One of the toughest tasks for many home improvement professionals, including HVAC contractors, is finding ways to differentiate themselves from the competition. And, while many HVAC companies focus on their product offerings: a variety of solutions, materials and services, as well as using past customers’ positive reviews — contractors can do even more to showcase their companies’ competitive advantage to set themselves apart.
The methods of differentiation discussed above are important and represent strategies that are essential to business growth. However, one way to really set your company apart is having the right strategic partners so that your customers get what they need when they need it.
Think about customers confronted with the need for a new HVAC purchase during a busy peak season — if it’s summer, their house is sweltering or, if it’s winter, there’s danger in not having a functioning furnace. The customer may need to make a quick decision about which new equipment will serve them best — especially during an emergency — and will then need to determine the best way to pay.
One key strategic partner for HVAC companies should be a financing partner. Offering your customers a range of payment options, from same-as-cash to low monthly payment loans, is a way to differentiate your company while providing your customers with choices that will help them to make the best decisions.
The Right Partners Make Each Other Look Good
Plan to research every partner you’re considering. You should understand their reputation in the community, work experience, customer reviews, and the overall quality of their products and services. You need to trust that your financing partner will live up to their promises and the customer’s expectations to protect your reputation in the home improvement world.
You want your customers to have the same high-quality experience with your financing partner as they’ll have with your company. The right strategic financing partner can make your customers’ experience even better, enhancing both companies’ reputations — which can dramatically affect revenue and increase customer referrals.
Partners Reflect Each Other’s Strengths
Your business success relies on the experience your customers have both with your company and with your partners. If you don’t take the time to vet and review your potential partners properly, you may be running the risk of damaging your own reputation.
Choosing a Financing Partner That’s the Right Fit
Not all home improvement lenders are created equal. Some are just fintech outfits that don’t actually provide their own funding and rely on third parties to put up the cash. Others are big financial institutions that do all aspects of banking but lack a special focus on your industry. An ideal partner will not only be an actual bank that funds all its own commitments as a balance-sheet lender with independent resources, but one that truly gets your business, has an exclusive focus on creating specialized loans for home improvement, and offers a suite of tools and services just for contractors (such as a dedicated relationship manager and custom marketing tools).
If You Need More Convincing…
Payment options are not only a boon to the homeowner, but offering these choices to all your customers can provide a strategic benefit to your business growth. Review these ideas:
- You get an extra competitive edge with payment options, allowing your customers to achieve the maximum flexibility to choose the product that best matches what they want and how to pay for it. Your reputation gets you the sales call, and payment option choices close the sale.
- Contractors who offer a choice of payment options increase ticket size by an average of 43%, according to research.
- By offering payment options, you can be the one source for everything the homeowner needs, making the sales process a positive experience. Satisfied homeowners share their experiences with others, as it is a sales process. When you discuss potential choices by asking the right questions, homeowners are empowered. Many contractors provide both “good/better/best” options for the project and the full range of payment options, so the homeowner understands what they can afford to achieve their home improvement dreams.
By providing a broad range of payment options in every sales situation, you create the competitive advantage that helps your customers get what they want while also improving customer satisfaction. Your business becomes the obvious choice to complete that HVAC project, especially if it is an emergency.