As a contractor or service provider do you provide the best solution for your customers, or is the solution you offer really best suited to you? Do you understand the difference between what a customer says they want, what they really need, and what you want to supply? Do ‘we’ make it easy for them to understand what they really need?
Our customers generally do not care about ‘our' problems – they have enough of their own. They just want their problem solved in the best possible way, and of course the ‘best possible way’ is different for each customer! They want a solution. They deserve the best solution.
"Our customers generally do not care about ‘our' problems – they have enough of their own."
What is best for the customer?
We consider all refrigerants, construction materials, and equipment selections from a full range of technologies and applications, and match the best approach to the specific problem, based on the customer's definition of what constitutes ‘best', not ours. This could be lowest total life cycle cost, reliability/availability, environmental friendliness, low capital cost, highest efficiency, low noise, minimum size etc., The permutations of these ‘key drivers’ are almost limitless, but they uniquely define a customer’s expectation of what is ‘best’.
Industry Jargon Means Nothing to Customers
"Just think like a customer for a moment."
As engineers we fill the world with acronyms and divisions, pigeonholing the world into bite-sized chunks that we can deal with. RACHP, M&E, MEP, HVAC, HVACR, Retail, Commercial, Industrial, R1234yf, BIM, CDM, PED, WSE etc., what does any of this mean to an industry ‘outsider'?
Only we (the insiders) understand this ‘language'. We complain that our customers (the users of the systems, and the people who pay us), do not understand our problems. This sounds like medical doctors and scientists giving everything a Latin name – and do we complain about them?
Even more confusing for our long-suffering customers, is when we try to explain the different types of refrigerants to them and why we have to change yet again! This is never a good start to a ‘plain –English’ conversation. Synthetics or natural – are we discussing refrigerants or breast augmentation?
Like doctors, I am sure that we create boundaries, pigeonholes and technical jargon where none is really needed – ‘Plain English' would serve is much better; and why stop serving your customer just because the capacity is larger, or smaller than ‘your’ normal (and not their normal).
Understanding the Customer's Processes
To achieve that, of course, we have to understand the customer's process and refine and innovate with them, for their continuous improvement, and to ‘stay with them’ as they evolve, and not just as ‘our' industry changes. In this manner, we can ensure a trusting, mutually fruitful, long-term partnering relationship. Customer service satisfaction is our goal.
- To be ‘Big’ when the customer needs it or expects it - 1,500 mobile engineers, reaching every UK postcode.
- Be Local when needed or preferred – with 17 branch locations across the UK, we can quickly and easily visit you at your location, to listen and observe your process and problem.
- Be technically skilled – offer the customer’s definition of ‘best’ solution based on a full range of technical and practical options. Exclude nothing in your initial thinking. We can do everything.
- The best added value from the full range of equipment, products, applications and solutions available. We are independent of equipment manufacturers.
- Be open to new technologies and innovations. Integrate these into improved ‘best’ solutions.
- Think BEYOND traditions and boundaries.
A Clearer Type of Engineering - Heat Energy Movement
We used to be defined as the RAC sector (Refrigeration and Air Conditioning). We now refer to ourselves as the RACHP sector (adding Heat Pumps). What now is the difference between RACHP and HVAC (which I sometimes see as HVACR)?
The ‘cooling’ sector is now involved in heating (and the heating sector now offers refrigeration technology as heat pumps).
We are evolving into Heat Energy Movement engineers, and within Integral we can ‘integrate’ (pardon the pun) this into the wider range of utilities, to become Integrated Energy and Utility Engineers offering the best ‘integrated’ solutions across all the energy and utility needs of our customers.
We choose to embrace change and respect traditions, whilst thinking beyond them. Who else can do all this across all our traditional sectors and applications?