As any HVAC professional knows, running a successful heating, ventilation, and air conditioning business requires you to manage a lot of moving parts.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in the HVAC industry is projected to grow 13 percent from 2018 to 2028 (much faster than the average for all other occupations). Although this statistic may be good for HVAC job security, it also means competition will continue to grow in the HVAC industry.
As an HVAC professional or business owner, how can you set yourself apart from the competition? Take a look at these 6 ideas for creating a strong, positive impression in the eyes of current and potential customers.
Improve greeting messages
Email and phone greetings seem minor, but it is your first opportunity to begin building that positive relationship with your customers. For example, adding a simple ‘thank you for reaching out’ at the beginning of your conversation or exchanging names can make a world of difference. With almost no effort (and absolutely no money!), small tweaks to improve your greeting message can make conversations feel personalized to each customer – in a good way.
Set expectations on follow-up
Greetings matter, but you will not be able to answer every call or email right away. For situations like this, make sure your voicemail message or automated email message is warm, friendly, and sets clear expectations for customers on when to expect a response.
Here’s a great example of an automated email message:
“Thank you for reaching out to Smith Services! We value your time and thank you in advance for your patience. We will reach out via email or phone within 24 hours of your communication. Please call XXX-XXX-XXXX with immediate HVAC emergencies. We look forward to partnering with you on your HVAC needs!”
Pay attention to your curb appeal
Life as an HVAC professional is not always glamorous – it can require you to get your hands dirty! Heating units, A/C parts, the list goes on…
To improve your brand in the community and with current and potential customers, try to view your store or business location as customers would view it.
There is no reason an HVAC business needs to look fancy, but cleanliness and organization do matter. Both outside and inside the business, make sure items are organized and shelves and floors are free of clutter and trash.
Make sure your business sign is clean and easily visible somewhere within a well-groomed landscape or lawn. Whether we like it or not, looks play a huge role in a customer’s first impression of your business. It can especially help your business stand apart from others in the industry.
Create a uniform look
When a customer visits your business (or you visit their home), they should know exactly who you are based on your HVAC uniform.
A professional HVAC uniform does not have to be extravagant, uncomfortable, or expensive. It can simply include a t-shirt with your company’s logo and a small name badge. This standard, clean cut look will begin to build a strong brand for your company that customers and the community will recognize.
Respect your customer’s space
Being an HVAC professional means performing house calls. You work inside the home, outside the home, and remove and rebuild a number of parts. It is easy for your workspace to become messy. No matter what, make sure a customer’s home and HVAC space is tidy before you leave.
In a customer’s eyes, there is nothing more disrespectful than messy contractors inside your home!
The work itself may require moving parts, but once you leave, there should be no obvious evidence that you were there – No shoe tracks, no loose parts lying around, and no equipment left behind.
Organize your information
New customers and contracts are great for an HVAC business; however, more customers and jobs can mean less time for administrative tasks. To create and maintain a positive impression with customers, administrative work cannot be left behind.
Paper work, bookkeeping, proper invoicing, job documentation, and client information are just a few areas that are vital to running a successful business. Instead of trying to manage these tasks manually, look for all-inclusive software that can help manage this information for you. Not only will this help you manage your time and information, but it will also give customers a modern and organized experience with your business.
As the HVAC industry grows at record speeds, it is important to realize that providing quality customer service is just as important as providing quality HVAC service.
The right communication, the right look, and the right tools and software will guarantee a strong and positive impression with current and potential customers. Positive word-of-mouth recommendations and customer reviews are one of the most important aspects to a successful service business, so the time taken to focus on the impression and experience you provide to customers will not be wasted.