Welcome! Here are the website rules, as well as some tips for using this forum.
Need to contact us? Visit https://heatinghelp.com/contact-us/.
Click here to Find a Contractor in your area.

What makes for a good counter person?

HeatingHelp Administrator Posts: 651
edited August 2022 in THE MAIN WALL
imageWhat makes for a good counter person?

Contractors share what they like (and don’t like) about the counter people at their suppliers.

Read the full story here


  • aohare
    aohare Member Posts: 5
    Coming from someone in the wholesale field with 30 years of experience, I know for certain without a good customer base we are out of business. I try to treat all my customers with the same respect and courtesy regardless of my personal feelings of their character (and there a re ALOT of characters in the plumbing and heating trade!) I also try to provide the best quality of service and knowledge of product along with accuracy in picking their order. I understand that time is money to the busy contractor and nothing is more important to them than someone in the supply field that they can count on.
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,396
    A smile and positive attitude goes a long way to overcome some lack of knowledge.
    Is there a counter person in the world that knows everything about every product they offer? Although some think so :)
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • clammy
    clammy Member Posts: 3,113
    As of recently I had to deal w a supply house that had been brought out by a larger company which really didn’t seem to improve anything from the way it was except not to have the basics of what’s needed for duct work slip and drive right .
    it really didn’t end there took over 1 1/2 hours to pay for a order ,I also decided to pick up some material easy stuff 4 6 inch smoke Ellis they give me 4 4 smoke Ella clearly they picked the wrong material ok i wait some more .
    I wait for my supposed 9 am delivery shows up at 10 30 and the driver takes over 20 minutes from pulling in front of the home and I had greeted him, till he finally backs in the driveway . Then he excepts me to take the pallets that they loaded the order on ,aside from the crates the units have .
    As I waited for my delivery I called my usually p n h supply house being I needed some pipe and stuff ,not much to my surprise they showed up and where gone way before my scheduled delivery .all within a hour of my call ,funny thing is there no more then 10 minutes apart .
    My biggest gripe is the wait not only from the counter but from the guy picking the order at some places and let’s not even talk about waiting on the phone it’s some times like a slap in the face ,especially when after the wait you find out they don’t have the simplest of parts . It is as if they don’t want to work and feel that they aren’t paid enough for anything more then simply showing up . This seems to be the new work ethic , texting ,cell phone ,social media and bit con why work .
    Peace and good luck as needed clammy
    R.A. Calmbacher L.L.C. HVAC
    NJ Master HVAC Lic.
    Mahwah, NJ
    Specializing in steam and hydronic heating
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,850
    edited August 2022
    A huge company usually has someone completely disconnected from the customer designing the evaluation process for the counter people so they get evaluated and rewarded for things that are important to the company not the customer. How many orders did you fill or did you keep your open tickets up to date, not did the customer get the right thing or did you have what the customer needed.

    They likely are now doing things that an admin or sales person not at the counter should be doing like answering customer emails and texts instead of helping the person standing in front of them.
  • GGross
    GGross Member Posts: 1,076
    I have never really been to a supply house in a big city. The one I work for, all the locations are open warehouses, meaning our regulars (all of our customers are regulars) just go get their own stuff if they want or can order at the counter if they don't mind waiting a few minutes for the orders to be picked. What is the typical experience going to a supplier on the east coast to pick up material like? You sit in a little room behind a cage so you don't steal anything and then they make you wait the whole time twiddling thumbs?
  • HomerJSmith
    HomerJSmith Member Posts: 2,483
    What makes for a good counter person?
    One that doesn't need his fingers to add 2+2.
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 8,157

    What makes for a good counter person?

    Someone who can ... I don't know... COUNT!

    Edward Young Retired

    After you make that expensive repair and you still have the same problem, What will you check next?

    HEATSPEC Member Posts: 9
    A really BAD counter person was the young guy who looked like a punk, continuously spit his spent snuff into an empty Pepsi can and said: "Well, what do you want to do - kick my ****?"

    Yeah that actually happened to me once; but then, this is Appalachia.

    Other bad eggs have noticeable body odor and bad grooming, and perpetually complain about their personal problems, esp. difficulties with their ex's - [geez - I wonder why?]

    But the really great countermen greet you like a long-lost friend, have a pleasant [but short] anecdote to tell, and seem to know exactly what you're looking for. God bless 'em!