Putting Yourself in the HVAC Consumer's Shoes
Think of things from their perspective
We have a lot going on running a heating and air conditioning business, but do we really know “The Homeowner’s Frustration?” They have a problem with their A/C system, and they just want it fixed. It’s time to take off the contractor hat and put on the consumer hat.
An Air Conditioning Scenario
Ok, imagine you’re the homeowner. You walk in your house after a long day at work, and what do you find? Your house is hot and the A/C is out. So what do you do?
- You check your thermostat. Does it have power, batteries?
- You check your breaker box. Any tripped breakers?
- Is the outside unit running?
- Is there cold air coming from the vents?
If the homeowner determines it’s time to contact a professional, then what? Some may have a relationship with a local air conditioning contractor, but many homeowners do not. In the old days, you went to phonebook and looked up air conditioning companies. But today’s consumer uses the latest technology at their disposal:
- They post their problem on social media: Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter asking for a reputable contractor
- They check the neighborhood app: Nextdoor
- They use Google and other search engines
Contacting the Contractor
Your next potential customer has gotten some information via a recommendation and has decided to search on their smartphone. They start the rapid research phase.
The distressed homeowner looks up “air conditioner repair” on a search engine, and they find three contractors.
- They have a website, but it was built in 2002. It has limited information, it’s not optimized for mobile, has outdated coupons, and a “hang the open sign in the window” approach.
- Google shows only three reviews, and their rating is 3 out of 5 stars.
- The company has a Facebook account, but it hasn’t been posted to since 2016.
- And they are registered with the BBB or Better Business Bureau, but do not have any reviews.
- The website is modern, mobile optimized for the smartphone (which the distressed homeowner is using), it has “Call to Action” buttons to schedule service and it promotes coupons for savings on service calls, and it screams fast, reliable air conditioning service.
- Contractor B has over 100 Google reviews, many of them recent, and a 4.7 rating out of 5 stars.
- They have active Facebook and Instagram accounts that show recent job site pictures and happy homeowner recommendations.
- The company is BBB registered, rated, and has many positive reviews.
- No website to be found.
- A Google listing that shows the picture of a house, and the listing has not been claimed.
- There is an old link to a “My Space” account.
Who do you think they called?
The homeowner just wants their A/C fixed. They call Contractor B, and the company tells them a service tech will be at their home tomorrow afternoon. The homeowner takes the afternoon off of work in order to meet the technician, but it’s 2:30 pm and no one has contacted this customer. So, the customer calls the office, and the receptionist answers and checks with the dispatcher. They come back on the line and say, “We should be at your home by 4:00 pm.” But at 4:15, nobody is there yet. The technician contacts the homeowner, and says that their current call is taking much longer than anticipate. “Can we come tomorrow morning? You’ll be the first stop!”
Lessons To Be Learned
We have to be courteous, respectful, and do what we say we are going to do. Today’s consumer is expecting you work around their schedule and provide the highest quality service and workmanship or they will find someone that will provide it.
Think like the consumer and not the contractor. They are unhappy and uncomfortable and just want an easy solution. Here are some ways you can ease the process:
- Make the scheduling process easy from the start to finish.
- Have Live operators answering the phone even after hours
- Offer forms to schedule service on your website
- Stick to your appointment time
- Be flexible with your service times — early evening and weekends work great for consumers.
Throw your contractor hat away and wear the consumer hat. You’ll be surprised at the difference it makes in your sales!
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