“How can I make you smile today?” That is the first statement that you hear when Jeannne Petri, office operations manager at Petri Plumbing & Heating Inc., answers the phone.
Top-notch customer service is not some phrase buried in the company mission statement or an empty promise pasted on a work truck. For Petri Plumbing & Heating, customer service is the genesis of everything that the company does.
“I don’t consider this unique, I consider this the way it is,” explained Michael Petri, president of the company. “We provide what we consider “wow” service on each and every call. It starts in our office from the way we answer our phones and follow up on each and every call. Then, it’s how the service experts present themselves inside a client’s home; from handing out business cards, to wearing the booties, to putting red runners down, to follow-up calls after the service is completed.”
The company just launched a promotion that features a donation toward childhood cancer research. With the promotion, when a Petri Plumbing & Heating client spends a certain amount on a service the company sends them a special box of chocolate chip cookies. A portion of the costs that the company incurs in sending the cookies is given as the donation.
“Not only do our clients get a great batch of cookies but it benefits a great cause. It is a win-win,” Michael said. “Are we perfect? No. But, anything we do we own. Our reputation, as far as I’m concerned, is impeccable and has been for a long time.”
Petri Plumbing & Heating has been around since 1906. The company was started by Michael’s paternal great grandfather, Joseph D’Amico, and great-great uncle, John Brancale, and was originally named Brancale & D'Amico Plumbing. The two men offered plumbing, tinsmith and hardware services. Over the years, the family business continued to evolve as Michael’s grandfather, John Petri, came over from Italy to join the company. Michael’s father, Peter Petri, great uncles, and cousins eventually joined as well. Today, Michael, his son, Christopher Petri, and his brother, Gerard Petri, are the new bloods of the business.
In the 1990s, after two other company names and titles, Michael renamed the company Petri Plumbing & Heating. And, while the name changed the location did not. The Petri’s have remained in the same store front location for over a century.
Today, the company’s services center on residential work in the renovation arena, with a smaller offering of commercial and repair work. Phc News is spotlighting the company’s recent renovation: Spring Street Loft Project in Manhattan, N.Y.
The Spring Street Project is a renovation of 3,000 square feet of loft space in Manhattan, N.Y. Michael explained that loft space in Manhattan is typically a big, open area with 15 to 20 feet ceilings that customers purchase and create living space out of.
“This one is really cool,” Michael said. “It has the old elevators that come up right into the apartment with the pull chain and everything.”
Petri Plumbing & Heating is the plumbing subcontractor on the project. Their assignment is to install two new, high-end, custom bathrooms and one high-end, custom kitchen.
Petri Plumbing & Heating has enjoyed the creativity its team members have been able to employ on this project, due to it being created space.
“Everything is all imported, European, high-end fixtures. There’s a step-up shower and whirlpool bath, and free-floating sink tops. It’s a luxury project,” Michael said. “It was a lot of fun and we enjoyed doing it.”
But the project has not come without some challenges. Construction in a major, metropolitan city is never easy.
“Any time you work in Manhattan or Brooklyn the first challenge is finding a place to park; getting your truck to and from the site,” Michael noted. “Making arrangements to get in and out of the building on freight elevators has also been challenge on this project.”
Michael added that New York has its own special challenges for construction due to old plumbing, detailed codes and regulations, and unique infrastructure.
“Because of the way the plumbing is here the project was difficult at times,” Michael said. “We had to run new drainage and vent lines, as well as new copper feed hot and cold lines with return lines.”
Petri Plumbing & Heating initially budgeted 20 days for the Spring Street Loft Project. In the end, it took them 15 days to have all the roughing completed and the project inspected. Now, the team is waiting on the other contractors to complete their tasks so that they can go back and do the finishing work.
Michael noted that the finish work is pretty specific and tedious on this job so it could take three to four days. The project is on track to be live-in ready for the clients at the beginning of July.
Next year will mark Petri Plumbing & Heating’s 110th anniversary. In preparation for the milestone, the company began rebranded itself in January and will be promoting its new image through 2015. To date, rebranding efforts have included a new logo completed in May, a redesigned website launched in June, and new wraps on their work trucks to be completed in July.
“It’s been especially fun for me because I’ve been in this industry a lot of years,” Michael explained. “It’s nice to do something different and get a lot of good feedback from our clients and the general public. It’s been pretty exciting.”