The owners of Magnolia Heating and Cooling feel truly blessed to have a business that’s essential during this crisis. That’s not to say there haven’t been challenges while trying to adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic. The first challenge was the realization that we may not be able to keep everyone. Being a seasonal business, Magnolia will add staff in our down season in preparation for the next year’s summer demand. We were preparing for a hot summer in 2020 and working at full capacity in mid-March after recently adding the summer staff for the projected demand.
On March 15th, the owners faced a tough choice, “Who is essential?” Due to the initial two-week quarantine, Magnolia had no choice but to cut back our staff to the bare minimum. It seemed to be the right decision because all business completed stopped for about three to four weeks. During the first week, a food bank was set up at the Riverside Convention Center that allowed customers to drive up and pick up food. Fear was at an all-time high. The owners of Magnolia contacted the food bank to set up a pick-up time for all employees to get a two-week supply of food. We purchased 27 boxes so that all employees would receive the boxes, including the eight employees that continued working as well as the employees that had been laid off.
The owners began to put COVID-19 procedures in place to ensure the safety of not only the customers but the staff. The challenge was how to keep busy during this turbulent time to not only keep the essential staff but all of our staff employed. All marketing seemed wrong. Magnolia was using all its resources to cover the cost to keep the essential staff employed.
In April, the temperature in California began to rise. Magnolia reached out to routine maintenance customers offering a COVID-19 special to do their routine service. Luckily, in December of 2019, the owners ordered and paid for the marketing materials for the following year. Since the temperatures warranted a need, Magnolia mailed 50,000 postcards to its local service area. Customers are calling. Magnolia was able to reach out to employees one by one and ask them to return to work. Once again humbled to have such trusting customers, Magnolia is happy to report that a majority of the staff has returned to work.
Now we are in May and the phones are consistently ringing again. Magnolia’s entire staff is grateful that home comfort is so essential. We realize we provide a service that’s more essential now than ever. In the past, people may have delayed comfort concerns because they didn’t spend much time at home. Now people are at home a majority of the time, so comfort is of more importance.
Our hope for the future is to continue to provide a positive experience. We continue to deliver all safety and technical expectations. If you’re willing to invite us into your safe space, your home, Magnolia will be worthy of the job.
In 2019, Magnolia began a platform to inform high school students that HVAC is a career worth pursuing. Now in 2020, we’re seeing that to be a fact. If you’re without air conditioning and want to support local business, call us for guaranteed great service. Magnolia Heating and Cooling is at your service!