Having good customer service means more sales and better customer retention. HARDI (Heating, Airconditioning, Distributors International) members are always looking for ways to improve customer service. So, what's the secret?

“Soft skills are what customers are most likely to remember and are vital at improving customer service,” says Steve Coscia, the author of HARDI's Counterline newsletter since 2004, a 20-year customer service veteran, and the author of “HVAC Customer Service Handbook,” a popular trade school textbook used by colleges and universities nationwide.

Soft skills, such as good problem solving, etiquette and interpersonal abilities, are what customers remember most, says Coscia, whose textbook on customer service is a standard in colleges throughout the United States.

Coscia's training and speeches will focus on how companies can use soft skills to explain HVACR concepts better, handle difficult situations, improve relationships and ultimately increase sales in this difficult economic climate.

HARDI members that recognize the value of Coscia's approach include Richmond, VA-based Virginia Air Distributors and Lebanon, PA-based APR Supply, both of whom asked Coscia for help. Being invited back by distributors such as Virginia Air is not unusual for Coscia. Other HARDI members, including West Chester, Pa.-based American Air Distributors started working with Coscia in 2003.

Coscia spoke February 24th at Virginia Air's headquarters and will again speak to company employees, September 8, 2010, in Greensboro, NC. His next speaking engagement is May 19, 2010 in Cleveland, OH.

Virginia Air Distributors, one of the largest wholesale distributors of heating and air-conditioning (HVAC) equipment on the East Coast, has invited Coscia to conduct training sessions for the second year in a row.

“In our ‘Visions for Success’ document, our number one rule is that customer service is our passion,” says Virginia Air Vice President Chris Baker. “We have found that Steve’s customer service training is both engaging and very effective. His principles can be easily and quickly applied after the training session into the real world. We have offered the class to our contractor customers and require the majority of our own employees to attend.

“This will be the second year we have used Steve’s Customer Service training, and we plan to continue to do so for many years,” says Baker.

APR Supply, a leading wholesale distributor in Pennsylvania for more than 75 years, has participated in Coscia's customer service e-Learning to achieve a new HARDI certification.

Meeting HARDI requirements for a customer service seminar, Coscia's e-Learning course will give APR Supply HARDI Level 3 Counter certification.

For more information, contact Coscia at 610-853-9836, steve@coscia.com or visit www.coscia.com.