Plumbing Company’s Good Deeds Don’t Go Unnoticed, Helps Pull in Customers

Community service attracts customers — plus it’s the right thing to do.

Plumbing Company’s Good Deeds Don’t Go Unnoticed, Helps Pull in Customers

Dave Parker, owner of E.R. Plumbing Services (sitting on slide) is pictured with some of his employees after helping build a playset for a family with a child who was sick with cancer. The playset-building program is sponsored by the Roc Solid Foundation. E.R. Plumbing, based in Mint Hill, North Carolina, takes part in many community-helping events and organizations.

What if a plumbing company could establish credibility with customers before even making a service call and at the same time improve employee camaraderie and team spirit — and also simultaneously serve its community?

That may seem like mission impossible. But Dave Parker will tell you it’s doable, as evidenced by the community service program he helped established in 2018 called Do Good With Dave.

“I’ve always been a community guy and the way I look at it, this program is just a way for me to give back for what’s been given to me,” says the owner of E.R. Plumbing Services in Mint Hill, a suburb of Charlotte, North Carolina.

The company name reflects its philosophy of getting emergency help to people who need it quickly.

“We’re just doing what everyone should be doing: Serving their community,” says Parker, who says he’s a deeply spiritual person. “You can be a light within your organization, both internally and externally. This is just my way of using the plumbing and people skills the good Lord has given me.”

Skeptics might say that companies do community work for purely mercenary reasons. But Parker says that’s not the case here at all.

“We don’t do it just to build business,” he adds. “That’s just a natural result that comes from serving people.”

Better yet, it essentially costs nothing but time.

“There’s a million things you can do for others in need without spending a penny,” Parker notes.

HUMBLE BEGINNINGS

Do Good with Dave started when Parker agreed to participate in a program called Family Focus, sponsored by a local television station owned by Cox Media Group. The program supports things like coat, food, school-tools and book drives for low-income families; E.R. Plumbing serves as a drop-off point for donations.

After a while, the TV station asked Parker if he was interested in becoming the face of a community service program it would call Do Good With Dave, which the station would promote with television coverage. It’s also promoted on the E.R. Plumbing website.

“We started highlighting the efforts of nonprofit organizations and asked people to get involved, including our own employees,” says Parker, who established the company in 1997. The company — which has 32 employees and runs 17 service vehicles, mostly Isuzus with Hackney box bodies — focuses primarily on residential and commercial service and repair work.

“We try to provide service where it will have the greatest impact,” he explains, noting that the publicity generated by television coverage is very effective at motivating people to participate.

“You’d be surprised at how many phone calls we get from people who see us on TV and say they want to help,” he says.

Employees who handle service calls also remind customers about things like food drives and the like and encourage them to give donations to service technicians.

ENDLESS WAYS TO HELP

Over the years, E.R. Plumbing has developed strong relationships with many local nonprofit groups, including:

-The Beds, which is a Dreams program, in which volunteers build beds for children without them.

-Bright Blessings operates Bless-a-Birthday, Bless-a-Baby, Gift of Literacy and Gift of Care programs for children of impoverished families. The company collects and delivers items such as books, snack packs, toys and other presents.

-The Sandbox, which holds proms for high schoolers who are too sick to attend their schools’ proms, and also helps make holidays brighter for families with sick children.

Employees also make dinners and cookies for families staying at a local Ronald McDonald House and work with the Roc Solid Foundation, which builds playsets for families with cancer-stricken children, Parker says.

“We show up in morning and a child with cancer, for example, is taken somewhere else,” Parker explains. “By the time the child comes back, we’ve built a big playset. Seeing these families’ tears of joy brings our employees together and motivates them for the next build.”

That team-building effect is just one business benefit of the community engagement. Creating a community-minded culture also makes it easier to attract good employees, he says.

“Who doesn’t want to work for a company that does good?” he asks. “It fulfills them to work in a place that constantly offers opportunities to serve. There’s no greater marketing tool. I say we need to be the strongest in giving back — be sure we’re serving. It all comes back twofold, for sure.”

Furthermore, the publicity generated by the television coverage keeps the company in front of potential customers.

“We’re building value with customers before we even make our first service call for them,” he notes.

SIMPLE ADVICE

As for providing a few tips for other plumbers who want to get involved in their communities, Parker says it’s simple: Just serve. And make sure it’s a cause that you and your employees can believe in.

“There’s an abundance of things you can do,” he says. “There’s always people in need. But your heart has to be in it. If it’s fake, people see right through it.”

Parker says he’s very gratified as he looks back at how his company’s community outreach efforts have grown.

“It’s above and beyond what I ever could’ve expected,” he says. “I could’ve never imagined, it would be so successful.”  



Discussion

Comments on this site are submitted by users and are not endorsed by nor do they reflect the views or opinions of COLE Publishing, Inc. Comments are moderated before being posted.