What is in this article?:
- T&O Refrigeration's success signifies a journey of high excellence in the challenging and ever-changing world of supermarket refrigeration.
- What works: honesty, persistence, quality workmanship, technician education, and treating people right.
Steve Tibbetts: “Being a regionally-based player is a key to our success. When we first opened our Nashville branch, it was a struggle. But now we have found some good people who have been with us for several years. It takes a while to plant those roots when you're expanding into other markets. When people try to expand too quickly, it can lead to their downfall."
The team at T&O is constantly exploring ways to work better and to improve service. “Everybody is in customer service. Everything we do is customer service,” Tibbetts says. “Our customers give us clear expectations. We have a close working relationship with them, and receive constant feedback. I’m accessible to all of our customers at all times.”
Steve believes T&O's competitive advantage is found in its level of service and installation quality and also the commitment of its employees. "The number one reason for our success is our employees. We have several employees who have been with us for over ten years and a few who have been here over twenty. That's not something you see much these days but it's definitely a key to our success."
He also points to having empathy for the customer as being another component of success. "We offer a level of trust, and a partnership with our customers. We build relationships, and it seems to work. I tell all of our vendors the same thing: I’m not going to change suppliers for a 2% price difference, but if it's 5 or 6%, I might. I feel our customers will do the same. If our prices are a little bit higher, we'll get the work because they know they are getting a level of quality that is unsurpassed in the area. I also think they like having access to me, as the owner. If they have a problem, they know they can come straight to me and it will be resolved. With 65 employees, we're going to make some mistakes. But when we make one, we admit it, take care of it, move on from there, and try not to make the same mistake twice."