Tips To Help You Retain Your HVAC Customers
The importance of the HVAC industry cannot be overemphasized. Its role in maintaining the indoor air quality in residential and commercial buildings is vital to work productivity and quality of life. If you are in the HVAC industry, you no doubt understand the importance of the work you do. The challenge is to convince your HVAC customers, close that sale and more importantly, ensure that the customer comes back to you. This blog will discuss how you can convert a sale into a repeat customer.
The HVAC Industry Highlights
Before we get into how to convert an HVAC sale into a repeat customer, let’s have a look into what’s been happening in the HVAC industry. This will help you assess the market environment you are in and capitalize it to your benefit.
The HVAC industry includes heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. Its application is found in commercial buildings, residential homes, and vehicles. Maintaining optimum temperature, humidity, and indoor air quality comes under the purview of HVAC. The HVAC industry also has a set of standards and compliances to adhere to. One of them is the Standard 55: Thermal Environmental Conditions for Human Occupancy. This standard set by The American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) specify conditions for acceptable thermal environments. This standard is to be used in the design and operation of buildings and occupied spaces.
The HVAC industry is forecasted to reach $208.55 billion by 2024 with an increasing CAGR of 2.6%, according to a report by BIS Research. This increase has been predicted taking into account the rising temperatures seen as a result of global warming and the growth rate of industries, especially in the construction sector. The potential for customers is evidently great, but the focus must be to maintain these customer accounts and ensure repeat customers.
Related Reading: Read on to learn HVAC technology trends, market growth, and utility.
Tips on Converting A One-Time Sale to a Repeat Customer
HVAC companies spend millions of dollars on trying to acquire customers. While this is a great effort, there is something else that trumps Customer Acquisition, and that is Customer Retention. Forrester Research conclusively proves that it costs 5 times more to acquire a customer than to retain one. While that is a great motivator to focus on customer retention, research from Bain and Company offers a further incentive. According to the Research, a 5% increase in customer retention can increase a company’s profitability by 75%. Now, those are some large numbers! Keeping these motivators in mind, let’s look at a few tips to convert an HVAC sale into a repeat customer.
1. Educate Customers on Preventive Maintenance
The cost savings on Preventive maintenance of HVAC systems, when compared to Reactive maintenance, is considerably larger. Energy efficiency, extended equipment life, reduced system downtime and other benefits that come with preventive maintenance can bring down costs drastically. Customers need to be educated on this fact with real numbers and figures rather than a sweeping statement by an enthusiastic facility executive.
Facility executives need access to data that demonstrates the real costs associated with the lack of regular HVAC maintenance. Comparing operating efficiency curves for HVAC equipment with and without regular maintenance or showing the cost of risks like a stuck air damper will help clients see the need for regular maintenance of these types of equipment. Documenting such factors and detailing a service proposition for regular maintenance will help retain customers and win customer loyalty.
2. Focus on Stellar Customer Service
There is no alternative to good customer service when it comes to gaining repeat customers. Keeping the customer happy post-sale is key to winning their loyalty. From scheduling the installation, call immediately after the sale to maintaining efficient follow up on their service and repair requests, customers expect a seamless experience with your company. Here are a few measures you can take to ensure the best customer experience:
- Efficient maintenance of customer records will help you set reminders on the term of service contracts and time for maintenance checks. Customers will appreciate the initiative taken by the company and keep you as the go-to for any HVAC queries or equipment purchases.
- Offer discounts on pre-season service calls, and design marketing messages to stress the importance of preventive maintenance to help clients avoid peak season emergencies. This will give them an added incentive to buy from you.
- Ensure quick and hassle-free service calls with a focus on first-time fix rates. Scheduling and dispatching your technicians immediately and ensuring that they are equipped with all the information necessary will help with this. Technicians must have offline information with them on the client site, including client details and order history along with access to support material.
- Create valuable content for customers, including tips on energy use, the latest technology in HVAC that they could benefit from, maintenance tips to ensure long equipment life, etc. Use digital marketing tools like emails, newsletters, and social media to build a strong relationship with your clients and showcase your expertise.
3. Employee Orientation Towards Customer Satisfaction
A OneReach survey of 63 industry influencers showed that the majority of its respondents felt employee experience was the key to customer satisfaction. One of the respondents, CX expert Annette Franz said: “It’s a fact that the employee experience drives the customer experience. If your employees aren’t happy and engaged, it will be very difficult for them to delight your customers and to deliver the experience that you expect them to.”
This highlights the importance of engaging your employees in the right way. When employees are made to understand the vision of the company towards customer satisfaction, they will embrace it and make it a part of their personal goal. Good engagement involves empowering employees with all that they need to enable customer delight.
Ensure that employees know customer service policies and are tuned to the vision of the company towards customer delight. It is also important that they have adequate information to process customer requests on the site. This will include access to customer details, order history, equipment details and more. Giving them this information much before the service call will help them be equipped before setting out, thereby improving first-time fix rates. Along with ensuring customer satisfaction, this helps greatly in building employee morale and avoiding frustration.
Another important factor in employee orientation is to ensure that they are familiar with all the products and services of the company. Giving them access to this information as well as visibility into stocks and order fulfillment processes will assist them in communicating it effectively to the customer. This will also help them take advantage of cross-selling and upselling opportunities, giving them an opening to create repeat customers. Support systems and training are vital in ensuring the success of these initiatives.
What You Will Need
A good HVAC Software will help you effectively implement all the tips we have discussed in this blog. It will help you in viewing customer information, creating and scheduling customer requests, tracking employees and inventory, empowering your technicians with all the information necessary to fulfill a service request to better and more. Reach out to us and learn how you can make this possible for your business.
ReachOut: Inspection & Work Order Management Software
Do you still use paper or Excel spreadsheets to manage your service business? ReachOut is a web and mobile solution for companies to schedule, dispatch and deliver inspections, work orders, ticketing and more. Get started for FREE.