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Air Conditioning world: Staying one step ahead of customer expectations

Business success lies in having a good product and providing your customers with the level of service they desire. Here, Mick Langford, air conditioning sales director at Daikin Airconditioning UK, discusses a number of initiatives the company has introduced to help raise the standards of customer service in the air conditioning industry
Air Conditioning world: Staying one step ahead of customer expectations
WHETHER attracting new customers or retaining existing ones, good customer service is paramount to success.

You may have the most trusted, reliable, best quality product on the market but, if you cannot back this up with a consistent and predictable level of service, then it is going to have a direct impact on your business.

Factors such as helpfulness, friendliness and competence of staff, easily accessible technical information, punctual delivery times and informing your customers of necessary change are some of the steps businesses can take to ensure their customers are happy.

Daikin says it understands how important it is to get these basics right. But it also believes businesses should never rest on their laurels. It is essential companies invest to ensure the service they offer meets and exceeds customer expectations.

The extra yard

Businesses can either go forwards or backwards - they don't stand still. What might be a good service today could be average in two years time as the market moves on. This is one of the main reasons why Daikin tries to raise the bar in the air conditioning industry. And the company is proud to announce a number of initiatives designed to improve the service it provides.

While the recycling of fixed air conditioning equipment is not yet in the scope of the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (Weee) Directive, Daikin's recycling scheme has been launched in preparation for the future environmental demands of the market. The company believes the scheme goes well beyond existing legislation governing the industry, and sets the standard for others to follow.

Under the voluntary scheme, Daikin will collect end-of-life air conditioning, whatever the manufacturer, and it will be reprocessed by an authorised Weee recycler. It will then be dismantled in such a way that any hazardous substances are destroyed or reprocessed. Up to 95% of the residual matter will be reclaimed for further use.

The scheme is, at present, limited to Split, Sky Air and VRV type systems, with the disposal of chillers considered case-by-case. A nominal charge is raised to cover administration, handling and

This is all part of a commitment to act in an environmentally responsible way. The company says there are a number of clear benefits to recycling old units. First, we have all seen pictures of fridge mountains on landfill sites in the national press. This scheme will minimise the potential of these headline-grabbing images affecting the general perception of the air conditioning sector.

For installers, it removes the hassle of having to dispose of defunct air conditioning equipment themselves. Daikin also believes it will enhance its business credentials by offering a service not offered by competitors, giving them a competitive advantage.

First class

Daikin has also recently introduced the Premium Delivery Service. This service allows heavy air conditioning equipment to be delivered where and when installers need it. This enables installers to carry out their work effectively and on time.

The standard service, for example, is no longer limited to a pavement delivery. Now, with a minimum of 24 hours' notice, Daikin UK can off-load and position the equipment to any designated ground-floor area, unpack the equipment, remove any pallets and recycle all packaging.

For the more difficult locations on upper floors, up stairs or on rooftops, customers can take advantage of an enhanced delivery service, for an agreed fee. This includes a lifting and handling service, where a two-man crew will be provided by Daikin, equipped with the latest lifting technology, to transport equipment to the agreed location.

Daikin can also provide a Hiab crane delivery service and liaise with the local authorities. Here, the company will work in conjunction with its customers to produce a site survey.

This involves discussing the site conditions and undertaking the work required, such as the removal of windows and doors. The company will also review crane size and type, and deal with highway issues, including police, traffic wardens, road closures and parking. Once completed, a method statement and quotation will be produced within three working days.
1 September 2007


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