Case Studies

Thigpen Heating & Cooling Inc.: 50 Years of Service

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Joe Thigpen Sr. founded Thigpen Heating & Cooling Inc. (Thigpen) in 1962. Early in the life of the business Thigpen delivered heating oil and occasionally repaired window air-conditioning units. As central air conditioning became a growing industry, Joe Sr. had the background and experience to expand Thigpen into full comfort systems service.

Joe Jr., Joe Sr.’s son and president of Thigpen, has been working for the company since 1987. He maintains the values of excellence and fairness instilled by his father. Like father like son, Joe Jr.’s attitude toward customer service has helped Thigpen achieve longevity and a great reputation for quality in service. The company has grown from one man and a truck to a full-service business employing 75 people with 40 service vehicles. Though Joe Sr. retired in 2000, he still works part-time for the company.

Family-friendly Business

Joe Jr. and the team at Thigpen are serious about customer satisfaction. The company is fully insured and guarantees to provide the necessary permits for each and every installation. These practices protect not only the contractor, but also Thigpen’s customers. Unlicensed and uninsured technicians can present a serious liability for homeowners. While an unlicensed installer may offer a cheaper rate, the costs to the owner can be enormous if something goes wrong during installation or an appliance fails.

Thigpen’s technicians are required to attend regular training sessions, which act as both refresher courses and opportunities for the company’s employees to update their skill sets. The team is aware that the industry is constantly expanding with a variety of products from sustainable temperature control technologies to more efficient ventilation systems. Technicians in the field have access to support back at the office in the form of field supervisors, experts who are on-call to troubleshoot or order parts at a moment’s notice.

The technicians at Thigpen carry the family atmosphere to work sites. The company promotes clean work, from leaving its customers’ homes as tidy as when the technicians started to a standard of conduct. “Your kids won’t learn ‘new words’ from our team,” Joe Jr. chuckles. Not only does the team watch their words, Thigpen’s service and installation professionals utilize drop cloths and runners to protect the floor surfaces where they work and always clean up after themselves.

Facilities and Capabilities

“We have several different divisions,” says Joe Jr. Thigpen operates in several markets and the company employs job-specific, experienced technicians for each of its specific departments. The business performs installations for commercial and residential new construction as well as retrofits. Thigpen employs a huge service staff for repairs and maintenance on all models of heating, air conditioning and air quality systems, whether or not the company installed it. Thigpen has a full-line sheet metal fabrication shop that spans 20,000 square feet and is outfitted with high-tech computerized equipment.

The team at Thigpen encourages all of its customers to sign on for a maintenance plan. “A well-maintained system experiences fewer breakdowns and costs the owner a lot less to operate,” emphasizes Joe Jr. Systems on Thigpen’s annual maintenance plans are subjected to a yearly tune-up. The company’s technicians work through a long checklist that includes everything from cleaning condenser coils in air conditioning units to recalibrating thermostats. Annual maintenance ensures proper operation of heating or cooling systems. A well-maintained system is efficient, lasts longer and saves owners a significant amount of money in energy costs.

The company is equipped to perform installations and service of systems of all sizes. “We do a lot of work at Baptist Hospital here in Florida,” says Joe Jr. Baptist Hospital is a multiple-campus health service operation. In the medical industry, especially in facilities where patients may stay for extended periods of time, air quality and temperature control are vital. “We also do a lot of custom new construction residential work,” he adds.

Thigpen offers safe and efficient equipment and ensures the continuation of these qualities throughout the life of these systems. Customers are guaranteed the best system for homes or businesses through proper assessment and evaluation. The company rarely leaves customers dissatisfied and communicates efficiently with customers through any issues or emergencies. New systems are offered with a one-year satisfaction guarantee. If at any time a client is dissatisfied with the performance of a system during the first year of ownership, Thigpen will fully uninstall any equipment within 30 days of a complaint and refund the entire cost of installation.

Both Joe Sr. and Jr. have shaped a team capable of building a business around two focus points: customer comfort and communication. Thigpen accepts that mistakes happen in any industry, but the company upholds a promise to customers to address any concerns and work toward a solution until the system owner is satisfied with its performance. This commitment to service has carried the company through hard time, and even during the recent economic downturn Thigpen has maintained steady growth. Thigpen Heating and Cooling Inc. is celebrating 50 years of excellence in 2012 in the heating, cooling and air quality business.

Published on: March 13, 2013

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