What is AthenaCare?

This company is the result of the ‘harder you work, the luckier you get’. I feel extremely fortunate to be working in a great city and job that enables me to combine my various talents, abilities; working with my hands (well except for all of this constant web site updates and articles), and with customers whom I enjoy doing business. I am also very thankful that there is a steady flow of people who are looking for and appreciate the benefits of a long-term relationship with an ethical plumber. Here’s how I work and what you might like;

  • I look for customers with whom we mutually enjoy and appreciate our conversation, interaction, occasional observations, and personalities. Pleasant, positive people are fun to be around and are readily pleased.
  • I conduct my day to day business with righteousness. My customers benefit from and appreciate that I will not oversell products or services. On the contrary I routinely provide extra information and work tasks on most jobs, educate the customer as to which options are the best for them in the long-run.
  • The customer knows in advance an estimate of the final bill for the work described.
  • You deal with the same person at every step of the process from the first phone call to the work being performed.
  • The owner of the company works on your home.
  • The owner of the company answers the phone.
  • I have implemented more ways to utilizes technology to save you time and improve my effectiveness through electronic communications; e-mail inquiry form, texting, texting pictures, voice calls.
  • 24/7 advice and information on this site (FAQ link). Saving you time and money, damage and stress.
  • You get a Master Plumber for every visit.
  • You benefit from someone who has been in business for over 20 years. One customer recently told me that one of the big outfits said ‘we have 100+ years of cumulative experience’. What is relevant is how much of that walks in your door?
  • You are hiring a way of doing business that has largely disappeared. I advise my customers and perform work in the most cost effective manner possible, advising your to focus only on the work that is suited for your home, that I would do on mine.
  • You are hiring a person that leaves 10’s of thousands of dollars of customer money in the customer’s pocket every year, by offering information and ideas of which potential repairs don’t need to be done, can wait or when is the most cost effective time to get them done.
  • I am a plumber who will perform a small extra service or provide extra information at no charge.
  • My “educational videos”, FAQ articles and my pre-visit approach almost always results in having the parts on hand at the first visit, saving the dollar cost, and scheduling hassle, of two visits.
  • If the project takes less time than I estimated, the customer pays less than the estimated cost. If the job takes longer or unforeseen aspects increase the scope of the work, the customer pays more. The reality? In the majority of cases, I am able to charge clients the estimated cost sometimes a little less.  My goal with every customer interaction is to (a) have a satisfied customer and (b) get paid enough for my efforts that I stay in business.
  • If I need to answer a phone call or go get parts, you’re not paying me an hourly rate as you might with T & M. And compared with flat rate pricing, the cost is almost always going to be less.  I’m so confident of this that I’ll make limited time offer; If you have a visit from a flat rate pricing company for a plumbing job, keep a copy of their estimate, pay them their trip charge (to which they are entitled), and call me.  After I’ve completed the necessary work, give me the original flat rate estimate paperwork.  If I charged you less than the other company’s estimate, I will deduct from your bill the trip charge you paid them (up to a maximum of $75) in exchange for their paperwork. This offer expires after the first four customers who qualify.
  • If I am able, and frequently do, offer extra no charge, value added information.

 

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APPROVED BY THREE ACE HARDWARE STORES

 

What do I want in a customer?

My top priority is to create a satisfied customer with whom I can build a long-term, mutually beneficial relationship.  A relationship oriented customer knows that the best value for their expense will be gained by looking at the long-term, while a transaction customer looks for the cheapest price for the job at hand. I believe that, compared to other plumbers, my approach will be the least expensive over the the long-term (see the Pricing Policy page). That will never matter to a transaction type of person. Transaction oriented customers fundamentally are unable to perceive and include non-monetary aspects (telling you when to NOT spend money, customer service, top quality products, information and education, etc.) in their evaluation of a solution. A relationship oriented customer appreciates the value of my ‘I recommend what I would do on MY home’ approach. Birds of a feather flock together, so I continue to get more great customers from other great customers. Referrals are my best source of new customers.

An additional benefit – my website can save you lots of money

Even though most of my clients are returns or referrals, I have spent a lot of time and effort to build a website.  Every once in a while I get a new client from the website, but the biggest value of the site is to save me time and you money.   The site offers:

  • 24/7 assistance AT NO CHARGE to help you through an evening or weekend emergency. Having me come to your home for an emergency will cost you about twice what it would cost you during a normal work day. Referring to my website for measures you can take yourself will reduce damage, lessen your stress, and lower your cost by helping you survive until I can get there the next business day.
  • Tips on ways you can maintain your home plumbing to avoid future problems and expense.

Why do I enjoy what I do?

1)      Working with people. Being able to choose who I deal with on a day to day basis. Explaining what I have to do and why, etc. Balancing the repair/replace equation to give the customer the best value.

2)      Building and fixing things. Working with my hands. Removing old and crusty, installing shiny metal. Taking the old and broken and repairing it, making it functional again. Kind of a visceral, caveman thing, I know.

3)      The technical challenge of the profession. My licensing authorizes me to design and oversee the construction of 50 story office towers or a football stadium; I just choose to use my knowledge and expertise on residential service and remodeling.

4)      Every now and then a couple of things happen that really make me delighted that I do what I do:

  • I have a great connection/conversation with a customer
  • The customer is truly delighted with my work. The most surprising recent example was a white collar homeowner in an upscale neighborhood that wanted to watch and then (knock me over with a feather) complimented me on my soldering? Why? He was taught this skill as a boy, the smell brought back fond memories AND he knew how an elegant solder joint should look.

What is challenging about residential service and repair?

1)      On a recent day I counted 100 incoming/outgoing voice calls and 20 text messages AND I was out in the truck that day.

2)      Deciding which of the umpteen zillion plumbing parts to keep in my truck and then remembering to reorder and restock when I use one.

3)      Staying organized. Battling minutiae and entropy; planning my schedule, doing the work. In short, being and owner/operator.

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