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Is the Proof Really in the Pudding?

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What Does “The Proof is in the Pudding Mean?” 

“The proof is in the pudding” is an expression that means the value, quality, or truth of something must be judged based on direct experience with it – or on its results. The expression is an alteration of an older saying that makes the meaning a bit clearer, “the proof of the pudding is in the eating.” In other words, things must be judged by trying them yourself or seeing them in action, rather than on other factors, such as looks or hearsay. Another variation I’ve heard is, “the proof of the pudding,” which refers to the results themselves, direct experience with something, or the testing something to judge its value or truth. 

Are we on the same page now? 

The “Pudding” in HVAC 

When we translate this to the HVAC industry, it will leave you thinking about how we prove the quality of the work we do. Most of the time, it is hearsay. A start-up technician or installer might say at the completion of an installation, “Everything looks great!” or, “This system is running great!” Can they really make that claim with 100% certainty? What if a technician or installer with a lesser set of skills and competency says the same thing? Who is correct? Both? None of them? Without some type of industry standard to use as a benchmark, it is impossible to identify the “proof in the pudding,” isn’t it? 

If the “TRUTH” can be different day-by-day, visit-by-visit, technician-by-technician, then how do we really know what value is being delivered? Is it a surprise that today’s consumer still lacks a high level of trust for home services providers? So, what do we do about it?  

A simple and cost-effective strategy is to train your existing staff to do everything the same way every time, regardless of skill level. Hold them accountable and provide the “proof in the pudding” to the customer. Finally, use a repeatable process that maximizes efficiency and profitability in the business. Would it be worth implementing processes that have this kind of byproduct? I would think that is a resounding YES! 

Saying “yes” is easy. But doing the things to implement industry best practices and follow national standards, not so much. Nowadays, this takes implementing technology, getting buy-in from the team, and holding folks accountable to wash, rinse, and repeat…to “do the work!” The prize is increased profitability and efficiency. Those two things can add up to a substantial amount of money coming back into the company. Better yet, once under control, it’s the gift that keeps on giving!  

The Problem with Callbacks 

At a recent conference I discussed the topic of callbacks and the impact they can have on the business. One audience member shared that their average callback event impacted the business to the tune of $2,500 per occasion. WOW! That’s a big number! So, let’s do some math. If the average company has a 10% callback ratio (which means 10 out of 100 installs require sending a technician back to correct something), and it’s $2,500 per callback. Drumroll please! 10 x $2,500 = $25,000 impact to the bottom line, profits that are LOST. Well, there goes money for bonuses, or a new CRM system, or the down payment on a new service van. Should I go on? These are real numbers that can do significant damage to a business.  


Can we solve them by implementing industry best practices and standards? You bet we can. Will it take time, energy, and some investment in technology? Will there be some mindsets that need to change to deliver consistent quality? Yep, it sure will! The last part is that you’ll need to prove the work! 

The “proof in the pudding” is possible! It just requires us to look at things a little differently and embrace changes that we typically would ignore. If you need help, get a mentor and/or implementation coach! Not sure how to get started? Leverage your ACCA membership and learn how to prove it with ACCA QI Certificates! Read what’s required, and then fill out the “Get Started” form at the bottom. I’ll help you in any way I can.   

Brian Feenie
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Posted In: QA

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