Local businesses can be just as modern as any tech company. Paschal Air, Plumbing, and Electric is proof of that.
Paschal has been serving Fayetteville, Arkansas since 1968. Until 2012, they’d grown to a headcount of only 20. That’s when Charley Boyce took ownership. Since then they’ve grown to 110 and counting, and they’re just getting started.
We asked Charley how Paschal has managed to grow so consistently under his lead. “It’s all about people and processes,” he told us. “It’s about making sure we have the right people and that we know where we’re going, and then constantly refining the processes.”
Any business owner will tell you that finding the right people is challenging. HVAC business owners often tell us how hard it is to find and keep quality technicians. Paschal has done an amazing job of finding employees who live up to the company’s long-standing reputation. But making sure their employees have the right technology and processes they need to be effective hasn’t been as easy.
“We don’t hand out just anything to third parties,” Marketing Director Jade Rundle told us. “We like to keep things in-house and make sure we’re growing the right way.” Much of that approach is driven by how quickly things now change online.
“What worked for us five years ago doesn’t work for us today,” Charley told us. “Stuff is changing and you’ve got to change with it.” A few years back, Charley found that his team was missing a lot of opportunities due to obstacles in communication. He knew they had the right people on their side, but they needed to refine their processes and adopt more useful tech.
Reviews were just the beginning.
Charley heard about Podium from another business owner while at a dealer meeting. He knew right away that Podium could help Paschal give a voice to their customers through quality reviews. What he didn’t know was that it would become much more than that.
“It’s gone from just this little widget that we were going to use to help get reviews,” Charley told us, “to being integral to what we do and how we conduct ourselves.” Now, they use Podium to not only get reviews, but also collaborate as a team on a daily basis.
Working smarter as a team to resolve customer concerns.
Stephanie Johnson, Customer Relations Manager at Paschal painted a picture for how difficult customer service can be. When their team was smaller, it was much easier to communicate as a team to solve their customers’ concerns. As the business grew, it became nearly impossible to keep track of everything.
“There was a lot of walking around trying to track people down,” she told us. “We tried out a couple of other apps, but they weren’t supportive to our needs.” Those apps would often fail to function in the more rural areas of Arkansas. Instead of helping them communicate instantly, they were only getting in the way.
Retaining thousands of maintenance customers with convenient messaging.
For most HVAC businesses, maintenance programs are crucial for retaining customers. HVAC is a highly seasonal industry. Apart from adding new services like plumbing, Paschal has streamlined how they nurture their maintenance customers. “It’s a heck of a lot easier when we’re dealing with thousands of maintenance customers. We can push out thousands of texts,” Charely told us. “We can carry on many more conversations, as opposed to calling, they don’t answer.”
Before leaving Paschal’s office, we asked Charley what advice he would give to other local business owners. Here’s what he told us: “You’ve got to change. Your customers are doing it, and either you’re going to do it or your competition is—you might as well beat them to it.”