HVAC contractors face some of the same difficulties all contractors face: working for frequently frustrated and uncooperative customers. To overcome this you need to do many things, namely, understand your customers, have transparent pricing, get a contractor license bond, and embrace technology.
So with the start of the new year, make sure to implement these tips to take your HVAC business to the next level.
No. 1 - Think Like a Customer
Most of your customers probably don’t fully understand HVAC. This means it’s essential for you to make the entire process as transparent as possible. The more customers understand what you’re doing and why you’re doing it, the more likely they are to be cooperative and satisfied instead of suspicious and frustrated. This is the underlying philosophy behind all of these tips, so it’s essential to understand it from the start.
A useful exercise is to think of some profession you don’t understand, but come into contact with, and how that process makes you feel. Perhaps when you go to the doctor, you’re intimidated by the importance of the visit and your own lack of knowledge. Think about what would help make that process easier for you and try implementing those ideas for your business. You’ll be amazed by the results.
No. 2 - Optimize Your Phone System
Even today, phone calls are still the most common way you’re going to interact with your customers. There are a lot of simple ways to improve this process for everyone involved. First, just make sure you (or an employee) is there to answer. The positive effect of feeling that someone is there to answer any questions is a huge part of the thinking mentioned in tip No. 1. Answering machines belong in the past, so keep them there.
No. 3 - Simplify Your Pricing
Far too many HVAC contractors still rely on opaque pricing models, which leave consumers feeling confused and frustrated. While flat-rate pricing does have advantages and disadvantages, on the whole, the advantages it offers customers are things they’re willing to pay for. So consider a flat-rate model, which charges slightly more and you may be surprised to find customers happy to pay it.
No. 4 - Advertise Your Surety Bonds
As a commercial contractor, you’re likely required to be bonded in the state where you do business. But while this may be a requirement for the business, it’s also one too often misunderstood. Because a surety bond is in essence a type of insurance for your customers, it’s worth educating them about it. Mentioning your surety bond in your advertising can give your customers some serious peace of mind.
No. 5 - Incorporate Technology
This may seem obvious, but that doesn’t mean it’s not routinely ignored. You probably already have a smartphone, so why not explore HVAC apps which can connect you with your customers more easily? Even something as simple as using messenger applications like WhatsApp or using GPS to show your customers how far away you are from their job-site can both improve your customers’ experiences and bring you greater levels of efficiency and convenience. So, try exploring the latest and greatest tech out there and see what it can do for you.
No. 6 - Engage Customers Through Social Media
There are a lot of ways to tackle social media from the perspective of an HVAC contractor, and there’s no doubt you have some great options. One way to boost your business profile and website traffic would be to start blogging about the industry. If a potential customer is searching the web for information on an HVAC topic and finds a helpful article by you, this makes you by far their most likely first choice for a contractor.
Social media is also a good way to engage with user feedback. Whether a customer is satisfied or not, there are reasons to use it. You can share great reviews and respond to bad ones. As long as it’s done right, you win either way.
It’s amazing how many different ways there are to improve your business with relatively little effort. So, instead of just working longer hours, try working smarter.
Be sure to let us know what techniques are working for your business in the comments section below.