MATTHEWS – Rob McClintock began his career with Miller Refrigeration, working up the ranks from helper to service manager. After 10-plus years, he left for Acosta Heating and Cooling, where he transitioned from service to sales.
Rob eventually learned enough about the trade to go out on his own, but he didn’t know the first thing about running a business. So, he started taking business courses at Central Piedmont Community College, just as he did when he was learning how to become a technician.
One particular business instructor struck a chord with Rob. The instructor explained to students that while they likely had enough clients lined up to kick-start their businesses, those clients will eventually go away. The key takeaway for Rob was that his job was not only about fixing heaters and air conditioners, but it was also about getting new customers.
Rob and Kim McClintock launched McClintock Heating & Cooling in 2002. Rob didn’t take a paycheck for the first two years. The couple relied on Kim’s marketing job at the Charlotte Observer as Rob invested everything they made back into the business. Kim would focus on the fledgling company’s finances and marketing after coming home from work.
By 2005, the company had grown to the point in which Kim could leave the newspaper. She now oversees the business side of the company, which includes a heavy focus on marketing.
McClintock Heating & Cooling employs 50 people. Rob said they are the key to the company’s success.
When they envisioned becoming business owners, Rob and Kim wanted to focus on the customer to stand out from others in the industry. They work hard to recruit and retain quality technicians so they can provide superior service to customers.
Rob and Kim’s commitment to continuous education and training starts at the top and extends to everyone, including the people answering the phones and the technicians visiting customers.
“Technicians are going into people’s homes, so they have to not only be good technically, but they also have to be good working with people,” Kim said.
Training is also important to understand emerging technology. Kim said remote access to thermostats didn’t exist 10 years ago, but now thermostats look like iPads.
Rob remembers a time when he could require at least five years of experience for people applying for a technician vacancy. Due to shortages in the workforce, he focuses more on finding people with good attitudes that can be trained.
Rob is serving his second term as president of the North Carolina Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contracting Association, a trade organization that dates back to 1910. He is active in the organization because he believes in the mantra “a rising tide lift all boats.”
“One of the things we’re focused on as much as anything is trying to identify ways to educate prospective employees to attract people to the business,” Rob said.
The McClintocks believe part of the solution is educating parents that the trades are a viable option to make a lot of money without incurring four years worth of college debt.
They have 13 people enrolled in a formal apprenticeship program, in which participants work during the day and take self-guided courses online in their free time.
McClintock Heating & Cooling serves Mecklenburg, Union and Cabarrus counties, but the company focuses a lot of its community outreach in Matthews. The Matthews Athletic & Recreation Association, Greater Matthews Habitat for Humanity, and Matthews Playhouse of the Performing Arts are among organizations to benefit from this outreach.
The company is also active in the Matthews and Union County chambers of commerce.
Want to learn more?
McClintock Heating & Cooling is located at 1253 Matthews-Mint Hill Road, Matthews. Call 704-321-5207 or visit www.mcclintockhvac.com for details.