© Hudson, Ink Corp.
Inside This Issue: • Small Budget Improvement • Need to Get Someone on the Phone? • Seeking Health Information Online
Time saving, money saving and energy savings tips for your home.
MyWord By <NAME> Dear Friends,
OPTIONAL: YOUR PHOTO HERE
Times like these make me think of the old Sesame Street phrase, “Brought to you by the letter P.”
Polls will tell you that the thing most people are concerned about has to do with our pocketbooks and our paychecks. Politicians are picking at each other. And you get the feeling that a lot of folks in the country are peeved! Well, I wish I could help sort it all out, but I’m mainly focused on my main responsibilities: serving customers and helping you stay comfortable in your home. I’m fortunate. I get to do work I enjoy with people I care about. And what that means to you is that you have my personal assurance that we’re here to help, and you can always call when you need us. Are the systems in your household running well? Hope so. Heaters will be “on go” for a while longer. So let us know continued on page 4
Is Your Heater Trying to Tell You Something?
ow would you characterize your relationship with your heater or furnace? Smooth sailing? Needs improvement? Neglected? The home comfort system that takes nearly half of your household energy budget may be asking for a little time and attention. Whether you’re toasty warm this winter and how much you’re shelling out to your utility company are among the ways it communicates its needs. What Are My Options? As you consider whether to upgrade, replace, fine-tune or maintain your furnace or heater, you’ve got options to consider. For example, one homeowner recently asked about switching from a oil-fired boiler to a gasfired boiler. It can be done, and
if a natural gas line is already running into the home, say, for a gas stove, it’s typically a relatively easy process. But is it a good idea? That’s when you begin to weigh investment and return. If the boiler is more than 10 years old, you’d likely be better served by investing in a high-efficiency replacement that will save you month after month on your utility bills. If your heater is more than 10 years old, and you are experiencing discomfort or high utility bills, you’ll want to get your system evaluated by a professional. Besides replacing your system, you could also see improved energy efficiency by increasing house insulation and repairing or insulating ductwork or tuning up your system. Call us and we can help. Your Quick Call Comfort Hotline:
Small Budget Improvement: Better Looking Cabinets
ainting your kitchen cabinets can freshen up the busiest room in your home. But don’t think you’ve got to shell out big bucks to get it done. If you do it yourself, your investment is suddenly down to the cost of your supplies and your time, and you’re on your way to creating a low-cost, high-value home improvement. What does it take? Here are the basics:
workspace for your painting – if possible in a garage or basement, but if indoors, make sure you’ve got proper ventilation.
Be Prepared Prepare your areas by removing what can be removed and protecting what stays behind. That means emptying cabinets and drawers and clearing off counters. Protect surfaces with drop cloths. Tape off areas where the cabinets touch walls and floors. Set up a
Remove and Fill Remove the doors and drawers or drawer fronts that are to be painted, and remove the hardware (handles, pulls and hinges). If you’re replacing your hardware with a kind that doesn’t fit the existing holes, or if you want to move your current hardware lower on
the cabinet, fill the holes with a wood filler.
Clean and Sand Clean the door and drawer surfaces and sides with a cleaner-degreaser. Be thorough, paying particular attention to areas near the stove, where grease and dirt collect. Sand the surfaces and wipe away any dust or sawdust with a moist cloth. Paint Apply a primer to each door and drawer front. It’s a good idea to paint the inside panel of the cabinets first, then the outer framework. If needed, sand the primer to remove brush marks. Wipe off the dust again. Next step: apply two coats of the top coat, and when it’s dry, reinstall the hardware and put everything back in its place!
Need to Get Someone on the Phone?
eceiving good customer service over the phone is, sadly, a shock for many folks. You can almost picture an emergency room form where the complaint is, “My heart took a jolt when a real person answered my customer service question politely, helpfully and quickly.”
We’re more likely to expect: “Your call is important to us. You are 33rd in line for the next available customer service representative. Someone will be with you in three hours. Please stay on the line.”
But you don’t have to take this sitting down. Instead, when you find yourself in an auto-attendant purgatory, try these tips to find your way out: • Press zero for operator.
In most places within an automated system, pressing zero will take you to a person. • Speak “customer
service representative” or “operator.” Voicecontrolled systems such as the kind where you can speak your account number often recognize the request.
FYI, the systems will also recognize anger/profanity, if you’re particularly irritated, and will want to find a person to calm you down.
It’s an online service that helps connect customers with companies and has lots of helpful tools. Among them, you’ll find the best numbers to reach companies that offer customer support by phone – the numbers, that is, where you are most likely to get a human.
Seeking Health Information Online
ow’s your health? If we need to, we can pause while you check your answer on Google. It seems as if, these days, people aren’t thinking in terms of symptoms but of keywords. That’s because health information is one of the most popular areas of online research. In fact, according to Pew Internet/Pew Research Center studies, about 80% of people who use the internet look online for health information. In some ways, this is a good thing, leading to better informed medical consumers. In some ways, there’s risk. It’s easy to see a list of symptoms and think you’ve figured out your own diagnosis. There is also a great deal of misinformation on the web. And some sites, like always, are more concerned about seeking your money than seeking your well-being. Consider the Source As you find information on the web, check to see who is providing the content. Is it a respected organization dedicated to research and awareness (think
American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, etc.)? Besides sites focused on specific health areas, you’ll also find broad sources of information. WebMD.com & Mayoclinic.com,
for example, are two well-known providers of information on health conditions, symptoms, treatments and support communities. Medline Plus, a service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine and part of the National Institutes of Health, is another source online that can be found at www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus.
Is It Information – or Misinformation? Online support communities for particular health conditions can be good for learning from the experiences of others and getting tips that you can put to use. But your search may also lead you to personal points of view in blogs and comments that you should be willing to question. Those experiences could very well be legitimate. But can’t you think of two or three people in your own life whose personal opinions you wouldn’t trust – even if they did write a blog? Finally, don’t let online information be a substitute for actual medical advice. If you’re having symptoms of a serious medical condition, seek the attention of a medical professional.
Did You Know?
• By weight, Bone is five times stronger than steel.
But do note: some organizations identify content that is from “sponsors,” which doesn’t make it wrong, but should make you aware of the potential for profit.
This can be trivia,Little recipes or for special you’d like to furnish. • space The costliest catused ever for is named Nicky, whoanything cost his owner $50,000.
He is a clone of an older cat.
You can also use this space to put a QR Code and direct your customers to a web portal • The world’s oldest known recipe is for beer. Hudson, Ink can create and host. This portal can host an online-only article, informational • The averagetohome creates more pollution does theand average video, answers trivia questions, onlinethan coupons linkscar. to your website to build web traffic and helphas your SEO. • Canada more lakes than the rest of the world combined.
• You burn more calories sleeping than you do watching television.
• Over <#> solid years of caring service. Let us solve your problem. Call <COMPANY> at <PHONE>.
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• Finance terms to suit your needs. Let us help you.
• Up Front Pricing. Know the price before we start. No surprises!
When you have a repair on your heating and air conditioning system, you’re already not having a good day. So we’d like to make things easier on your wallet. Clip this coupon for a $25 savings on your repair bill, and just give us a call. We’ll give you our best service, as quickly as we can. Call <COMPANY> at <PHONE>. ©2011
A Friendly Offer pa
We appreciate the friendship we share with you, our customer. It’s a pleasure to provide superior service and value to you, and we’d like to extend this same expertise to your friends. a
Wishing you a great season and many good things brought to you by the letter P – like peace and prosperity!
• Your Brand and Your System fixed right by neat, skilled techs.
A tune-up is still the best way to increase the HomePoints life of a very sizeable investStorm windows and doors can reduce ment in your heating costs by home – and as much as 15% by it’s also the keeping heated air best way to from leaking outside. keep more energy dollars in your pocket. Now, doesn’t that sound like a good idea?
• 24-hour Service, 7 Days a Week. Why wait when you don’t have to?
Get $25 Bucks Off the Best Service We Can Bring On.
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if you have any problems. Or if you missed your tune-up and safety check at the beginning of the season, we can get that done for you too.
So count on us for:
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continued from page 1
Your Comfort Counts.
Just clip this out and give it to a friend who is having a heating/cooling problem. If they redeem this coupon with your name as the referral, we will give them a $15 discount. After all, your friends are our friends, and we look forward to serving them soon! New Customer__________________________________________________
Referred by____________________________________________________ U
P.S. Please use the coupons in this newsletter for helpful savings for yourself – or share them with a friend!
<COMPANY> at <PHONE>
(Discount only available to NEW customers)
<This QR Code is readable by most camera phones. We can make this code be an offer or discount to your customers or a link to a page on your website. Call us for more information: 1-800-489-9099>.
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