Service Roundtable members learned how to avoid traps that reduce a manager’s productivity and strategies to inject innovation into the service experience April 7-8 during the Atlanta International Roundtable. The meeting also featured an idea-sharing session, small-group meetings with industry consultants, and a Preferred Partner Showcase with manufacturers and service providers.

Managers and owners frequently find themselves trapped in productivity prisons of their own making, said Terry Barrett, general manager of AirNow Cooling and Heating in Millbrook, Ala. Barrett also is director of technician training at Service Excellence Training.

Contractors need to embrace automation because it never gets tired, sleeps or calls in sick, Barrett said.

“Use technology for the good,” he said. “Utilize templates whenever possible. Document your training with video and audio recordings. The time invested when you automate something always pays huge returns.”

Consultant Chip Bell focused on strategies to provide an innovative service experience for customers. These include: Surprise, Mentoring, Effortless, Monogrammed and Partnering strategies.

Contractors must answer one more important question: “Just focusing on the experience, how can you demonstrate to your customers that they are clearly getting the best value?” Bell said.

Service Roundtable will produce the new Service World Expo industry event Oct. 26-27 in Las Vegas, co-sponsored by PM, Reeves Journal and the ACHR News. For more details and to register, visit

Read here, for more on this event.