5 Smart Strategies to Keep HVAC Revenue Flowing During Slow Season
By Lucy Mils
The HVAC industry is getting ready for a slower season as fall weather arrives after a summer of record-breaking heat. As the seasons change, home-cooling systems and HVAC businesses both get to take a well-deserved break.
But, instead of taking a hiatus, many HVAC business owners are proactively looking for ways to maintain a steady stream of revenue.
Here are five competitive customer service strategies to use when customers become harder to find:
Offer reminder calls.
Fall is a great time for HVAC business owners to remind customers about regular tune-ups and inspections. Reminder calls give your customers the opportunity to make sure their furnaces and electric heating systems are in optimal shape before the first winter chill.
You can also call your customers to remind them of upcoming appointments to ensure no-shows do not cost you money or time.
Be responsive when it’s most convenient for your customers.
Fall brings inevitable change to our routines. Kids are going back to school and many workers are returning to offices again. You can make this transition easier for your customers by being more accessible in the evenings and weekends.
In fact, 18% of home services calls go unanswered on weekdays, while 41% go unanswered on weekends (Google). Missed calls are not just inconvenient -- they can drive customers to local competitors.
If you’re not available during the times customers need you most, you can outsource your customer service. A 24/7 virtual receptionist can screen calls for urgency and respond immediately to high-priority service calls during after hours. These services give you and your customers peace of mind that when they call there will be a live person ready to help day or night.
Diversify your customer communication channels.
Part of good customer service is anticipating when customers want to communicate with you -- and how.
Many customers prefer to speak to a live person when navigating HVAC issues. That’s why more than 50% of customers across all age groups typically use the phone to reach out to a service team, making it the most-used channel for customer service (Zendesk).
You can also make it easier for your more tech-savvy customers to reach you online through email, live chat, or a help desk. A variety of customer support channels makes you more accessible and reputable to new customers.
Send customer surveys proactively.
During your downtime, customer feedback surveys can be a useful tool to improve your business processes and maintain customer loyalty.
Doing this can help you retain great business because 77% of consumers view companies more favourably if they proactively invite and accept customer feedback (Microsoft).
You can use surveys to encourage customers to leave positive reviews online too. As a gesture of goodwill, consider offering an incentive at the end of your survey in exchange for a positive review (i.e., a free maintenance inspection). And for a more personal touch, you can directly follow up with customers who provide positive feedback.
Build trust using positive reviews.
When it comes to positive reviews, quality and quantity matter when building trust and leads. Homeowners read an average of 10 reviews before they feel they can trust a local business and reach out to them (BrightLocal).
To test this out try doing a quick scan of local HVAC competitors on Homestars. You’ll notice a trend: the bad reviews consistently mention a lack of responsiveness and unprofessional customer service. The positive reviews highlight that HVAC customers value friendly, professional urgent responses.
While all of this may seem tedious, ultimately it will create more business for you. Consumers who rate a company’s service as “good” are 38% more likely to recommend that company (Qualtrics XM Institute).
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