Purchasing an HVAC system is often overwhelming to homeowners since it involves making a significant investment in complex equipment that they may not know much about.  With your in-depth industry knowledge, you have the opportunity to help customers feel informed about their choices and comfortable choosing to work with you. In the end, customers just want a problem-free HVAC system installed by a contractor they trust.

These simple tips, based on dealer best practices, can help you build trust with homeowners and create lasting relationships.

Building Trust

Be the Online and Offline HVAC Expert

Because many homeowners have limited knowledge about what to do when it’s time to repair or replace their HVAC system, they often start with the Internet for advice. Once online, they find a wealth of information, which unfortunately is not always accurate. As the expert, you can use the consultation to help them to sort through what they’ve read or heard and correct any misperceptions.

But you don’t have to wait until the consultation to ensure homeowners have access to accurate information. Set up a social media page if you don’t already have one and post answers to commonly asked questions or seasonal maintenance tips and tricks. Consider creating simple “how-to” emails that you send to customers every so often.  Or, set up an online social networking channel where you can post simple how-to videos on topics such as, “Why It’s Important to Change Your Filter” or “Why Do Preventative Maintenance Checks.” 

Make your contact information visible on your social media sites and respond to questions and comments right away, including the negative ones. Show that you are there to solve problems and provide great service.

By sharing useful information in these easy-to-digest formats, not only are you helping to demystify HVAC for homeowners, but you’re also making it more likely that they’ll call you, rather than a competitor, when it’s time to replace or repair.

Stay Smart on Regulations and Qualifications

Staying up to date on HVAC regulations and standards can set you apart from competitors. When explaining how standards impact a homeowner’s HVAC options, keep things simple and relevant. Again, the typical consumer is most concerned about an HVAC system that’s reliable and worry-free, but because standards and regulations can impact their experience, such as energy efficiency and repair cost, this information can be valuable to share.

You can stay abreast of changes to standards through industry associations and publications, as well as regulatory agency sites.  The DOE keeps an update of rulemaking here. Set up online alerts to receive immediate updates on any regulation changes in your area.

Make sure to showcase your qualifications, such as NATE® certification and state licensing. Point out to the homeowner the benefits of using a contractor with the proper credentials.  

Listen to the Homeowner

It all boils down to listening to the customer. Spend time getting to know your clients, assessing their environment, and asking questions to understand their concerns and needs.

Don’t feel limited to answering the questions homeowners ask.  More often than not, they don’t know a lot about how HVAC works or the variety of options for controlling their comfort, from precision temperature and humidity control to air quality. You can guide them through the decision process by asking these key questions for them. For example: What are their family’s preferences on temperature and humidity levels throughout the home? What are their concerns about utility bills? What home automation options might interest them?  Bring a checklist along to guide the discussion.

Once the new HVAC system is installed and running smoothly, the homeowner will appreciate that you took the time to build a solution tailored to their unique needs.

Re-Engaging After the Sale

Champion First-Year Annual Service

While a new unit provides peace of mind for homeowners, trust building doesn’t stop at the sale.

Following the initial installation, remind the homeowner that you offer seasonal service tune-ups to ensure their equipment keeps running smoothly. Encourage them to contact you in the meantime with any questions and make sure they have your contact information, even with something as simple as a refrigerator magnet with your office number.

Consider discounting the first-year of annual service or include it in the sale package as a way to show your commitment to them and the performance of their new system. This commitment not only guarantees more work with the homeowner, but also ensures you’ll be in contact with them on a regular basis to answer their questions and share any relevant industry news.

As mentioned earlier, take time to set up a social media page for your company. This page enables consumers to reach out very easily. Respond to comments right away, paying particular attention to addressing critical feedback. You can use social media to show that you’re ready to solve customers’ problems and deliver superior customer service.

Use Milestones to Keep in Touch

Being in the HVAC business is being in the relationship business.  Send a thank you note after the purchase, letting the homeowners know that you appreciate working with them. Send a date-of-sale anniversary card to show the homeowner you’re still thinking of them even after a year has passed.  Take the time to sign and add a personal note. The anniversary mark is also a great time to remind homeowners what their warranty offers, schedule a maintenance appointment, and tell them about your new products and services.

These simple recommendations can help you earn a reputation as a trusted, reliable resource for homeowners. 

Publication date: 6/18/2018

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