Jonathan Millington: Crash Course to Success
By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter
SAN FRANCISCO — Jonathan Millington’s plumbing career may have started with a crash course, but it ultimately led to an uncommon level of success. “In my early 20s, I was looking for a trade to get into and became interested in plumbing,” he begins. “I started reading some books about it and found a job with a local plumbing company. They gave me a real crash course. I think the idea was to train me really quickly and get me out in the field. As a result, I had to learn a lot from my mistakes, because I didn’t have a chance to fully learn things during my training.”
After getting a handle on the technical side of plumbing, Jonathan went to work for another company, where he gained insight on the service side. “After working in the field for a while, I was promoted to service manager and basically ran the business for the owner,” he recounts. “However, I didn’t agree with the way he handled customer service. This was back when most people used the Yellow Pages to find companies, and since he had a prominent ad there, he didn’t care whether customers were happy or came back. To me, it made more sense to invest in good service and build a loyal customer base. Not only would your customers be happy, you wouldn’t have to spend as much on advertising because of the repeat business.” Eventually, Jonathan decided the best way to implement his ideas was to start his own business, which he did in 2002.
Today, as owner of Ace Plumbing and Rooter, Jonathan says his favorite part of his job is finding solutions for his customers’ problems. “I think the problem-solving aspect was what interested me most about plumbing in the first place. Not only does it make for stimulating work, it’s fun to be the hero and save the day by fixing a customer’s problem.”
A resident of Daly City (where he lives with his wife, Marina, and son, Jonathan), Jonathan spends his time outside of work on a variety of active pastimes. “I enjoy snowboarding, playing golf and traveling when I get a chance,” he details. “I also love hanging out with my son. His favorite thing to do is ride his bicycle, so we do a lot of riding together.”
In regard to his professional career, Jonathan believes that his commitment to customer service has made all the difference in his long-term success. “Customer service has always been at the core of what we do,” he affirms. “I tell my plumbers, ‘If the customer isn’t happy at the end of the job, it isn’t finished—you need to stay there until they’re happy, even if that means getting me involved.’ Because of this, we’ve been able to build a very loyal customer base. Even if we’re booked out and can’t get to a customer’s house right away, they’re willing to wait. They don’t want to use another company because they trust us. That’s something I’m really proud of.”
Ask Me Anything!
Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
A: Colombia. I’ve done a fair bit of traveling, but that’s one place I still haven’t seen.
Q: Are you an early bird or a night owl?
A: I’m more of a night owl, but due to the nature of my business, I have to be an early bird. Things tend to start pretty early in the plumbing business.
Q: Do you collect anything?
A: Mainly souvenirs from traveling. My fireplace mantle is covered with odd trinkets I’ve brought back from all over the world.
Q: What’s your favorite holiday?
A: Christmas, because it’s all about the kids.
Q: What’s your favorite thing to eat for dessert?
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