Are you taking the right approach when it comes to growing your HVAC contracting business and leading the competition in 2019? In this article, we go over how you can work on your business instead of in your business.
When your customers do a Google search of local HVAC services, they get dozens of results. With so many options to choose from, how are they selecting a company that’s right for them? What makes one HVAC contractor different from another? The answer is both simple and complicated:
When It Comes To HVAC Contractors, Word-Of-Mouth Is Still King
No matter what trends and technology pop up, word-of-mouth is still a reliable way of getting new customers in 2019. However, word-of-mouth is now becoming a “lead-initiator” instead of a “lead-supporting” role. This means your potential customers are searching online first, and then asking their friends if their online research is accurate.
Manage Your Reputation
It’s easier than ever for a bad review to turn into a bad month and a bad year. Don’t take the small things for granted and manage your reputation with a straightforward rule: hold fast to your core values. If your employees don’t embody and represent your core values with every action, they probably aren’t the right person in the right seat – or both.
Sell Value, Not Energy Efficiency And Lower Energy Bills
I know this seems strange, but if I’ve learned anything from Matt Risinger, it’s that you need to sell more than heating and cooling systems – you need to sell value. If you want a customer that’s going to be around 30 years from now, you have to sell them value. Far too often I see folks in the HVAC industry relying on hard selling tactics and not offering free, value-based services that will lead to lasting relationships.
If you don’t have one, I can almost guarantee that if you start one and actively post articles that are relevant to your market, you’ll get new customers. Here are a few topics to start you out:
- Top HVAC Systems In 2019
- What Heating And Air Conditioning System Is Right For You?
- Why Your Air Conditioner And Air Ducts Need A Checkup In 2019
Remember, you want to educate your potential customers and add value. Today’s consumers are looking to understand and learn, not just hire.
Social Proof is closely related to things like Google reviews, and review sites like Angie’s List, Thumbtack, and HomeAdvisor, however, it’s a little more involved. If you get a positive review, make sure someone reaches out to that customer for a 15-minute interview. The best part is that you can turn this fun interview into a blog post that helps potential customers make a more informed decision on why they should use your HVAC company.
Do Your Research
Related to social proof, it’s likely that you have a long-term and very satisfied customer. Not everyone is going to have one, but if you do – reach out to them and see if you can buy them lunch and ask some questions. Ask this customer why they chose you, why they stay with you, and why the recommend you. You’ll come out of this meeting knowing a lot more than you did before!
While this is fairly unconventional, and yes, you’ll run by some posts that are more “fun” than practical, Reddit is a great place to keep your pulse on the HVAC community. Visit r/HVAC to tune into a wide variety of topics from customers to job prospects and industry pros like you. Just remember, Reddit isn’t an advertising platform for your business!
Control Your Costs
I know at the time you come across them, all the latest and greatest tools can seem like “must buys”, but don’t give in so quickly. When it comes to new tools and technology, use that old-school rule: write it down, put it on your fridge, and look at it every day for a week. If you still need it at the end of the week, buy it. If you don’t put it on a list of “wants”.
Offer Something On Subscription
Your business is more than HVAC installations. Offer a subscription of some sort for every new system you put in. It doesn’t have to be comprehensive and include things like heat exchangers or whole heating and cooling equipment. However, something that’s manageable and won’t hurt your bottom line like checkups and fan motors is a great place to start.
Provide A 5-Star Customer Experience
This article reminds me of a recent experience I had when our water heater needed replacing – and one you can learn from too. Andrew, the service technician, called 30 minutes before his arrival to let us know he’d still be there on time, and when he came into the house, he placed covers over his shoes so he didn’t track in mud. Not only that, but he replaced the tank in under an hour and used technology to get paid on the spot.
The Moral Of That Story?
This story is remarkable because I am horrible with names, but the fact that I remember Andrew’s name is a shining example of how he’s providing a 5-Star Customer Experience. What did Andrew do right? He paid attention to the small details, addressed issues before they were issues and used technology to provide a hassle-free experience.
The Bottom Line
Go above and beyond to offer your customers something they won’t get anywhere else. People communicate now more than ever before – and their methods are quick and decisive. Read your competitions bad reviews, have your pulse on what customers are asking, and provide a 5-Star Customer Experience each and every time.