Jul 2016
  • Home
  • Blog
  • Where Have All the Customers Gone?: Beware of the Games that People Play

Where Have All the Customers Gone?: Beware of the Games that People Play

by: Terry Nicholson

In the second part of the series, we discussed the importance of having a report card for your technicians in the form of a customer satisfaction survey. Satisfaction surveys are vital components to add to your company. They allow you to discover how your customers like or dislike your services, and as a result, they allow your team to understand how well (or poorly) they’re performing.

The results of your customer satisfaction surveys will help you understand what adjustments must be made so your company does more of what people like and less of what they dislike. In doing this, you will build a repeat, loyal customer base at an expedited pace. People will contact you for service again and again, never so much as thinking of using the other guys.

In the last article, we also discussed 10 different survey options that you might employ to collect results. While it’s important that you choose one, it’s also important that you realize that each possesses pros and cons. None are perfect. For example, having your technicians distribute surveys at the end of the service call can save money on postage; however, some technicians may attempt to lobby homeowners for better scores.

As an owner or manager, keep that in your mind when evaluating the results of your satisfaction surveys. Kids aren’t the only ones who play games. When people know that their performances are being monitored, they may attempt to manipulate the results. And that defeats the purpose of the survey, which is for you to get an accurate representation of whether or not your company is delivering outstanding service.

Here are six classic tricks that your team may play on you in an attempt to position themselves in a positive light, while hiding any potential flaws in your business:

1. The Disappearing Card Trick: This occurs when your technician clearly can tell that the customer is not happy with his service and would not reply favorably on a survey. Conveniently, your technician “forgets” to give the card to the customer altogether.

2. The Vanishing Card Trick: Your technician gives the survey to the customer, but on the way back to the office, he looks at the results. They’re not pretty. The customer had some negative remarks. Surprisingly, that card vanishes into thin air before you’re able to read the feedback.

3. The Bribery Trick: Technicians who crave high scores may go out of their way to make small repairs without charging the customer. Your technician then will mention all of the free work as he hands the homeowner the satisfaction survey. He knows the customer will be appreciative and rate him highly.

4. The Intimidation Trick: This can be the most damaging situation. Bold and direct, your technician explains that his compensation is affected by survey responses. Before handing the homeowner the card, your technician asks, “There’s no reason you wouldn’t give me a perfect score, is there?” Customers will give your technician the perfect score just to eliminate the possibility of any conflict.

5. The Horns or Halo Trick: You have employees that like some team members while disliking others. You’re probably guilty of this, as well. That’s OK, unless the person collecting the surveys allows his/her bias to skew the results. This can happen whether the information comes from cards, phone calls, or personal visits. The individual gathering and supervising the reports may intentionally or unintentionally put horns or halos on certain technicians due to unrelated feelings.

6. Nut Case Trick: Your technician knows that a customer will give him a negative review. In an attempt to salvage the situation, he concocts a rehearsed sales presentation. He calls the office and tells a fabricated story: The customer is absolutely crazy, and anything he/she says cannot be taken seriously. This rehearsed excuse can work on the individual who collects the responses, especially if that person likes the technician. As a result, that survey is discarded or not collected.

Client satisfaction surveys act as excellent tools in weighing your team’s performance, but as you can see, they’re not foolproof. The process should be monitored closely and occasionally spot-checked. Talk to your technicians, chat with the manager responsible for collecting responses, and don’t be afraid to call homeowners. Make sure your team understands that the true value of these surveys is to help everyone monitor and elevate the level of service they offer. That’s how you make money every day.

Transforming great technicians into Owners of great businesses

"Successful contractors are made not born. I'm living proof. When I met Mr. Abrams I was a struggling contractor with 2 employees. After applying his principles, I'm now a regional powerhouse with 12 locations."

– Jimmy Hiller

The Knowledge
To Succeed!

Find out How to
Increase Personal Wealth

Want to learn more?

Find out the HVAC Contractor's Guide to Greatness

Interested in scheduling a free HVAC Success call?

Fill out the information below and one of our representatives will be in touch with more information.

  • Dates & Map

What Members Are Saying About Praxis S-10...

  • “Great day. Great opportunity.”

    Steve Moon

  • “A great way to build a business. I think it’s a great way to leverage competition.”

    Herman Sears

    A1AC and Heating
  • “…a neat, effective, well thought out package.”

    Mitch Rosa

    Hudson Valley HVAC
  • “Very informative and innovative.”

    Andrew J Pribzick III

    Energetic Air
  • “Success Day was an informative, no pressure event that allowed us to see the future and presented an opportunity to be successful going forward.”

    Ward Woodruff

    Hurley and David, Inc.
  • “It was great. I had no idea what to expect coming from a very successful mid-sized HVAC company that is already members of other groups. But this is totally different!”

    Gary Woodruff

    Hurley and David, Inc.
  • “Very interesting and eye opening.”

    Michael Scirocco

    East Coast Air
  • “Very interesting.”

    Tony Kane

    Archie Heating
  • “A great presentation.”

    Steve Lewallen

    Steve’s Plumbing
  • “Great program, very informational.”

    Colleen Kilzer

    Dependable Heating and Cooling

A sample of what you will discover on your HVAC Success Call:

New World of HVAC

Introducing the New World of HVAC and how it impacts YOU. Find out how the scale has shifted in favor of the contractor and exactly what that means for your business.


PriceFixer™: The Breakthrough HVAC model specifically designed to increase replacements so you can stop selling and start installing.

Increase Sales

How to generate a steady stream of replacement sales with:

  • No salespeople.
  • No selling techs.
  • No commissions.

Remote Control

Techniques you can quickly apply to your business, which will allow you to run shop by remote control.


How to FLOOD your business with replacements using “Push Button” marketing techniques.


How to leverage the “big guys” massive advertising campaigns to help you make a ton of money.


How to gain a crushing advantage over all your competitors and become the business you’ve always wanted.


The advanced business strategies evidenced to transform your business into a profitable, money-making machine.

Recession Proof

How to transform your business into a “Recession-Proof” fortress so you never lose money again.

For over forty years

Contractors have asked the same questions:

How do I make more money?
How do I make my phone ring?
How do I make more sales?

The questions remain the same… The answers are totally different! What you thought you knew about HVAC is about to be turned upside down.

Praxis S-10® is the HVAC contractor's guide to greatness. Secure your future, schedule a call, and you will discover the knowledge you need to achieve phenomenal success!

Featured In
  • HVACR Business
  • Plumbing & Mechanical
  • The News
  • Reeves Journal
    Praxis S-10™

    About Us

    PRAXIS S-10® is the Exclusive Success College for Contractors.

    Jim Abrams Success Story

    Jim Abram’s Track Record of Success

    • Manufacturing
    • Contractor
    • Distributor
    • Affinity Group
    • Consolidator
    • Franchising
    • Utility

    For over four decades, Jim Abrams has been at the epicenter of every major change that has occurred in the HVAC industry… He’s known as the “Professor of Profits.” As a leading industry influencer and innovator, Jim has unprecedented experience throughout every inch of the world of contracting. He has taken his deep knowledge and understanding in contracting and business, and created a time-tested and proven 10-step formula for success. Now he has made this most closely guarded secret formula available to contractors everywhere seeking success via PRAXIS S-10™, the premier Success College for Contractors.


    In the 70’s, Jim led Trane’s entry into the residential HVAC business and took Trane’s “Five Saluting Men” nationwide. Perfecting the “Add-on” business, created a prosperous model for residential contractors.

    His unending entrepreneurial spirit led to the opening of his own business in the 80’s. They called him “The King of Replacements,” as he rapidly built the largest residential service company in North America. His innovations continued. Using unorthodox methods such as telemarketing, foot canvassers and direct mail he was the first contractor with over 10,000 service agreements.

    Next, Jim thought of a way to increase profitability. He entered the distribution business in order to supply his own company with equipment. Throughout this portion of his career, he shifted the marketplace from one that was considered too cold for heat pumps into one where heat pumps were a hot commodity. Jim was the first contractor to offer 10-year parts and labor, and the first contractor to private label HVAC equipment.

    In the 90’s Jim founded Contractors Success Group where he invented the contracting industry’s “Best Practice” concept. One out of two of the contractors that followed his wisdom, techniques and best business practices went on to become millionaires and multi-millionaires.

    Jim invented HVAC consolidation when he founded Service Experts. This was the first publicly traded HVAC Company, which grew to its peak of nearly a Billion-dollar residential service company. Then Jim took a very brief retirement – but he did not stay away for too long.

    Within the first decade of the 21st century, surpassing his first “Best Practice” organization, he launched what became the industry’s largest “Best Practice” organization, AirTime 500, Plumbers’ Success International, Electricians’ Success International and Roofers’ Success International.

    During this same time period, he built one of the largest residential service contracting companies in America, generating over $188 Million dollars in residential service revenue.

    Next, he introduced branding to the HVAC industry when he founded One-Hour Air Conditioning and Heating. With the rapid rise of this company, to his credit he has built two of the largest HVAC residential service companies in America.

    Almost all of the largest and most successful HVAC contractors in North America today have been clients and are using this business model created and developed by Jim Abrams.

    You can too, through his Guiding Principles for HVAC Success, now being taught at PRAXIS S-10™, the Success College for Contractors.

    Schedule your free HVAC Success Call!

    Discover what hundreds of contractors from across the country already have.
    Praxis S-10 is the culmination of 4 decades of innovations, knowledge, tools and training. Get the HVAC industries' very best on your team, committed to your success.

    Register for a Success Call now!


    Thanks for registering for a success call! A representive will reach out to you shortly.