A couple of weeks ago, Qantas Airways Ltd., won an award for being “the most punctual domestic airline in the country [in Australia],” according to a company press release.

For service companies, whether in the airlines or HVAC business, punctuality is important. It can mean the difference between a satisfied and unsatisfied customer.

Specifically for HVAC businesses, if you or one of your workers are more than a few minutes late, that’s something that can anger a customer before you even show up at the door. And if it’s a salesperson who shows up late, and this is the first time the home or building owner is meeting face to face with a representative from your company, it can color a potential customer’s opinion of your company even more, giving the impression that your company representatives always arrive late. Also, it could be one of the factors the potential customer considers when selecting which contractor to hire.

When your techs and salespeople are on time to their appointments, it’s less likely to cause the snowball effect, where each appointment has to be pushed back more and more. Meanwhile the various customers affected by said snowball are steaming mad because they’ve rearranged their schedules, to make sure they are there on time, yet your firm’s employee(s) are nowhere to be found.

Sometimes, however, being late can’t be helped. Projects, at times, take longer than expected. And teleportation only exists in science fiction, so nobody (yet) can arrive at a location in a blink of an eye. Technology, though, can come to the rescue and help your company limit how often or how tardy your employees are.

A few ways your company can use technology and software to help keep running like clockwork are:

• Use software such as GPS so that the dispatcher can know where the techs are and can dispatch them more effectively.

• Train your dispatcher, especially on any new software or other technology he or she will be using as a part of his job. The better the software training is, the better the dispatcher will be able to perform the job.

• Equip each work vehicle or tech/salesperson with equipment, either a navigation system mounted to the dashboard or a smartphone app, to help both your employees find out about road construction, accidents, etc. to find a quicker way around town from the last customer’s location to the next. 

If all else fails, make sure someone, the tech or salesperson, or someone back at the office, calls the customer to say the employee is running late and provide an updated arrival time. It shows that your company acknowledges the situation and respects the customer and his or her time.

Though customers don’t give out Most Punctual HVAC Company awards, do what you can to deserve one anyway, and your customers will appreciate you for it.