Case Study: Elite Mechanical

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Elite Mechanical: Celebrating a Commitment to Customer Service

We have been blessed to work with thoughtful, smart companies that want to build better businesses through exceptional customer service.  Elite Mechanical is one of those companies.  Elite Mechanical reached out to us in 2017 with a passion to grow their business through improved customer service.

The Issue:

Elite Mechanical had a reputation for being knowledgeable, skilled and responsive.  But, the Elite Mechanical leadership team wanted to be even better.  Elite believed they could take their business to the next level through delivering one of a kind, personal, and consistent service.

The Customer Service Solution:

Elite Mechanical worked to create a service culture.  This culture was developed through a 4-step process:

  1. Assess the service environment.
  2. Develop key service standards.
  3. Train staff on how to adapt their communication approach to each customers’ need.
  4. Measure, celebrate, and fix things based on the findings.

Let’s look at each one in more detail …


Think Training - Elite Mechanical - Group Picture
The team at Elite Mechanical is committed to customer service excellence

1. Assess the Current Customer Service Environment

Many people want to start with training, but before you do that it is best to dig deep and analyze your a current approach to service.

Elite mechanical assessed their current level of service and looked for ways they could add more personal touches to their service. What would make them special and unique?  How were they currently doing? What did their customers think and want?  How were they capturing this data?

They concluded that they needed better tracking tools and systems to track service levels. At the same time, they realized that their customers wanted a more personalized approach to service.

2. Develop and Live by Your Service Standards

Eventually, Elite realized that they were missing concrete service standards that everyone could live by.  They learned that service standards would help employees to deliver more consistent service.  And, better service would improve their company brand.

So, they went to it.

They met regularly in a series of meetings until they tackled the standards challenge.  Technicians, administrative staff, and the leadership team worked hard to develop the standards that they believed would make Elite Mechanical elite.

They came up with Eight Technician Service Standards to implement in their organization:

  1. Call customer when you are on your way to their location, with approximate arrival time.
  2. Upon arrival, check in with customer or point of contact and offer a friendly greeting.
  3. Confirm the work or service requested.
  4. Complete the work requested in a timely and quality manner.
  5. Inform customer when work is completed and if any follow up is required.
  6. Thank the customer for their business before leaving the location and offer friendly closure.
  7. Transmit service paperwork, via tablet, to Service department by close of the business day or next morning.
  8. Check in with Service department office, by text or call, before leaving the location.

Using these as a benchmark they were able to increase the standards of excellence in their services.

TH!NK Training - Elite Mechanical - Group Meeting
Elite Mechanical put in the work to identify ways to improve their customer service

3. Adapt Your Customer Service Approach To Each Customer, While Maintaining Your Standards

In training, technicians and office staff learned how to communicate even more effectively using Everything DiSC Sales.  

This class helped the technicians grasp their natural style of delivering service. Technicians learned about the emotional needs that drive people’s expectations in service.

For example, the customer who is driven by accuracy will want service delivered differently than the customer who is driven by getting quick results.  The technicians used the DiSC model to “people-read” their customers’ needs within a flash of a minute.

Then, they practiced strategies to adapt their service to the customer’s DiSC style.  With a little practice, people-reading and adapting with DiSC became easier and proved effective!

4. Track, Measure and Adjust Your Service Delivery

Once Elite successfully implemented their standards, what was next?

The Elite technicians and office staff started a self-check process.  They wanted to do a better job at integrating the standards into their daily practice.

Immediately, Elite made a conscientious effort to engage their clients through a customer service survey.  They regularly checked-in with their customers to receive feedback in order to improve their service.  They realized that it’s a simple solution, but it just takes time.

But then, Elite continued their quest for outstanding customer service, but this time focusing on their internal customers, their employees.  The Elite leadership team launched a second survey — an employee opinion survey to measure internal satisfaction from all departments.

Elite was becoming data rich!

With new feedback channels, Elite Mechanical reports that they are now using a scorecard to measure their key initiatives over time.  Consistently, they can identify areas of success and improvement.

Way to go with the measurements!

TH!NK Training - Elite Mechanical - Having Fun
Improving customer service doesn’t have to be dull. Elite Mechanical enjoyed the process of raising their standards.

The Results:

We checked in with Tom Nishi, Secretary/Treasurer at Elite Mechanical, to see how they were doing.  Proudly, he reports on 3 wins Elite has already experienced in just 6 short months.

Win #1:  Elite Mechanical created Eight Technician Service Standards. The standards mirror our promise to our customers.  They clearly define what it is we do and how we shape the customer experience. The standards created consistency and focus for our technician service team.  Ultimately, it set the foundation for every single customer interaction.

Win #2:  The training inspired us to take a look at how we presented ourselves to customers.  We’ve taken the initial steps to reinvent our brand.  Elite Mechanical launched a new company logo, updated the company website, and produced a new marketing brochure. At the end of the day, these elements complement the overall approach to our customer experience.

Win #3:  We also implemented new support tools, processes, and standard practices to become more proactive with our customers. Now, there’s a trace file system to contact customers ahead of their scheduled service dates and to monitor vendor delivery of orders.  For the first time,  a continuity binder documents standard operating procedures.  Lastly, weekly staff “huddles” have become an important part of communication to the field team.

Client Final Thoughts:

“At the end of the day, this customer service initiative has reinvigorated our people to reinvent the HVAC industry. Now, we are on our way to take the customer experience to a whole new level never before seen in Hawaii. Today, this approach solidifies relationships with existing customers, helps build new customer relationships, generates new business, and strengthens the culture of Elite Mechanical.”

TH!NK Training - Elite Mechanical - Group Jumping
TH!NK Training and Elite Mechanical’s leadership enjoying the fruits of customer service excellence.

Case Study: Microsoft

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See how the Microsoft, the world’s largest producer of software, stays innovative and ahead of the competition. Using The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team™ as the foundation of their Organizational Capital Program, Microsoft can develop their teamwork, the ultimate competitive advantage.

Watch this video produced by Wiley Publishing to learn more.

Interested in knowing more about how The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team™ can help you and your organization?  Contact us today to learn more.

Case Study: The Salvation Army Kroc Center Hawaii

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Bram Begonia from the Salvation Army Kroc Center Hawaii, in an interview with Chad Lovell (TH!NK’s Ambassador of Buzz), shares how Everything DiSC® training from TH!NK helped their organization develop a more cohesive team.

The Issue:

As a Management team, we identified a huge opportunity to work better in our one on one interactions with each other and as an entire management team. There are about 30 Managers on our Management Team. As an example, in the business meeting, we realized it always went long. Sometimes we’d go off on a tangent or stray from the agenda. We noticed some people would ask a lot of questions wanting more detail and others loved to answer questions. The meeting kept going in circles. It felt unproductive and inefficient. We were spending way too much time going back and forth. What was happening?

Coincidentally, the Human Resource Team sought Everything DiSC® to enhance internal team building and dynamics, and to help resolve communication issues on their small team of four. After the Human Resources group started seeing the benefits of the training and started using the tools they learned, they highly encouraged the Director and Management team to undergo the training. We understood the way we worked together needed to change. So the Management team took a chance on Everything DiSC®.

The Solution:

All 30 Managers including the Directors took the Everything DiSC® Workplace training, which was completely eye-opening. First, you learn things about yourself that you already know but are further confirmed. Then you learn things about your personality that maybe you don’t want to know or hope are not true about yourself but you realize is probably accurate. Finally, you start learning about your co-workers and how they view things and why they react and do some of the things they do and say some of the things they say. Uncovering and sharing respective DiSC styles shed so much light on why those meetings would take so long. The “C” folks in the room always asked more questions because that is what they do. The “C” folks love the details and want to uncover every possible ramification of a possible decision. The “I” person perceived they were being helpful by answering the questions and the “I” loves talking. The “I” person also is focused on how the team feels and may not want to make a decision and tries to make sure everyone is heard. With three “C” personalities and one “I” personality at play, we finally understood why the meetings went on for as long as they did. It all came down to how people work together based on their DiSC® style.

We followed up the Everything DiSC® Workplace training with the Everything DiSC® Comparison Report. This further allowed us to better understand – and relate – to differing communications styles. This hit home for me personally because the tool helped me connect stronger with my newest staff member. By acknowledging her style, we’ve been able to communicate more clearly with each other to achieve our department’s goals. It has also provided coaching opportunities to assist and guide in her professional development. It’s a win-win scenario. We also start with a clear foundation of understanding what potential pitfalls we may have when we make decisions and communicate with each other in looking at our comparison report.

The Results:

Everything DiSC® has made employees feel more confident about how they communicate with each other. Before you come into my office, you can see my DiSC® profile next to my door before you enter. You will know what I respond to and what my style is even before entering my office to discuss issues or to solve problems. I, in turn, can bring up a profile of a person I will meet within the next few days so I can prepare to have better success in finding a solution when I know what the potential communication roadblocks there might be. This has fostered positive team building and allowed groups to create stronger connections with one another to accomplish the work that has to be done.

We are much more efficient in the way we do things, giving us far better use of time, to truly focus on those activities that deliver value to our customers at the Kroc Center Hawaii. When employees work well together and are happy, our customers are happy.

Teams inherently appreciate the perspective each individual bring to work and they’ve learned how to leverage the talents of each team member to achieve our business objectives.

Our Center Facilitator has taken the DiSC® training knowledge help her to understand she needs to spend more time to bond with team members, which has increased team morale, loyalty, and productivity. The staff is willing to pitch in when duty calls whether it’s during the workday or in the middle of the night – because the manager has taken the time to get to know the team members and fully understand what makes them tick.

As an organization, we are better equipped to engage and seek input from one another to quickly arrive at solutions. We’ve been successful in minimizing frustration within teams while encouraging a collective approach to problem-solving and team building. Everything DiSC® has transformed our workplace for the better and there are more benefits yet to come once more team members take the profile and start using the tools.

Case Study: Oceanic Time Warner Cable

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The Issue:

Oceanic Time Warner Cable provides a diverse selection of entertainment and information services to nearly three-quarter of the households, schools and businesses across the state of Hawaii. Oceanic is a kamaaina, or Hawaii-grown, company that currently employs nearly 1,400 highly trained individuals statewide. An ongoing learning and development program is essential to meet the demands of the ever-changing dynamics of the industry’s technology, and this presented a tremendous opportunity to leverage Everything DiSC®.

Oceanic recognized a gap in staffing in 2004 and Everything DiSC® was rolled out to the senior leadership team. With a number of leaders on track for retirement, Oceanic was in need of clear succession planning, so leaders could transfer their skills and operations knowledge to the next generation of leaders.

As Oceanic offered the training, it became evident its sales and front-line customer service representatives could also benefit from the program. One of the core objectives for Oceanic was getting employees to communicate better, to enhance relations between co-workers and supervisors, and ultimately, enable the front line to deliver a world-class service experience to customers. Having a consistent training program could help achieve that objective and also impact its bottom line.

The Solution:

Oceanic Time Warner Cable has utilized a variety of Everything DiSC® solutions for its employees.

  • DISC for the Workplace® – This was used in resolving issues between co-workers, improving communications within departments and providing customer service best practices with front-line employees, including Oceanic installers.
  • DISC for Leaders® – This helped providing managers and supervisors with tools to conduct lively and productive discussion with employees. With successful results, it has become part of Oceanic’s curriculum for its Leadership Program at all levels.
  • DISC 363® – This has also been utilized as part of the Leadership Program, helping to serve as a great baseline from which leaders are able to make quality changes.
  • DISC for Sales® – Oceanic has customized this program to teach salespersons on how to better read and understand their customers and how to deflect any anger and minimize conflict with the company.

The Results:

The impact of the training programs have made significant impact on Oceanic Time Warner Cable, creating a workforce that is highly satisfied and loyal to the organization, and delivering top customer service that earns one of the highest satisfaction scores across the nation for parent company Charter Communications.

For front-line staff, they are better equipped to anticipate customer needs and questions, and better manage and resolve issues. For salespersons, they are better equipped to handle customer inquiries and empowered to implement the right and appropriate sales approach. For managers and supervisors, they are better equipped to manage their employees as well as their peers, opening the door to partnership, mentorship and collaboration.

The customer satisfaction scores (CSAT) have increased over 200 basis points in two years. The net promoter scores (NPS) have also seen a rise over 500 basis points in the same period. Hawaii’s Oceanic ranks as one of the highest customer scores in the Company across the nation.

In a 2016 Culture Survey, an overwhelming majority of employees responded and placed “training opportunities” and “the Company’s investment in development of talent” in the top five elements they are most proud of. Indicative of employee pride, Oceanic has one of the lowest attrition rates. Employees are also highly engaged outside of work, putting in thousands of volunteer hours in the past few years across many local community organizations.

Oceanic’s training and development programs have evolved into a high demand and sought-after learning opportunities, motivating employees to challenge themselves, transfer knowledge to others, and create a strong culture of continuous improvement.