the community getting to know the people that I work with and really seeing the fruits of our labor we work incredibly hard and we’re constantly striving to improve and I’m just excited to go to work every day and that is a true blessing it really is when you make your job something that’s fun to do then it’s never it’s like don’t tell anybody but you would do it anyway if you even if we didn’t get paid the same with me too I feel sad and guess what shots and uncle Joe we share the same year of a birthday I was born in 1958 too isn’t it crazy that’s fantastic so we and so we were both probably you’re probably considered the best in Memphis and I’m concerned the best for service and sales training and definitely it’s great as it was like marriage made in heaven when I first heard what you guys were doing but Chris put together here and what his team and his family and you help taking this lead on the project I definitely was I felt like I brothers from another mother the day I met you guys so it was the easiest thing I ever did was fall in love with Choate’s I tell you that so we appreciate it exactly so we’re on the same page we’re here to help the people of your community get the best world class service they can get when that being said you have a unique so that’s why I said I called you on this podcast because we’re not talking about some lifer who’s been an Tracey forever plumbing forever we got something from the outside so this is unique everybody listening to this is a unique podcast because we’re going to listen to somebody who is moving in from the outside to see some of the things that were unexpectedly pleasantly unexpected that when he joined the company and he became one of the executives that helps run this organization Justin why don’t you start by I guess the question is going to be the overall theme of this podcast will be I want to hear three things that you’ve observed that are not obvious three things that are not obvious that the people who are maybe in the trades but maybe from the outside looking in you it’s obvious to you what are the three things that you’ve seen that are key to the success of shots and really other companies too that around the country do grow up great service one of three keys that are not obvious that you see as an outsider who’s now become an insider that you think is key to the success of a world class service company like chokes well I think First things first and I don’t know if this is obvious or not but it is critical in this business to love what you do I see a lot of people who are in the business just to make money which is why we all go to work obviously but but to run a successful service company you truly have to care when I started it shots I would have told you nobody’s going out work me I felt pretty confident in my skills and my work ethic and then I started it shows and I saw Chris his wife Cindy Brian saw how much they care about the business and the people in the community they go above and beyond in what they do to make people comfortable and I didn’t understand that coming from the private practice of law how hard it is to make a business work and so the first thing I would say is you’ve got to love what you do it’s got to be a challenge and not a chore if it’s a chore you’re going to get burned out you’re going to sacrifice excellence in service and you’re not going to be able to provide the level of compassion that is really needed in this business you you’re dealing with people who for us in the business and I consider myself in the business now you know it is a business we’ve got employees we’ve got bottom lines we’ve got all the stuff that’s tied up in business but when you’re dealing with customers they’re typically in a crisis situation they’re panicking they don’t know what it’s going to cost they don’t have a HVAC budget set aside and so it is our job in this profession to come in calm the nerves explain to them the process hold their hand and be that rock that they need in those situations and it starts with loving what you do yeah I think it’s like loving what you do is because you love your customers too it’s like you’re I look at it like this if you’re you know either go to a you either go to serve your customer you’re picking up that phone or going to their house or going to their business whatever it is that you’re doing either you got a feeling that the lights have come on inside of you and you kind of light up I feel like you kind of see the feeling in the tone you get like like I’m kind of like wait like when I go on a service call I talk to people like you know I talk to you just like I talked to you I was like you know this is like a pleasure to work with these people and I had I had your company on the line and I developed a love for the company because I’m like I didn’t I didn’t know you before I walked into it I could feel it was all heart and I felt like everybody was committed everybody texted me saying they’re excited about the program I can feel the enthusiasm and then they’ve taken the lead by actually using the training we have in the learning and things like that and that’s either the either lights come on or you feel like this job sucks right so you get that feeling this job sucks you probably shouldn’t get out the get go be an attorney or something right you’ve got to do something else you’ve got to be fully committed to the work you do in this profession and our motto at Schultz is let our family serve your family and so we have a do unto others mentality and we walk into every home and we look at that customer like that’s our mom our aunt or uncle and we’re going to make sure we can do everything we can to make their life better that’s the feeling I got when I told everybody I was uncle Joe to your team they took it literally they felt they felt seriously I felt like I was literally their uncle and that’s what the I still get texts from people telling me some of the victories and some of the aha moments are getting and I do feel that from your team and definitely that’s why I wanted to have you on here because we shared that same philosophy I always say when I’m with your family in a way my family right now is second place because I’m putting all my effort into your family and my and my focus on your family of course when I get back to my family that’s the most important thing in my entire life there but you know I think the do great service you have to dive into it and if you’re going to be Olympic swimmer you got to be loving swimming you’re going to be a ball player it’s going to do it yeah you get on the field you light up when you see the green grass or you’re like oh none other day of having to run well and everything right yeah it’s like that to use the baseball analogy you know every great baseball player there are thousands of hours that they’ve spent in the cage with no bright lights you know hitting off of a tee and it should be no different in our business for every great service call we run there are hours and hours of preparation that go into making that service call great whether it’s participating with you and learning from you and implementing that system uh to setting your price book their hours and hours that go into making the final product great and you’ve got to enjoy that grind to enjoy the payoff I agree is that your number two or is that something that sounds like you’re moving right into the number 2 which is you got to prepare is I’m just throwing it out there but what do you think what’s number 2 for you what do you think well I will tell you prior preparation prevents poor performance we live by that but number 2 for me is you have to define what success is to you um OK you know the standard definition of success is accomplishing a goal and so it chokes what we’ve done is we have set a vision and we have a plan we’re not just showing up every day going through the motions we have a long term we call it a bee hag a big hairy audacious goal and then we set smart goals along the way specific measurable attainable relevant and time bound and we’re constantly working towards that vision and goal and so for you have to define success because what success to you may be a healthy bottom line and what successes to me may be providing uh the best customer service or supporting our community so when until you know where you want to go until you have that road map in that final destination point you can’t be successful you can’t measure yourself along the way to celebrate the wins and identify the setbacks that you need to correct to get better the next day so I would say defining success setting vision that is really a great I think I I completely agree with that you know I’m going to let me ask you a critical question since you are running a larger company with chaos it’s not it’s not a small enterprise and you’re and you’re impacting thousands of clients lives in the city of and the surrounding area and cities of Memphis TN you know the question I would have and this is maybe you can just give it just give a small you don’t got to go probably take 8 hours on this question but we could do this for days give me a give me a thumbnail here if you can how do you get the team like to be like I know everybody could have a different goal like some people go home at 4:00 o’clock and get home early whatever right I’m supposed to younger people today their goal is mainly a personal time off might be there right how do you align those type of things and get all hurt all those kittens to make sure that there’s a unified goal that the team agrees on can you tell me a little bit more just the thumbnail and you don’t go too far into it but that’s thing I’m interested in that if you don’t mind sharing that with me well that’s the hardest part right and it actually dovetails into what my third key for success really is and that is you have to build a team in an infrastructure that has alignment of purpose you’ve all got to be rowing in the same direction and the way to do that in my opinion if you have to be transparent you have to be honest you have to let your team know this is our goal these are our values we have core values of chose we call them the dishes teamwork hospitality education dependability integrity service honesty excellence and safety those are the line in the sand that you can’t cross you can’t mislead a customer you have to show up when you say you’re going to show up and we let our team know we literally have it heated on the walls what our mission is what our values are we’ve established that culture and you’ve got to get the right people on the bus and the right seats and it’s tough and it’s hard and we work at it every day and by being transparent by showing them the numbers by setting goals by outlining the path we want to take it’s easy for us to identify those people who are not aligned with that that’s a heartbreaking part there are people I think there’s people we want more for than they want for themselves does that we do I do a lot of the mindset training and it’s amazing to me how many people that we deal with on the daily love it and want to learn more and they’re eager and they’re thirsty for knowledge and then there’s some people that say you know what that’s not what I want to do and that’s OK you know you don’t have to see things the way that we see them but if you don’t you probably need to work somewhere else and so we set those expectations early we don’t hide the ball from anybody and we have found that people love having a sense of purpose it’s not just showing up to work every day we have a collective goal yeah and it kind of makes a larger company seem smaller right that’s exactly the fact that we have this common values we all know that the person who’s on our team it wouldn’t it wouldn’t be you know here’s what I look at too if we if we find somebody who doesn’t share the values the same exact values there’s things that are gang are stopped or what I call it the they’re stopping points for them where they say listen I just can’t commit to that right away so it’s like you know what it’s our pleasure to help you myself I would say let me even help you find another job somewhere because there’s plenty of people who need people like you but just not just to hear we work here it’s got to be special and unique it’s got to be your dream job if you’re not this isn’t a dream job for you anymore we wouldn’t want to put the burden on you and I think that’s one of the things that’s mature way of looking at it to say that absolutely we’re not for everybody right I mean how important is it that joke does exclusive service that when people are allowed to be in the family that there are that there are schools they’re exclusive people too that are going to believe in the same thing how important is that it’s super important and we like I said we let people know on the front end who we are and for us you know ultimately the customers happiness dictates our success from a profitability standpoint and we tell our employees when they first come on that if you’re not happy ultimately the customer’s not going to be happy and so one of the things that we do really well and I think is very important to being successful is we have open communication lines or we do what we’re called from New York employee check-ins they’re basically weekly because we’ve broken everybody down into smaller teams so we check in and everybody at the company has a voice we don’t take pride in authorship if you have a great idea we’re going to run with it takes a village right and just because my names up here and I have this title doesn’t mean everything that I think can do is correct and so we are leaning on our people constantly for fresh new ideas critiques of us tell us what we’re doing right and wrong there’s we welcome it and you have to have that open environment you have to do it respectfully there’s a time and a place but we welcome that feedback because you can’t build a team if your entire team doesn’t feel like they’re a part of it so I think that companies that are successful like notes on air conditioning heating and plumbing definitely our successful because the way the way they just like you know firemen instead of running away from the fire or the conflict you run toward it and find and seek the conflict so that because you because then it’s easy to do that when you know how to manage conflict Definitely Justin it sounds like uh chokes air conditioning heating and plumbing is definitely good at that and I definitely think that the clients of Memphis are fortunate to have some like who makes an effort and unfortunately you believe how fast the time just goes by when we done they always say that a great meeting starts on time which it did and then our uh meeting ends got an entire time which is going a little bit over right now believe it or not but I don’t want to cut you off because I really haven’t you got to make a promise before you leave here though today can you promise to come back with me and share more absolutely I love sharing what we do at chokes and I appreciate the opportunity that you’ve give me Joe and anytime you need me give me a call I thoroughly enjoyed it how would people would you I mean if you want me to say it but if you wanted people to call chosen and just kind of see what that culture is like would that be something you’d be open to having people visit and say little tour what do you think absolutely we hire across the country actually we be bringing people in from all over we want to share our model with other businesses so any owners that want to see what we do see our facility its first class we welcome them in and I’ll give you my personal cell phone number they can call me anytime and I’ll facilitate it it’s (901) 734-8811 great well Justin that’s what generous offer I didn’t even we didn’t even clear that before I brought it up so I’m going to have to cut it out that’s really great absolutely now we thank you we want everybody to prosper and grow and you know that is a key to success just to end real quick don’t think you know it all I’ve got hundreds of books literally hundreds of books you can always learn from others and you should never stop learning well thank you off and on that note thank you Justin and thanks everybody for listening we will catch everybody here the next episode thanks a lot everybody alright take care Joe.