We also use online reviews as a key performance indicator. At Lakeside, customer feedback is critical.

For example, if we sell a job and tell the customer that we will do x-number of things to improve comfort in a particular room by increasing airflow to this level, we then go back and verify it. We make sure it works. If it doesn’t work, we redo the work until it does. That goes back to our 100% satisfaction guarantee.

How can we do this?

We use checklists on every job to record all the high-performance HVAC measurements.

When you use the same process on every job, your installers and service techs behave differently. They know their information is being recorded and will be used by the next tech during annual tune-ups. Knowing that another tech will look at your measurements and then retest the system, you want to be sure to be accurate.

Walking the Brand Culture Walk

None of this happens overnight. It’s taken us years to learn to walk the high-performance walk. I found the secret was being intentional about it. You must consistently test, measure, diagnose, and repair, and – in our case – guarantee 100% satisfaction. You must deliver on your promises and prove them every time.

Today this approach has a positive impact on our business. It improves referrals, increases our team’s pride, and leads to our techs becoming craftsmen.

And we promote the idea that their work is an opportunity to put their signature on it like a real artist.

Our guys have started to grab onto that. They take pictures of their work on nearly every job.

When you walk the walk, the word gets out not only to customers but to potential employees as well. Our reputation and involvement with a local trade school led to instructors discussing Lakeside as an example where students should want to work.

The high-performance approach allows service companies to provide superior service and attracts employees and customers. What young man or woman doesn’t want to work for an HVAC company that can find and solve customer issues that most other companies can’t figure out? In the end, that’s where the rubber meets the road.

All of these things have become part of our brand culture. Put another way; our internal culture is our brand. If you want to stand out and be the best, developing a high-performance culture and approach is among the best ways to do that.

Ethical Compass

Once you learn a truth, you can’t unlearn it. Once you know how performance testing works and use that approach successfully, people begin to believe in you and what you do.

Our high-performance brand culture is Lakeside’s ethical compass and how we provide value to customers AND employees. I feel it’s our job to find ways to implement this, make it affordable, and get it to as many customers as possible. It’s simply the right thing to do.

John Boylan is the general manager of Lakeside Service Company in Brighton, MI. The company specializes in designing, engineering, and installing complete comfort systems in new and existing homes. To contact John, go to ncilink.com/Contact Me.