Interview with Tzvi Lefkowitz, “Tzvi Air”
When we met you in 2012 you were Handyman Tzvi, then you became Handyman Tzvi Technical Services and now we see your car around town as the new and improved Tzvi Air. Tell us how have you evolved and what prompted you to change?
This is Israel, the wild Middle East. And yet we’re in The King’s Palace. The only way you can make it here is to break yourself. If you want to be something, first you have to become nothing, no? In New York I was a contractor with a crew of 25 builders working on a huge variety of projects – eight story buildings, high end villas in the Five Towns. We were flying!
We wanted to be close to my family here so we moved, thinking, hey, if you can make it in New York you can make it anywhere. Ha! Ha! Big surprise. So I started off as a handyman because it was a quick way to find jobs. And then I added Technical Services so people would understand that there is one stop shopping with me for all their home and office needs. Then finally I realized that I was too spread out, like shpachtel. I didn’t want to be a jack of all trades and a master of none, so I chose to specialize. Why air conditioning? Because the work is gratifying and the field is in desperate need of service and installation improvements which I excel in.
How do you asses if an A/C unit needs to be replaced?
I need to be able to evaluate whether it’s worthwhile for the owner to continue to service their ailing unit, or to replace it with a new one. I need to know exactly which unit and which company is going to fit their need in quality and price. I can have four or five different units that can work on paper, but only one is going to fit the client’s requirements exactly, including the design and looks of the unit. The future service and maintenance of the system has to be well thought out. I have to have my pricing in my head, payment schedules. A customer wants to go with a cheap brand? I’ll be sure they’re aware of the pros and the cons. I never recommend it but the client can certainly rely on the fact that their installation and service will be top notch.
What are you doing different than other A/C technicians?
Well, since we have four vehicles we can now be in four places at one time. Perhaps more important is that It’s much easier for me to maintain my time commitments to customers. We try to be 100% finished in one day without troubling the customer with repeat return visits. If I see that we need assistance to meet this goal, I’ll call up one of my other technicians to help out. Without the additional cars, I couldn’t meet those commitments.
For example, a few months ago we installed a central A/C system in the Old City, a very challenging place to work. Our small cars allowed us to maneuver in very tight street conditions. The A/C was very critical for the health of the client and we managed to remove the 18-year-old system and install a top quality Fujitsu all in one day.
Why Tzvi Air, what’s the message?
I invested a lot of energy in my previous company names, so I wanted “Tzvi” to remain in the name to capitalize on my good reputation and name recognition. A tzvi is light and quick. That’s us.
What is your secret to customer satisfaction in your field?
Excellent question. I was hoping you would ask that. We have publicized that customer satisfaction is unconditionally guaranteed! If anything happens during installation, maintenance or later on, we take full responsibility. We’re into building long term relationships. You see our prices are highly competitive. If there are small things that need to be taken care of which were not within the price quoted, we don’t nickel and dime, we just take care of it.
How did you get to the point that when people think “air conditioning” they immediately think of you?
That’s the secret of success – reputation. That’s why we spend so much effort on pleasing our customers. People recommend us everywhere. Word of mouth can break you or make you.
Who else is on your team and why did you select them?
Kalman Perry is a Beit Shemesh resident, fluent in English, Hebrew and midos. He’s diligent and dependable, has excellent integrity and is completing his A/C Technician license. He is also looking to grow with the company and understands the value of customer service and product satisfaction.
Avi Gavriel has been with us for two years. He brings seven years of experience in related fields. Avi is our backbone in the field, he’s a perfect installer and technician, he thinks things through, doesn’t take risks, and knows how to get the job done in a timely manner and with a smile on his face. He’s a pleasure to work with and our customers are very pleased with his performance.
David Shmidt is originally from California. David is an excellent technician with many years of experience. He speaks English and Hebrew. We always get wonderful reports from our customers about his work.
A common complaint about air conditioner heat is that it is dry, exasperates coughs and dries out skin. What do you recommend (besides moisturizer ) to combat this problem?
The air conditioners here do not dry out the air like they do in the States. In the States they use heating that is produced by a furnace, basically warming up the air using fire. In Israel, it’s a heat pump that reverts the circulation of the Freon between the outside and inside unit, so it does not produce the dried air effect.
What are the benefits of using an air conditioner over gas radiators to heat your home?
Air conditioners are more energy efficient than radiators, making them significantly cheaper to run.
How do you recommend servicing your air conditioners in winter?
Winter is when you should be cleaning out the ducts, which gather layers of dust and sand over the summer. Most people only remember to have their air conditioners serviced when there is a heat wave on the forecast, but taking care of it in the winter will save so much hassle.
How do you plan on continuing to be the most recognizable name in the industry in Beit Shemesh and Jerusalem?
By continuing to provide the highest level of service which includes being able to get to all our customers on time, whenever they need help.