Success in today’s marketplace is about providing quality experiences — not rock-bottom pricing. Amazon has been more than rewarded by customers for making purchasing and returns insanely quick and easy. Chick-fil-A is not the only restaurant that makes chicken sandwiches, but it wins survey after survey for customer satisfaction. Apple products aren’t cheap, but the company’s relentless focus on the customer experience has made it a trillion-dollar company.
Ultimately, you've got to ask how you want your customer to feel when they hang up the phone or when the technician leaves that house. Because that's what you're selling: a world-class experience. Otherwise, you're just selling widgets, and if you're trying competing on price, you'll always lose. Other companies will always do it cheaper, but the secret is that homeowners are willing to pay more for the value you add to each service call and quality of the experience.
Power of Coaching
On its face, training is great. But how impactful is a one-shot class to create a lasting behavioral change? From my experience, I can go to an awesome training event packed full of inspirational speakers and leave all fired up, ready to transform my workplace for the better.
The truth of the matter is that I get to work on Monday and face hundreds of emails and various fires to put out. So, I put that little binder of notes from the event on the shelf, and one to two weeks later, I've slipped back into my routine.
Businesses like yours need coaches, not just trainers. If your employees aren’t being regularly coached to provide consistent, quality customer experiences every time they answer a phone or go out on a service call, you’re doing it wrong. Unless you tie training to ongoing coaching and accountability, you’ll have invested an enormous amount of money and time without seeing any results.
We live in a time where all the knowledge in the world is at our literal fingertips, but a coach can help turn knowledge into wisdom and then into implementation. Without accountability, you’re going to be having the same conversation with the team member three to four months later and wonder why the training isn’t working.
A coach is someone who is going to push employees out of their comfort zone and help them break out of old habits. They’re going to be checking in and holding team members accountable and helping them turn training into results.
Once team members have internalized the importance of providing a quality customer experience, they become an invaluable marketing tool for your HVAC business. This is because they work the magic that turns customers into lifelong promoters.
When customers become your raving fans, they become living marketing for your HVAC business. This is more powerful than radio or television ads, emails, or postcards because your customer has a voice and will use it on your behalf.
You can see it in action on social media, where someone will ask for recommendations for a great HVAC contractor, and something like eight people will say, “Whatever you do, do not use X company!” And then someone that says “Oh my goodness! You’ve got to use my company! They’re not cheap, but they’re amazing!”
And that would be my goal as a technician in the field. When I go out on a job, I’d be committed to creating such a great customer experience that the customer will say they’d want my help again. And I say, “Perfect! Let me put our company phone number in your phone in case you ever need it!”
Cultivating lifelong promoters for your business has to be approached intentionally and sincerely. A quality customer experience doesn’t happen just because a technician recites a memorized script or by checking off items on a checklist.
That’s why I’d be investing my time and effort into creating a business culture totally committed to providing the best customer experience. Start by coaching your employees about the importance of ensuring each and every interaction in the customer journey is a good one. Help them internalize these lessons and put them to practice every day.
Reinforce this by rewarding employees for achieving the results you desire: great online reviews or referrals.
That’s where your success will truly begin. Then comes the slow, deliberate work of building your customers into raving fans, one great service call at a time.
Give them a reason to feel so confident in what they just experienced during a service call that they’ll go online to give your business a great review and recommend it to friends and family. By creating a community of trust, you’ll build a foundation of long-term success.