As owners and the sole workers at A & C Septic Service, Jon and Cheri Errico often have their hands full serving the coastal peninsula at the southern tip of New Jersey. But that doesn’t deter their commitment to keeping customers – and potential customers – fully informed about the need to maintain and pump their onsite systems in Cape May County.
The Erricos encourage the public to call them not only for service, but for information about how septic systems operate. And when customers call, they reach Jon or Cheri any time, day or night. The Erricos say being accessible to the public is the key to building the business Jon took up as a part-time owner while working as head plant mechanic at the Cape May County Municipal Utilities Authority wastewater treatment facility.
“Any time you call, you’ll get us answering the phone,” Jon says. One time the phone rang at 2 a.m., and Jon anticipated an emergency call from someone whose system was backing up into the home. Instead, he talked to a woman who had a variety of questions about septic tanks and systems and how to keep them operating properly. Jon says he answered her questions as best he could even though he learned early in the call that the woman “wasn’t even in our area.”
Customer education is so important because many homes in the Cape May area are owned by former city dwellers from Philadelphia who have retired to the slower-paced life in rural New Jersey, Cheri says. Homeowners accustomed to city utilities learn having a septic system requires more attention. Cheri finds herself explaining the basic details of septic systems over and over.
Jon says younger families can also run into trouble with their septic systems. “Overuse is a big thing,” he says. “A lot of people in the house taking long showers and using the restrooms can overload a system.” He also says people who don’t have their system serviced on a regular basis face the prospect of serious problems.
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