Case Studies

Gold Medal: Building a Client Base through Integrity

  • Written by: Gold Medal: Building a Client Base through Integrity
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Mike Agugliaro and Rob Zadotti started Gold Medal (GM) almost two decades ago, but it was only within the last 10 years that the company realized its full potential. In 2003, the firm merged its electrical services with plumbing and then HVAC and expanded into the kitchen and bathroom renovation sector, becoming a true full-service plumbing, heating, cooling, electric, sewer, drain, kitchen and bath remodeling contractor. The company holds the solution for whatever ills your home. In 2010, GM added eastern Pennsylvania to its service area. This move added further acclaim to a firm already known as a favorite service provider throughout much of New Jersey, where GM has won the Readers Choice Award from the Home News Tribune in 2008 and was voted the best heating and air conditioning company in Central New Jersey.

“We developed this company to deliver a Disney World Experience to the home owner,” explains Agugliaro. “From the uniform to our big yellow and black trucks, we go the extra mile to make sure we provide the best service possible to really take care of our customer. We even roll out a special Gold Medal-logoed carpet before entering a customer’s home.”

Agugliaro has high expectations for his team of professionals. “We want to be seen as a one-stop shop, like a Super Store. We want our customers to feel like they can call on us for the best possible service in a wide variety of areas.”

Integrity, Competence, and Objectivity

Agugliaro and Zadotti founded GM after acquiring experience and knowledge working for other companies in the area. “It just felt natural. Things simply had to change after busting my butt in the field, so my partner Rob and I joined forces with a plumber, Adam Belitz, to form Gold Medal Plumbing Heating Cooling Electric. We founded the company on a belief in professionalism and because we had all worked long enough in the industry to understand all of the nuances of the trades, so we knew what it would take to be successful.”

The firm is built around value-added services, honesty and a stringent code of ethics. This code promises a commitment to integrity, competence and objectivity in five different areas: customers, employees, professional responsibility, earnings and social responsibility. The multi-point code denotes how employees will respectfully perform all duties to assure customer satisfaction and quality delivered on time and within budget. The company strives to be a good corporate citizen, to stand behind every piece of work performed, and to respect the customer’s wishes, expectations and property.

Safety is also a key component to GM ownership in regards to maintaining professionalism and pleasing the customer. GM retrains employees regularly to ensure that work is both up to code and performed safely. Employees are also drug tested and background checked for each customer’s peace of mind and to ensure that every employee is capable of providing the Gold Medal standard of excellence that the company has become known for. “We really go out of our way to make sure the customer is happy and we offer a 100-percent satisfaction guarantee to make sure the customer knows that we will stand by our work,” explains Agugliaro.

Agugliaro and Zadotti have nearly 40 years of combined experience in delivering award-winning service, whether responding to a tune-up or a breakdown, and they have put in place several initiatives to ensure that the customer is pleased. Most of the repairs offered come standard with a three-year parts and labor warranty. The company also offers a membership plan to help bring peace of mind to consumers, to offer priority appointments and discounts, and to encourage customer loyalty. “We never charge extra for Saturday or Sunday appointments and over 80 percent our customers are repeat customers,” says Zadotti. “If we do have to make a follow-up appointment, we will always work to schedule it at the convenience of the customer.”

An Ambitious Growth Model

Zadotti attributes his company’s success primarily to its top-rated customer care. For him and his team, that means not just about listening to the customer’s needs, but making the entire process as hassle-free as possible, whether working on a simple installation or a major repair. “We do a fair amount of marketing to promote our services, but our success is largely due to our price security,” asserts Agugliaro. “We make sure that everything is confirmed and explained upfront so we never surprise our customers when they receive the bill. It’s a key part of our belief in running the company on ‘Integrity, Competence, and Objectivity.’ It’s also a key part of why we don’t charge extra to make Saturday or Sunday house calls. It doesn’t cost us any more to come out on a Saturday or Sunday and it’s very important for us to work with the customer and their schedule.”

The company has all employees participate in an on-going training program to make sure that they perform all services in compliance with technical codes. In addition to GM’s training, the employees are trained by Brigham Dickinson, founder of the training and coaching company Power Selling Pros. As Dickinson puts it, “Our training process is unique in that we train by a set of principles that are internalized and lived not just at work, but at home and in any other role an individual plays in society. With the right perspective, Gold Medal Service employees use the same principles they learn through our training process and practice using at work to improve their relationships outside the office, such that booking more appointments and improved customer service are mere by-products of the process.”

GM employees live by this code, and it has helped the firm not just secure more clients, but develop long-term relationships. “We have worked closely with our employees, especially our appointment setters, to make sure that a client’s experience gets off to a good start, which can often be the most important and crucial moment of the process. We have confidence in our field technicians’ abilities to fix leaks and blown fuses, but that confidence is created right from the get-go,” asserts Agugliaro.

Secure in GM being able to deliver what it promises consistently, Agugliaro has an ambitious plan to increase the company’s presence in the next few years. “I would hope to grow threefold in the next five years. We’re always moving and shaking something. We will be rolling out a new website and hiring more staff and more coaches to train employees, and we’re very excited about the future of the company,” says Agugliaro. “We even installed a 120-foot flag pole on our front lawn that you can see from the New Jersey Turnpike and we dedicated it to the Armed Forces. We want people to see the flag and have it give everyone hope.”

Operating on optimism and an unwavering dedication to quality, the highly trained team behind Gold Medal is sure to grow even further as a leader in comprehensive home services company.

Published on: March 9, 2013

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