Whether or not they realize it, customers expect more from an HVAC company than just a technical fix. They’re looking for a respectful and smooth experience from start to finish, advice and answers to their questions. Many customers are also looking for an ongoing relationship — a company they can trust for any future issue.
Increasing customer satisfaction levels through features like chat offers a slew of benefits for your business. According to our survey of over 400 homeowners, after a good experience with a home service company, 97% of those polled would be likely to recommend the company to friends and family and 82% would be likely to write an online review.
Sounds like a win/win, right?
So what does an amazing customer experience look like? More importantly, how do you provide that experience to your customers consistently?
From the first call for service to the final follow-up and beyond, these are the six critical steps to make your customer’s journey a rewarding one and improve your team’s customer service skills.
All the tools you need to run your business, in one place
Housecall Pro makes it simple to run your business. Through our software, you can dispatch techs, schedule appointments, create estimates and invoices, take payments, manage reviews and so much more – all on one platform.
1. Win Them Over On the Phone
The first impression is one that lasts. That very first call, email, or other inquiry you receive from a prospect sets the tone for the relationship the customer has with your company. And you rarely get an opportunity to correct a poor first impression.
If you can’t respond to missed calls and emails within 12 business hours, it’s time to hire.
How many customers tell a business that they went with them simply because they called back. If you can’t respond quickly, you’re missing out on work and you’re creating a bad impression for your company.
If you have to hire another sales or customer service representative to be more responsive, consider the number of jobs you could gain from these missed opportunities. Other ways to use a bigger staff that can turn into more jobs:
- Following up after estimates.
- Attending networking events and calling commercial leads like realtors or property managers.
- Being more active on social media and responding to social media inquiries you might’ve otherwise missed.
Educate your office staff on the trade.
Anyone answering calls should know enough about your services to be able to ask the right questions and answer customer’s questions in useful ways.
Be ready with existing customer info
You have histories with some of the people that call your business — knowing that history can make a huge difference.
We integrate with Callrail so that anytime you pick up the phone and it’s a number associated with a customer, Housecall Pro will automatically show you information about their account.
Review phone calls
Services like Callrail can also help you record calls and check in on how your CSRs are managing phone calls. Every few weeks or months review a few random calls and look for places that can be improved.
Regardless of how you structure your first line of contact, the key to growing your business is the ability to respond to it.
2. Be Transparent About Your Schedule
Ideally, you offer customers a small appointment window and you’re always on time. But life doesn’t work that way. Automatic reminders and messages can help your business feel responsive and courteous even when things get a little messy.
On your way? Let the individual know when you’re coming. If a job takes longer than anticipated, let the next appointment know. A lot of overheated clients can be cooled off if someone keeps them aware of their place in line.
3. Be an Educational Resource
Your customers usually don’t know much about air conditioners or other HVAC systems. They rely on you as the expert, but you shouldn’t guard information like secret intel.
Teach Your HVAC Techs to Be Educators
Schedule practice time and specific training tips about how to be better educators. HVAC technicians have to learn how to “dumb down” information and make it accessible to people that don’t know anything about the trade.
Make the Walk-Through as Informative As Possible
Never let a tech leave a job without walking through the final repairs with the customer, an explanation of any warranties offered, and advice about how to keep systems running smoothly.
Your website is the perfect medium for this.
With informative blog posts about all things HVAC and videos that present heating and cooling how-tos or product demonstrations, you can extend your brand beyond its primary service function.
Many companies worry that if they give away too much information, then customers will try and fix things themselves next time. But when things get too complicated, who are they going to call? The people that seemed to know what they were talking about and were generous with what they knew.
4. Make Doing Business With You As Easy As Possible
Customers are used to modern conveniences like paying and scheduling appointments online. They’re coming to expect it even from the HVAC industry. Ten years ago, these kinds of tech solutions were only available from bigger businesses with major tech budgets.
Now, through software like ours, even small businesses can offer those online services that customers have come to expect.
If you hope to generate and convert leads or keep customers coming back, you must offer tools that uncomplicated how they engage your company.
- Appeal to mobile users by allowing them to set appointments from their phone.
- Streamline your estimating and invoicing processes by going paperless.
- Enable HVAC contractors to accept payments via tablet or smartphone.
Of course, there will be customers that prefer the old school methods. But more and more, homeowners are learning to expect the same experience from a small local business that they get from a large corporation. Start offering these amenities now before your competition gains an upper hand.
When you finish a job, it’s easy to forget it and move on to the next one. But every time you break contact with a customer, you’re missing out on the possibility of future work.
Follow-Up Quickly To Ask for Feedback And Reviews
Whether it be a call or an email, touch base with the client between 24 and 48 hours after service (never let it linger more than that).
Housecall Pro helps facilitate this with automated postcards and emails. Thank them for the opportunity to serve them, ask for a review or feedback.
Keep In Touch With Value-Driven Content
More than just an immediate check-in following a service call, keep touch with your clients throughout the year. Information-packed newsletters or promotional mailers (with discounts for valued clients) keep your company and the homeowner’s needs front and center.
Consider content like updates on a guide to buying a new air conditioning system or showcase local electricians you trust (a great way to form alliances with other local businesses).
Offer Recurring Service Agreements
If you haven’t yet, we also recommend offering recurring service agreements with monthly or quarterly preventative maintenance tasks and safety checks. This is one of the easiest ways to offer value to your customers and keep them loyal while increasing your monthly revenue.
6. Train, Train, Train
Great customer service involves skills that your team may need to be taught or practice.
Offer Consistent Communication Skills Training
Whether it’s weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly, include quick training sessions into your company meetings. Work on skills like empathy, reflective listening, learning how to read body language, etc.
Practice What You Preach
Make sure your employees’ experience with your company is as positive as your customers’. Making sure your team has a chance to offer feedback and raise concerns is important to keep company morale high — something that trickles down to your customers.
It’s helpful to remember that how your HVAC company presents itself to customers is a collective experience of all the interactions your customers have with your team, as well as your website, texts, and emails, etc.
We’re here to help with technical solutions that improve your customer experience and guarantee more repeat business.