“Plus, our customers were not comfortable having our guys in their home,” he explains. “At least at first. That has changed today. “Like so many businesses, we are off-plan financially compared to this time last year. In addition, we had one of the mildest winters in a long time here.”

He says COVID-19 changed how they communicate because it prevents the team from sitting face-to-face and sharing things with customers.

“Social distancing and having to wear masks has created social barriers that didn’t exist before, so we must be creative in how we “connect” with the customer.”

Albemarle boasts its own sheet metal shop
To provide first-class service and control costs, Albemarle maintains their own sheet metal shop onsite.

Some of the strategies the Albemarle team uses to overcome this deficit is meeting with customers over Zoom. They also chat with them on the phone, use their mobile devices to show the technicians their systems, and even operate the thermostat remotely.

“Of course we also do all the things we should do anyway like wearing booties and facemasks, wearing gloves when necessary, wiping down all our equipment, and cleaning up when we are done with our work. We enforce practicing social distancing with our technicians,” he says.

“As a result of the pandemic, we now get a written approval on every service call. We can sign off for them if that is what they’d prefer. All customers are different. Some have no concerns about us being in their homes and others are completely concerned.”

In the end, the team at Albemarle focuses on whatever the customer needs and continues its tradition of providing value for a fair price – something their customers seem to appreciate and desire. That is the revolutionary approach to customer service.

It is for these and many more reasons that Ralph Sachs and the team at Albemarle Heating and Air, Charlottesville, VA is the focus of the September 2020 Contractor Spotlight. Congratulations to the entire team.