Experience Points the Way
NixCo Plumbing, Inc. promotes exceptional service and pricing for over two generations
When it comes to ranking careers, professional plumbers may not always make the Top 10 Best Jobs list. But when a plumbing issue disrupts the normal course of life, finding a reliable and trustworthy plumber becomes job one for most people.
“We understand that plumbing isn’t glamorous work, but we also understand how frustrating it is to have an unexpected plumbing problem,” says Jeff Heger, owner and President of NixCo Plumbing, Inc. (NixCo Plumbing) in Mason, Ohio. “Most everybody you talk to says they need to find a good plumber. Our goal is to be that go-to plumber by providing our customers with superior service at a great value.”
History of Excellence
Jim Heger, Jeff’s father, founded NixCo Plumbing in 1978 on a simple premise: work hard and get it done right. Forty years later, the company’s mission hasn’t changed. Heger credits his father with instilling in him his strong work ethic.
“I was 13 years old when my dad started the company. Throughout high school and college, I spent my summers and breaks working at NixCo Plumbing,” Heger says. “I went from being in the field with the plumbers to working in the office bidding on jobs and then managing them. I learned the family business piece by piece, over many years. When I bought the company from my dad in 2001, I was well prepared to continue the legacy that he started.”
Today, NixCo Plumbing has evolved into a full-service plumbing repair and installation service provider for residential, commercial, educational and municipal customers throughout the greater Cincinnati and Mason areas. The company employs 33 full-time employees, including managers, technicians and administrative staff. “Most of our guys have been with us for a long time,” Heger says, specifically mentioning his management team, many of whom have been with the company for more than 20 years. “We maintain a family atmosphere, which results in many long-term employees.”
Build a Better Mousetrap
“Back in 2007, we decided to change the structure of our service calls from a time-and-materials model to charging a flat rate,” Heger says. “We worked with a management consultant and came up with the acronym SERVE to describe our new approach.”
SERVE stands for:
- • Set the appointment.
- • Evaluate the situation and entire home at no additional cost.
- • Recap the situation and provide professional advice.
- • Verify the pricing offered.
- • Engage on project.
Following the SERVE principles, a customer’s quote is finalized and agreed upon before any work begins, which ensures clear communication and total transparency upfront. “No matter how long it takes us to complete the work, there are no surprises,” Heger says. “The SERVE process ensures that each customer interaction is unique, while enabling our technicians to make sure everything is done right the first time. We stand by what we do every step of the way.”
The Art of Being A Good Neighbor
As important as customer service is to the NixCo Plumbing family, community involvement is equally important. They are ardent supporters of numerous organizations throughout the Greater Cincinnati region, frequently sponsoring youth soccer and basketball programs, church events and area festivals. They also partner with worthy causes such as Habit for Humanity Greater Cincinnati and donate their time and talent in providing plumbing services for new homes being constructed for families in need. Beyond helping area organizations thrive within the community, Heger is especially proud of the company’s support of two Cincinnati-based groups dedicated to fighting cancer: Pink Ribbon Girls and CancerFree KIDS. Pink Ribbon Girls provides personalized support to young women diagnosed with breast cancer; CancerFree KIDS raises money for childhood cancer research.
“We wanted to do something special for groups that are involved in treating cancer,” Heger explains. “So, we took one of the trucks in our fleet and painted it pastel pink. A portion of all proceeds from the residential and commercial service calls made by the pink van are donated to Pink Ribbon Girls and CancerFree KIDS. As a result, our company has donated more than $20,000 to these two wonderful organizations.”
Focus on Training
The Hegers’ dedication to becoming trusted plumbers throughout the Mason and Cincinnati areas has served them well. The company celebrates its 40th year in operation this year, as well as its 25th anniversary as a Better Business Bureau (BBB) Accredited Business in the Mason community. The accreditation milestone comes 10 years after NixCo Plumbing was named a BBB Torch Award for Marketplace Ethics winner.
“We pride ourselves on the fact that our team of plumbers are state licensed and have years of training and experience,” Heger says. “And because of their experience, it often takes them less time to complete a job than what it might take others. Without our trusted technicians, none of these accomplishments would have been possible.” Heger cites the company’s commitment to ongoing training as another reason for their success. “Working in a skilled trade industry, it’s important that we provide training for all levels of staff all the time. For our plumbers, we hold monthly safety training, as well as new product training, so the team is up to date on any new components that are coming out. We conduct management training for our managers and sales training for our service technicians. And twice a month, we have customer service representative training for our staff members who answer the phones and deal with the public.”
In addition to their in-house training, NixCo Plumbing supports external organizations, such as the PHCC Educational Foundation. This nonprofit provides educational and training programs aimed at enhancing the growth and success of the plumbing and HVAC-R (heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration) industry workforce. “I think the work that the PHCC Educational Foundation does and the information they provide to the rest of the membership is invaluable,” Heger says. “There’s no reason why those of us who have succeeded from using the foundation’s resources shouldn’t give back to them so they can continue to promote the industry.”