A new heating and air conditioning system. It’s the last thing on they are thinking about. HVAC is out of sight and out of mind…..until it breaks! When it stops working, they want it repaired ASAP! Sure, a new system would be great, and even consumers can get excited about the buying process. But they want it fixed, if at all possible!
I like to compare the HVAC maintenance, service, and replacement process to dating. You have a goal when you enter a relationship right? Well, we want go any further than that, you know what I mean. HVAC business owners ultimately want to replace systems right? That’s where the money is, but that’s not what your customer wants. So, we have follow the correct path through service and maintenance to get to the promised land!
It all starts with the first contact with the new customer. It’s typically a service call for a broken air conditioner or furnace, or it could even be a proactive homeowner that is looking for routine maintenance. So, how do we begin to nurture the relationship between homeowner and contractor?
Let them know you are there to take care of them and their needs, you are their hero! Engage with the customer, involve them in the repair or maintenance visit. Show them that you and your company are the “experts”, and they made the right choice by contacting you. If they TRUST you at the beginning, you will gain a “Customer for Life!”
Make sure they only think about you, when they need heating and air conditioning services. How do you do that you may ask? Put the blinders on them!
Keep them involved! You must prepare them for your “Ultimate Goal”, the changeout! Each time you are there for maintenance or service, you must involve them! Show them pictures, remember a picture is worth a thousand words! Let’s look at some examples of how to involve your customer and prepare them for the system replacement:
They want to know you are taking care of them, and you genuinely care about their best interest. They still want the relationship, but they do not want to invest the money in a new heating and air system until it is absolutely necessary. Remember, it is our job to educate and lead them down the path. When it makes the most sense to the consumer, then they will be ready. It’s a relationship!
Your company may become just a number to the homeowner. They are looking for a low-cost provider to replace their heating and air system. Have you ever heard, “We are getting several estimates.” They treat your HVAC company like you are a “Retail” outlet. The consumer finds the specifications, efficiency, warranty, and brand they are looking for, then it all comes down to price. Price is much less of an objection for a customer you have been servicing for years. They “Trust” and “Value” your services, you have been nurturing the relationship over time. Now, you have gained VALUE with your customer.
If we work hard at building relationships with our customers, your company will win over time. There are no quick fixes or “magic” bullets to succeed in this business. It takes hard work! Build your business through maintenance and service, and you will get those equipment replacement jobs and at a higher margin!
We hope this article helps!
As always Good Luck and Good Selling!
I’m an HVAC business owner in 2020, so I want to know where do I find my best leads? Face it, 2020 is a year we will never forget. We are all dealing with the Corona Virus, and it has made sweeping changes to how we do business. The weather has been up and down in the southeast; cooler temperatures in May and June, and now finally consistent hot weather in July and August.
As a heating and air conditioning company owner; where do I get leads from today? Where do I put my money today? Let’s start with where we were and where we are going.
We all know it is a fast paced world these days, especially when it comes to marketing your HVAC business! So, what is important to helping your business grow? It is definitely a digital world, that’s where the eyes are today. What still works today and what is trending? Let’s take a look…
Do you really know? It’s tough to determine the source of your leads for a heating and air business. At most HVAC companies, the person answering the phone asks the question; “So how did you hear about us?” or “Can I ask why you chose us?” This will give you insight, but does it really tell the true story? Our customer is trying to tell us the truth and be helpful, but often times they are not giving us accurate information. We’ve had many HVAC companies tell us the consumer said, “we heard your commercial on the radio.” When the dealer had not run radio spots in 3 years. Or “we saw you on TV”, but the company had never done television commercials. So, what do you do?
The right message always provides quality leads. You must give them confidence and trust in your company. You must speak to your customer in terms they will understand and point out their pain. Then you must provide the solution for their pain.
What does your potential customer want from you? They want to Trust your company! They want Value in their purchase, and they want it done fast….Fixed Now!
When a home or business owner’s air conditioning is out, it’s a stressful situation. Let them know you’re there to make them comfortable again. It’s best to keep your conversations simple and don’t use industry terms, use consumer terms. Let them know what the repair is in the simplest terms and give them their options.
They are looking for a solution to their problem. Show them that doing business with your hvac company is the right decision for them. Show them you guarantee your work and repairs. You provide priority service for your customers. You provide better warranties over your competition. Let them know you have their best interest in mind, and you are going to take care of them and their family from here on out! You’re an HVAC Hero!
There are so many HVAC lead sources today, from good ol’ word of mouth to social neighborhood sites like Nextdoor. So, how do you decide as a contractor? How do you invest your money wisely? Like the old saying, “What gets measured, get’s done!” You must do your best to track your lead sources. This will help you determine where to best apply your marketing dollars. Let’s take a look at some of the most effective lead sources in 2020…
These are typically your best and most affordable leads. If your heating and air company doesn’t have a referral program in place; we would highly recommend you start one today! So where do we start? It’s super simple! You can leave a referral card each time you perform a service call, maintenance visit, or new equipment installation. Give your customer an offer they will use towards future services with your company:
Be creative with it! Your goal is to strengthen the bond with your existing customer and get new referrals!
This is probably your second best lead source after referrals. These can come in many forms.
There are many avenues on the paid side of leads for HVAC companies. Here is a list of some of the popular ones in 2020.
Any and all of the above can be great lead sources, but you must track where your leads are coming from. It is not a perfect science, but the more insight you have into where your customers are coming from, the better marketing decisions you can make for your contracting business. Dynamic Call Tracking through companies like CallRail are a must in this day and age! You can assign different phone numbers to different campaigns.
You can assign different phone numbers for your website. The number called is determined by where the lead came from on the internet. You assign numbers to multiple organic sources (Google, Yahoo, Bing), so the number displayed on your website is determined by what search engine or website they came from to reach your website. You can even use them for paid lead sources such as Google Adwords, Yelp, Angie’s List. Trackable numbers can even be used for traditional campaigns like TV, Radio, and Billboards.
Someone’s air conditioner is not working, so what do they do? They use their smart phone or tablet to search for an air conditioning company nearby.
Here is what the consumer sees today. At the top are the Google Guaranteed ads, the traditional text PPC ad or ads just below, and then they see the local maps section. The would-be customer recognizes some of the companies, but they may not know why? Your HVAC marketing has created impressions either intentionally or intentionally; such as, your television or radio spots, your well-lettered vehicles, or your job site signs. All these play a role in what the consumer clicks on……So, back to our “not a perfect science” discussion. If the Google Guaranteed ad gets clicked; that takes credit for the lead ultimately, but there may have been many factors influencing their “click”.
In 2020, the range varies across a wide spectrum. It can range from a couple of dollars to several hundred for a quality hvac lead. The raw cost of the lead is just the start. You must burden that cost with everything associated with acquiring that lead. Let’s look at an example:
So, let’s take a look at the above figures. If we look at the simple math, the average cost per lead is $26.75 correct? This is the raw unburdened cost, but we have to compile everything that was associated with the cost of this lead. We won’t use actual numbers; because every HVAC business is different, but let’s take a look at the overhead items:
I’m sure we’ve missed quite a few items in the above list, but I think you get the picture. So, the burdened cost of the list can easily be as much as 3 times the raw cost above. This is an inexpensive lead for a heating and air conditioning company in today’s market. Think about the cost of network television, billboards, and radio? It’s a complicated puzzle. So, commit to your marketing platforms, your budget, measure the results, and you will succeed over the competition that is not stedfast in their path or plan.
As always, Go Luck and Good Selling!
We are actually having a Spring this year in the South. The weather has been great, considering most of us are stuck at home. So, outdoor activities (where permitted) have been great, but the sunshine and mild temperatures aren’t the best for the HVAC business. Spring is the time to survive and get ready for the busy season ahead. Safety checks and A/C tune-ups fill our calendars, but this year is different of course. We have a whole new set of circumstances to deal with as our nation struggles through this pandemic. So, how are HVAC Companies dealing with the Corona Virus?
This pandemic is real! People are scared of human contact! This goes against human nature doesn’t it? We are social beings, so it is tough on everyone. The HVAC industry has been deemed “Essential”, which has been a blessing for our industry, but what is the impact? Our employees are on the front lines, going into homes and businesses on a daily basis. Heating and Air businesses are taking many necessary precautions to protect themselves and their customers.
Will this become the new normal moving forward?
We are all seeing HVAC companies post their new procedures on their websites, social media, and television commercials. Everyone in the industry is assuring their customers that safety precautions are being taken very seriously. Field employees are wearing masks, washing their hands regularly, and sanitizing everything possible. So, we all must make changes to adapt to our ever-changing world.
We wanted to hear from a local heating and air conditioning company, and here is what the owner had to say. “Our main concern is to the safety of our employees and our customers during this pandemic. Our company has changed the way we interact with customers, by keeping at least a 6-foot distance and not shaking hands with them. We are also making sure to wear gloves, face masks, and shoe covers when entering homes. Andersen uses tool and hand sanitizer, we wash our hands regularly, employees check their temperature often, and we make sure no one in the home we are entering shows signs of the virus or even a common cold. We are all adapting to our new normal, our customers included.” explains Carrie Ivester, Owner/General Manager of Andersen Heating & Cooling
We know the coronavirus has been very tough on the HVAC suppliers/distributors. They’ve had to change so many aspects of their day to day business model. The distribution/contractor relationship is exactly that, a “relationship.” That means daily and weekly interaction between the owner and employees of the HVAC business, their local territory manager, the inside sales and counter people at the supplier. This has been hard to keep it business as usual when the normal interaction has been changed drastically.
Here is what we are hearing from a local distribution employee:
“From a distributor standpoint, COVID-19 has single handedly changed the way we physically interact with our customers on a daily basis. Whether that is the separation at the counter taking an order, pulling/loading an order, or the limited interaction when delivering an order. That’s not to mention the sales or training side: All training classes have been moved to online classes and depending on the area sales calls have been by phone, email, or virtually online. When it comes to our customers, I do feel like this situation has challenged us to be flexible and work harder to get in front of our customers, especially when recruiting new prospects.” James Francisco, Territory Manager
Our goal; as an industry, is to keep our customers confident that we are doing our best to ensure a safe work environment for our employees and customers. Remember home and business owners will rely on us to keep them comfortable, especially as we move into the summer season. The more we exude confidence, the better off we will be as HVAC service providers.
So, we all have made major changes in our daily operations. These changes are making our customers feel safe when doing business with our companies. The peace of mind knowing your company is taking the proper precautions can strengthen your relationship with your customers. Remember “Trust” is such a key factor to a homeowner or business owner when choosing an HVAC provider.
As we continue to understand more and more about the virus, our efforts will help diminish the spread. Many of the procedures will become the norm even after the COVID-19 virus fades away.
“Andersen Heating & Cooling is grateful to be able to still serve our community during this time. Aside from providing comfort, HVAC equipment is vital for health and safety especially in this time of quarantine. It is important for our technicians to be able to get to the homes quickly and make repairs quickly if needed. Air quality in homes is also a vital role HVAC companies play, especially during these times. Andersen is educating our customers on the different solutions available to them to help fight the potential risk of the virus. Such as air filtration, UV lights, Scrubbers, etc.” Carrie Ivester, Owner/General Manager of Andersen Heating & Cooling
As a marketing provider for HVAC contractors, we thought it would be important to give some input from the marketing perspective.
“Coronavirus is changing the behaviors of consumers in many ways. One effect has been a shift in market shares for different forms of media, especially in states with stay at home orders. Billboards and drive-time radio are losing share; while OTT, television, and social media are trafficked more than ever. Having a strong digital presence and effective video assets along with the right marketing team can help you transition quickly so you can stay in front of your customers.” Jim Gregory, Digital Services Manager
“Unlike many customer-facing businesses like restaurants or gyms, there are still opportunities for home service businesses to thrive. People are spending more time than ever at home and projects they’ve been putting off are having a huge effect on their daily lives. They’re feeling the heat (quite literally in some cases) of those unresolved problems around the house. And, they are as motivated as ever to get things fixed. You might not land as many big, expensive change out jobs as you’d like, but the question isn’t whether or not there’s work for your business. The question is whether or not you’ll be the business they call.” Steve Kottra, Paid Search Manager
I think being patient and willing to make changes as needed will be the norm going forward. Everyone in our great industry is learning to adapt, and I firmly believe we will get through this together and come out stronger as an industry. So, what can we gain from these stressful and scary times?
We would love to hear your comments and feedback on how your HVAC company is dealing with the Corona Virus?
Let me guess, has your winter looked like the forecast above? I know winter isn’t “Old Man Winter” anymore! Furnaces last longer than years before, homeowners are actually changing their air filters, and consumers will just throw on another blanket! So, how do we increase sales moving into the busy season?
When things are slow, we have to be creative as HVAC business owners. We still have to pay our employees, if we want to keep them….pay our utilities, payroll taxes, workman’s comp insurance, employee benefits, etc. So, our heating and air business has to keep generating revenue even when the weather is not cooperating. So what do we do when the phone is not ringing? It’s time for us to pick up the phone and start “dialing for dollars.” So, who you gonna call? Ghostbusters??? Sorry, my son love’s that movie, and we watch it all the time. Had to throw it in there….
Your customer base is the best place to go when times are slow. You already have a relationship with them…..hopefully a good one!
This is where keeping very detailed information about your customers plays a “key” role. The more we know about them the better. We can provide different customer segments different offers depending upon what they need. Here are key things to track and know about all your customers:
Remember earlier we talked about “Dialing for Dollars?” This is where knowing everything you can about your customer comes into play. Again, we are trying to fill the job board and keep hours for employees. Here are a couple of examples to jumpstart things before the warmer weather arrives:
We all know duct jobs typically are not high profit jobs, and they are very labor heavy and time consuming. So, if you have customers that need ductwork improvements or total replacements…..now is the time to reach out. Here’s the caveat: You can’t spring this on one of your existing customers. This type of sale has to have been nurtured over time. Their service or maintenance tech should be making the homeowner aware of the imperfections of their ductwork. I’m sure the homeowner has complaints of hot and cold rooms. Showing them pictures when you are out on service or maintenance calls is great, and a key part of this. Remember a picture says a 1000 words!
You don’t want to tie your installation crews up installing new duct systems when it’s 95 degrees outside, but it makes for a nice fill-in when things are slow.
Again, this is where keeping track of all your customer’s information is critical. You have a homeowner with a 17 year old HVAC system. It has had three somewhat major repairs in the last three years. The most recent being the blow motor on the furnace. So, the repairs are starting to add up for the homeowner. This will work best when your technician has been communicating with the homeowner. They must let them know of the mounting repairs, and that they need to be ready to replace their system in the near future. That way, it is not such a shock to them, and they are prepared. Here’s where you strike: Contact your customer about replacing the system. Just be honest with them….you already have a good rapport with them, and let them know things are slow for your company this time of year. They will empathize with your situation, but you have to give them something in order to get them to bite. Offer them a percentage off the job, if they let you do it now while your company is not busy.
This is where knowing your financial numbers is extremely important. We all are striving for double digit net profits, but when the weather is mild and the phone is not ringing……we have to do what we have to do. So now we have the “math” portion of our discussion.
If you don’t, it is vital to determine this for each month of the year. Why is this important you may ask??? Well, when we are looking for anything and everything we can do to bring in revenue and keep our employees busy…..It is SUPER IMPORTANT….If we can generate enough income to cover all overhead and expenses for the month, WE HAVE WON!
If you know your financials; you know when you can reduce prices, and when you can’t. I used to hear all the time when I worked as a territory manager calling on contractors. “ABC Heating & Air is giving their work away!” “I wish they would raise their prices!” Maybe they were underpricing their jobs……hmmm…..but maybe just maybe they knew their financials…..and what it took to breakeven…..and what it took to keep jobs on the board, when the weather was not our friend.
Once your monthly breakeven point has been reached, you are covered! You can even take jobs that you normally wouldn’t and at prices some deem to be “giving it away.”
As always good luck and good selling!
It’s hard to believe it’s 2020! So, how was your 2019? There are so many factors to consider when you determine if it was a good or bad year. Your financial numbers don’t lie, but we have to look a little deeper…..It’s all about playing the long-game, unless you are selling your company in the near future. Weather, the economy, and hard work will always play a major role in how your HVAC business did in 2019. Do you have a 2020 HVAC Marketing Plan?
Weather dictates so much in our industry, so I implore you to look at what really matters. Your area of the country may have had a cool summer and a mild winter, but let’s take a look at what matters in the long-term for you HVAC company.
So, maybe the weather did not cooperate in your area of the country, but if your heating and air company improved in these categories you still had a positive year. Remember, we are playing the long game!
It’s time to review your current marketing efforts. Where are you strong? Where are you lacking? What’s your budget? Do you feel it’s too little or are you over spending? Do you feel you are not using the proper channels?
How does your current website look? Is it modern and up to date? Here are some things to consider if your current website is a “lead generator” or an old dog….
How active is your HVAC business on social media these days? It’s not only important for your website rank, but it is where your customers are spending their time these days. These are things to ask yourself about your company’s social media landscape:
Google is currently putting a huge amount importance on your company’s Google My Business page. Google; which makes up about 85% of all web traffic, wants to see you have a completed and active profile.
Your Google My Business profile can be a full-time job!
What forms of traditional or “old school” outlets are you using? TV, Radio, Billboards, Print? These forms of advertising are great ways to brand your HVAC business. It is tough to measure exact results from traditional media campaigns when it comes to heating and air industry. Remember only 2% of the population is ever in the market at any given time for your services, so make sure to address these things:
We consistently see HVAC companies under fund their marketing efforts. That’s ok, because many of us were taught that marketing does not work for our HVAC business……Things have changed! And maybe we were marketing the wrong things…..SEE BELOW under The Basics
We recommend somewhere between 3-8% of gross revenue, minus any new construction work your company is doing.
If your HVAC business falls in the 3% range, digital marketing is your best avenue:
When your company dedicates closer to 5% or more, you can start to add in traditional advertising:
And of course there are all kinds of mixtures in between, these are not hard and fast rules!!!
ABC Heating & Air does around 2.5 million in service and AOR revenue. A budget would look something like this: 75K total for the year
Remember what your customer wants from you! Repeat after me….
Trust, Value, Fixed Now…..Trust, Value, Fixed Now…..Trust, Value, Fixed Now
Our world is rapidly changing! Long-gone are days of phonebook and job site signs as your main form of advertising. Again, can you believe it is 2020??? Remember when having a website was a big deal, and Facebook was brand new?
Don’t be afraid of what is new and different, and do not base your decisions on your personal activities. There is always a constant in our world….CHANGE!
This could not be a truer statement, “Go where the eyeballs are.” Think about how our habits have changed in recent years…..
Thanks and Good Selling!
Everyone has a story to tell, even heating & air conditioning companies! Many are a story of passion, sacrifice, and the will to succeed where others have failed. People can identify with that and relate to it in their own lives. They want to hear about success and what you stand for. If you humanize your company, consumers will identify with it. They will want to do business with you over your competition. So, how do you Brand Your HVAC Business in 2020?
What makes your HVAC company different? Why should I call you over the other 50 companies in town? Why are you better? Why should I trust you? These are questions you should ask yourself and be able to answer. This is where branding yourself and your company are vital to your success. So, how do I do it? We all provide repair, maintenance, and installation services? TELL YOUR STORY!
Branding; by definition, is the practice of creative awareness of a product or in this case a service that is easily recognizable as belonging to your business. HVAC branding is critical to the success and profitability of your business.
Distinguishable brands typically command higher prices that ones that are considered generic. So what does this mean for HVAC companies like yours?
Let’s first identify what the consumer thinks about residential hvac. The reputation of our industry is sometimes tarnished, and the consumer is expecting bad or poor service…..What if we turned that perception around for them.
Homeowners think purchasing a new heating and air conditioning system is like buying a new washer and dryer, a refrigerator, or a tv.
They look at the different retail outlets to make their purchase from, and in your case they are looking at potentially you and your competitors. The consumer then moves to what options or features best will meet their needs. (EX: A homeowner is purchasing a new tv. They look at the picture quality, size, smart tv, etc….)
In our world that means:
You notice we aren’t mentioning price here….?
Trust is paramount to the consumer. They must trust your company and your technician before they will let you enter their home. Branding around trust for your HVAC business is important…..consumers will weigh this before making a purchase decision.
The average consumer only purchases HVAC 2.5 times in their lifetime, so it is an infrequent purchase. It is the most expensive appliance in the home. They are looking for value over price, but if we don’t present our value proposition they will ultimately revert to price.
Timely fast service may trump all of the above. We live in a “me too” society today, consumers refuse to wait for service. Your HVAC company must have to ability to react fast to the consumer needs. Long gone are the days of waiting two weeks for a new installation or 3 days for service. So….
Your heating & air business has to face the basic facts…..Consumers/homeowners just don’t think about you until they need you…..So, by branding your hvac business with things they identify with will create association with what they like. Your ultimate goal is to become the “Kleenex” of heating and air companies in your area. When they need your services, you are the first company that comes to mind……It’s a lofty goal, but it can be done!
It’s time to Tell Your Story!
Thanks and Good Selling!
The summer was hot, did your hvac company capitalize? Every summer in the heating and air conditioning world it’s a mad scramble…..grabbing emergency service calls, taking care of existing customer’s systems, and finishing up the left-over maintenance agreements from the spring. Does this sound about right??? Well the big question is, did you make enough money to make it through the coming slow months? I had a hvac owner recently say, “he wished September didn’t exist.” That’s a pretty strong statement, but I bet many on you can relate.
Read on for some tips that can make the “in-between” months easier to survive.
Let’s put on our thinking caps…..summer is over, but it’s not hot enough to drive a lot of service work and ultimately replacements. Let’s face it, homeowners will suffer through a few more hot days before they’ll fork out big bucks on their A/C system. And the cold nights of winter are a long ways off….
What is our best lead source, your most coveted possession??? Your existing customers!!! Hopefully you have a large number of maintenance customers on the books, and if you don’t that’s ok. But, it’s time to start aggressively growing your maintenance base if you don’t. So, what can we do to keep your team busy and break even when the temperatures are mild?
Everyone is looking for a bargain and save a little money these days. There’s an old saying in this business…..”Just break even in the slow months” and that’s a win for your heating and air conditioning business. You already have a relationship with your customer, so let’s use that to our advantage.
What we are attempting to do is simple. We want to drive enough revenue to break-even with our expenses/overhead and have enough work to keep our staff busy. And more importantly keep them on the payroll, we don’t want to have to lay off valuable employees during the slow months. During the busy times, we may turn these types of jobs down or over price them, so we do not get the work. These can become welcomed additions to your job board!
Special offers are a great way to entice existing customers; as well as, new customers that may be willing to take the plunge and invest in your services. Remember, our goal here is to at worst break-even during the “shoulder seasons.” So, what are we talking about?
Adding additional services to your contracting business is a long-term commitment. Many HVAC companies expand into related industries to help smooth out the peaks and valleys of heating and air’s seasonality. These can be natural compliments to your HVAC business.
We as contractors know we can’t push consumers to do something they do not want to do. We all know our business is driven by air conditioners or furnaces breaking down. What’s the statistic??? There’s only 2% of the general population ever in the market at any given time that needs our services. That becomes even smaller when we are between summer and winter. So, if we can just break even during these months, it’s a BIG WIN for your company!
The bottom line is the HVAC business is year round, not seasonal!
Thank you for taking interest in our article!
These simple HVAC marketing tips will make you a “HVAC Superhero” in your local community. Your company’s Google My Business listing is becoming more important these days. Google is putting more and more emphasis on your profile. So, when is the last time you’ve really looked at your Google My Business listing?
Google wants to see activity on your GMB page. So, it will help your profile by doing the following:
Social media has become a part of the fabric of our society. Your customer is addicted to their smart phone and is immersed in the world of social media. As a local heating and air conditioning company in your community, you need to be active on social media. Go where your customers go!
You may or may not be active personally on social media, but your customers or potential customers definitely are using it. So, if you are not a big social media junky……no worries! You can start with by creating one company social profile and go from there. You may ask, what social network or networks should our company be concerned with? There are more and more choices today, but Facebook still dominates the social media world. Facebook’s fastest growing demographic is the older baby boomer generation. Tip: They own homes and typically have money for home improvements.
Facebook is still the market leader, but many other social sites are catching up fast! You can’t go wrong by making it the focus of your social media efforts.
Instagram; which is owned by Facebook, is out pacing it’s parent company in new monthly sign ups. It has been tagged as the “young” person’s social media platform of choice…..it’s great for quick pictures or stories. Remember the “millennials” are getting older……they are the 2nd largest demographic segment in the US after the baby boomers and are projected to overtake the “baby boomers” in 2019…..they are becoming your new target market!
Twitter has a proven track record, and is a viable platform for HVAC companies. It’s a great way to send out quick messages or specials to your customers or potential new ones. You can even answer questions potential or existing customers may have about your services.
YouTube has become extremely popular by all ages, and YES it is considered a social media platform. Did you know? It is the 2nd most used search engine after Google, and P.S. it’s owned by Google…..so it’s important! Tip: YouTube is great place to post short videos, especially “how to” videos. Consumers are constantly searching for problems associated with the air conditioning system and how to fix it. You can quickly become a trusted source of information. They will look at your business as an authority for heating and air problems.
LinkedIn has grown rapidly in the last couple of years. It caters primarily to businesses doing business with other businesses or B2B……So, if your heating and air conditioning company does commercial work, building a LinkedIn profile could be well worth your time.
Our recommendation is to “start small” and you can grow your social presence one post at a time. Have fun with it, social media for hvac companies is supposed to be fun!
Here is a quick list of recommended social platforms for HVAC Contractors:
So what is reputation management for a HVAC company and what does it involve? Today your company has a ton of information on the internet. Some of it is correct and some of it is far from the truth. As a business owner, you want to make sure you are “painting the correct picture” for your customer. There are a gazillion sites on the web that have your information. It’s important to make sure your information is correct!
Like we said above, there are a gazillion websites or directories with your information on the internet. There are various forms of software that will help populate and correct the information online. We have found there are a few main ones that your business should be concerned with, which can effect your online rankings.
Reviews are a hug part of your online reputation today. Consumers who are unfamiliar with a particular service company are searching on the internet and reading reviews about your HVAC company and your competitors business. In the years past, would-be customers would consult a friend or neighbor to find out who to call for air conditioning or heating service……or we would look up companies in the yellow pages.
So, what do we do when our A/C breaks, and we don’t have an existing relationship with a local HVAC company? We still may phone a friend, but our habits have changed dramatically in recent years. Consumers today will post something on social media, “the modern day word of mouth”:
Once they receive recommendations, the consumer will do a little online research. Now is when online reviews have so much importance.
Here are the important things a potential buyer is looking for:
As a trusted local heating and air provider to your community, take the time to review and update your Google My Business listing on a regular basis. Take a look around the internet…..Google your company and see what you find. Keep an eye on your online reviews. Make sure you are responding to them and take action when you have a negative review. Be proactive and take charge of your online presence and you will gain more customers!
Thank you and good selling!
and put on the consumer hat! We have a lot going on running a heating and air conditioning business…..but do we really know “The Homeowner’s Frustration?” They have a problem with their A/C system, and they just want it fixed. It’s time to take off the contractor hat and put on the consumer hat.
Remember the consumer is not very familiar with this process. They don’t call a heating and air contractor every day, and remember from our recent article (Why Did We Lose the Sale?), the average homeowner only purchases a new hvac system on average 2.5 times in their lifetime. So, they don’t speak our language of SEER, AFUE, and HSPF. Think of it like this; we speak Spanish and they speak French……we don’t understand each other.
Ok, you’re now the homeowner. You walk in your house after a long day at work, and what do you find? Your house is HOT, the A/C is out! So what do you do? …. other than go into panic mode!!!
If the homeowner determines it’s time to contact a professional, then what? Some may have a relationship with a local air conditioning contractor, but many homeowners do not. In the old days, you went to phonebook and looked up air conditioning companies. But when is the last time you even laid eyes on a phonebook? Or you called a neighbor to enlist help, uh oh it’s 2019, you may not know your neighbors that well…..sorry but it’s true. So, today’s consumer uses the latest technology at their disposal:
Alright, here is where it gets good. Your next potential customer has gotten some information via a recommendation and has decided to search on their smartphone. Remember they are still in the “Oh S**t” moment of, “I don’t have air conditioning” in my home. That’s not a good place to be, and they want to move away from that place as soon as possible. Now that they have a recommendation or two, they start the rapid research phase…..
The distressed homeowner looks up air conditioner repair or another related search, and they find…..we’ll call them company “A” on their favorite search engine. And let’s see what their search returned….
Hmmm…..let’s look at the 2nd contractor.
Congratulations you are the lucky contractor that gets the chance to win over this customer for life. The homeowner just wants their A/C fixed asap. So, we tell them we can have a service tech at their home tomorrow afternoon……the new customer begrudgingly says “ok, that will be fine.” Fast forward to the next day, and the homeowner takes the afternoon off of work in order to meet your technician. It’s about 2:30 pm and no one has contacted this excited new residential customer. So, they decide to call your office, and the receptionist answers and checks with the dispatcher……They come back on the line with their “shiny new” customer and says, “We should be at your home by 4:00 pm.” The homeowner feels somewhat relieved…..Now it’s 4:15 and still no knight in shining armor to fix the air conditioner. Now the technician contacts the homeowner, and says that their current call is taking much longer than anticipated…….“Can we come tomorrow morning? You’ll be the first stop!”
We have to be courteous, respectful, and do what we say we are going to do. I know we are stereotyping the HVAC industry, but I’m just trying to convey some common issues homeowners experience with residential service providers. I’ve personally had some awesome customer service experiences and some that have been less than stellar…..and that’s putting it mildly. There are so many outstanding service companies today, and the consumer is taking notice! Today’s consumer is expecting you work around their schedule and provide the highest quality service and workmanship……or they will find someone that will provide it.
Think like the consumer and not the contractor, “walk in their shoes.” They are unhappy and uncomfortable…..They just want an easy solution to take them back to their “comfort zone.” Make is simple and easy! Remember, often times they don’t know what kind of system they have, they may think their air conditioner is a Honeywell or White Rodgers……I’m being serious! Make the scheduling process easy from the start to finish. Live operators answering the phone even after hours……Forms to schedule service on your website……and stick to your appointment time. Also, be flexible with your service times. Early evening and weekends work great for consumers! Throw your contractor hat away and wear the consumer hat……You’ll be surprised at the difference it makes in your sales!