The Change Is Here - IE3: Business Tools for HVAC & Plumbing Contractors  

The Change Is Here

It’s November, election day this year is Tuesday, November 6, and you’re probably expecting insightful political analysis from me. But, I’m certain that most Americans are sick of politics, particularly after the dramatic Supreme Court nomination process and subsequent hearings earlier this year. I’d rather not risk spoiling your, hopefully, pleasant mood by talking politics.

Instead, I’ll share some exciting news about ACCA and what we’re doing to improve member experiences and engagement, and to ensure ACCA members understand they receive exclusive content, setting them apart from their competition.

In case you missed it, on September 5, I accepted the position of interim President and CEO of ACCA. ACCA has been studying contractors and plotting a course to ensure ACCA remains the premier trade association for contractors, providing services and solutions that help them be better business people. In September, following more than a year of surveys and research, ACCA’s volunteer Board of Directors made a leadership transition and asked me to step up to ensure ACCA remains the association that contractors need.

ACCA’s Board of Directors has placed a significant amount of trust in me, and I’m pleased to report on the progress that ACCA’s staff is making to deliver on the Board’s vision for ACCA.

One of the first changes that we made was putting a bright spotlight on ACCA’s members. Perhaps you’ve noticed in ACCA’s weekly Insider e-mail we have been welcoming new and re-joining members and highlighting those members on ACCA’s twitter account (@accausa). ACCA members are some of the best businessmen and businesswomen in the country, and we’re proudly showcasing our contractors who are responsible for keeping food fresh, making information technology and modern medicine possible, and keeping buildings comfortable, so our economy can continue to flourish.

ACCA has also started showcasing contractors who are in ACCA’s Management Information Exchange (MIX) Group program on Facebook. As part of our initiative to have more personal interactions with contractors, we asked MIX Groups to share photos and short write-ups from their fall meetings (as a reminder, MIX Groups usually meet 2x each year – once in the fall and the spring). ACCA has gotten great feedback from MIX Group leaders and we’ve been sharing those stories and pictures on Facebook. The goal is to highlight not just our members, but also the MIX Group program, which is one of ACCA’s premier benefits. Peer groups are nothing new, but ACCA’s MIX Groups are widely recognized as the ultimate source of contractor networking and business-to-business learning.

Regarding exclusive content, ACCA has dramatically expanded our use of blogs to share business tips and to communicate what ACCA is accomplishing for our members. These topics include human resources, legal tools, technical tips, communications advice, tariffs, business expensing, and ACCA’s government relations work. Members will be seeing more exclusive content shared by our staff experts, who will be providing tips on dealing with spam e-mails, social media ideas, payroll advice, and much more. We will continue to share our government relations updates through our blogs, but those articles are strictly for ACCA members, rather than being published for anyone to view.

These are exclusive services that are part of your membership, so be sure to use them to your advantage over your competition. For instance, ACCA is already providing member education about refrigerant phaseouts that non-members don’t have access to. You can start communicating this to your customers, so they know your company is the trusted source of information in your market. Consumers are in desperate need of reliable information, so you can be the company that provides it just by being an ACCA member.

ACCA is proud of these small, but significant, changes we are making for our members. But, we are also doing a lot to re-engage former members. And, I’d encourage you to step up to this challenge as well. Each week, every member of your ACCA staff reaches out to at least two contractors who used to be ACCA members. We are highlighting some of the new services and benefits we’re providing and making personal contract to let people know we care about them and their company.

I’m a firm believer that a phone call is the best source of quality customer service, so don’t be surprised if you hear from me or a member of your ACCA staff (whether you’re a member or not). And, if you’d like to help re-engage former members and bring them back to the ACCA family of contractors, please let us know and we’ll provide you a prospect list. It’s a lot of fun to talk to people and understand what they need. I find it to be a therapeutic relief from staring at a computer screen all day.

Lastly, a heartfelt thanks to you for supporting ACCA. I look forward to working with you and highlighting how important you are to the industry, our economy, and to ACCA!

See you in San Antonio in March 2019 at ACCA’s Annual Conference and Expo!

Barton James

Barton James

Interim President & CEO at ACCA
Barton James is ACCA’s Interim President & CEO. He can be reached at barton.james@acca.org
Barton James
Barton James

Barton James

Interim President & CEO at ACCA
Barton James is ACCA’s Interim President & CEO. He can be reached at barton.james@acca.org
Barton James

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