A Rooter, M.D., service vehicle from Pete Wood Plumbing and Heating.

In 1999, Pete Wood ofPete Wood Plumbing and Heating(Livonia, Mich.) was looking back on more than two decades of being in business. But as a third-generation plumbing entrepreneur, he knew there still was room to grow and strengthen his organization.

That’s when he joined Plumbers Success International, and marketing guru John Young gave him fateful advice: “Make your customer experience memorable.”

Wood says initially those five words left him extremely frustrated. “I was anxious to find a silver bullet to use in my marketing techniques,” he remembers. However, soon he was looking into establishing a brand that would “allow him to make an impact in the plumbing arena of service contractors.” At the heart of that concept was changing his company name to Rooter, M.D., and purchasing a fleet of Sprinter vans.

“The Sprinter is a truck that has been used in different parts of the world as an ambulance,” Wood says. After wrapping his fleet of six trucks (four for service work, two for lining and project work), the vans resembled emergency vehicles. They’re so believable that customers of Rooter, M.D., have received calls from neighbors making sure everyone’s all right.


To further facilitate the “first responder” image, Rooter, M.D., technicians arrive at residences in lab coats, and greet customers with their diagnostic bags and shoe covers in-hand.

To further facilitate the “first responder” image, Wood’s technicians arrive at residences in lab coats, and greet customers with their diagnostic bags and shoe covers in-hand.

“Response to this has been very positive,” Wood says. “Our clients either love the lab coats and think we look very professional, or they just laugh when they see us, which helps break the tension upon our arrival. We win either way.”

And as important as a live voice is for a 911 call, a dedicated employee is always answering the calls in to Rooter, M.D. - 24/7/365.

“Our employees are educated in the services we provide, and our call ratios turned into leads is maximized,” Wood says.

The company also has a lot of fun with its new image. For example, techs let clients know they can put a “stent” in their sewer, fix a “constipated” toilet, or perform “angioplasty” with its Nu-Flow sewer lining process.

As for the future, Rooter, M.D., will soon add a new truck to its fleet of service vehicles, and Wood is exploring the option of franchising the Rooter, M.D., name some day.

“We give our clients not only a memorable experience but a positive memorable experience,” Wood concludes. “Looking back at those five words spoken by John Young, I now know their value and meaning.”

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