State of the Contractor: Best Customer Service

In a profession where the customer is king, such as plumbing, anniversaries are a big deal. Last year, Taylor Plumbing Inc. was one of the fortunate companies to celebrate 100 years in business.

“That is truly a milestone for any business, much less a business where you need to earn your stripes every day!” said Patrick T. Sullivan Jr., vice president of Taylor Plumbing.

Thomas N. Taylor is the third-generation owner of the family business. Thomas C. Taylor founded the company in 1914 in Chicago, Ill. As the city grew and expanded westward, so did Taylor Plumbing. In 1957, the company moved northwest to Arlington Heights, Ill., and established itself as a residential and commercial service contractor serving the Greater Chicagoland area. In 2004, the company relocated to Wheeling, Ill., where it currently performs service plumbing backflow testing repair and replacement, as well as irrigation repair and installation.

“With a commercial service business, every time a customer has a plumbing emergency and we are able to resolve a crisis and get them back up and running quickly, we get a sense of satisfaction,” Patrick explained. “It’s good to be the hero once in a while!”

Customer service is top priority to Thomas

“Word of mouth is probably your best advertising,” Patrick warned. “If you give your customers a great job at a fair price, they will recommend you to a few good friends. But, if you do a bad job, they will tell everyone they know!”

Thomas is not alone in his customer-first mindset. The staff at Taylor Plumbing prides itself on being known for not only responding to customers’ needs quickly, but also accurately diagnosing problems to solve them in short order.

“Having worked in several different fields along my career path it is refreshing to work for a company who operates with integrity, honesty, professionalism, and a real concern for the client!” said Gayle Eng, an employee at Taylor Plumbing.

The 2008 recession and housing crisis shook things up for many business owners like Thomas. A sizeable number of plumbing contractors entered the “Service Arena” during that time, making the industry very competitive.

“Fortunately for us, our customers know the value of the dollars they are spending, and they realize the lowest price is NOT always the best value,” Patrick noted. “Anybody can say they’re a service plumber. But, it takes seasoned professionals with years of experience to get the job done quickly and efficiently the first time, which ultimately translates to a lower overall cost. We met that challenge head-on by making sure we have the most talented and highly trained technicians in the industry!”

It is the company’s goal to meet or exceed customers’ expectations on every service call. And, it seems that they have been successful in achieving that.

“In any occupation, one of the requirements for success is integrity. Tom and his company have always done business with the highest degree of ethical practices” said Dr. John Lightfoot, a long-time customer of Taylor Plumbing. “This speaks highly to the Taylor family and their culture of honesty and high strength of character.”

It has been a busy year for Taylor Plumbing. The winter season in Chicago was especially demanding.

“When Mother Nature is at her worst, the service plumbing business is at its best,” Patrick said. “The past couple of winters have been brutal, so business has been very good.”

Taylor Plumbing is on track to face the obstacles of 2015 with similar success, and to do so with the customer’s satisfaction front-of-mind.

“Growing our satisfied customer list with each and every passing day is our expectation for 2015,” Patrick said. “Because in the service business it’s not, “what have you done for me lately?” It’s, “what have you done for me today?” So, we have to be the best EVERY day.” 

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