HVAC businesses, like all service businesses, rely on jobs being successfully booked. No booked service or maintenance jobs, no revenue, no business. Of course, you already know this to be true. What you may not have thought about before is why you miss calls in the first place.
When thinking back to when some of our best HVAC clients called us for the first time, asking about options for capturing more HVAC business, several strategies come to mind. The primary strategy we employ when we work with you to build your business will depend on the size of your business, call volume, peak times of call traffic, and other factors such as whether you use an in-house dispatcher, or if you have commercial or residential customers.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Here is the most common reason why our customers miss service jobs before finding the right answering service partner: You are just too busy! For any business owner the reason why this happens is all too obvious.
Running a business is a full-time job. You jump on the treadmill of meetings, P&L reports, training new staff, working in the field, speaking to distributors and vendors, and before you know it, things that are critical to your business get overlooked. Then vacations happen, your secretary goes on maternity leave, people quit, retire, move on, and the treadmill continues.
Right now, you’re probably thinking, “So what, everyone is busy—that’s business! We will get an IVR system or a voicemail box and call it a day. Problem solved.” And you think you’re done. That is business; it’s just not smart business. Here’s a little deeper dive into why.
Because of our extensive experience, we have noticed underlying factors that compound the problem of insufficient staffing at your HVAC office.
- When “I’m too busy” meets basic growth economics. Adding capacity costs money, e.g., staffing, benefits, trucks, supplies, training, supervision. Something must give! You will normally shrink back to the size you were or lose money trying to fight it.
- Calls often arrive in bunches, such as after advertising, first thing in the morning (check-in times), during lunch, right before closing (that’s when people get off work),
- Calls after hours that go to voicemail with no live voice option will result in more hang ups. They also will not call back.
- You cannot answer every call, nor would you want to.
Making a Better Business Decision
Prompt answering ensures that your callers receive a great experience. Your hard-earned brand is protected. The impression that they receive from your HVAC office is a choice. Being rushed off the phone or being greeted with your values is up to you. Bad news travels fast.
Word of mouth is how people find out about your business. Matt Warren of Big Commerce speaks to the power of word of mouth marketing (WOMM) in his blog article on building referral sales. “Winning nowadays requires strategy and squeezing the most out of every opportunity."
According to Nielsen, “92% of people trust recommendations from friends and family over any other type of advertising.“
In other words, service customers who are unhappy will take their business to the next company they can find to help them. Right after they do that, your unhappy caller will pull out their phone and spread the bad news!
Live and In Color
What’s better than voicemail, IVR, and an auto attendant? A live, professional, and superiorly trained representative for your business. Voicemail doesn’t give the caller an option for a live voice. IVR systems and auto attendants don’t leave your caller feeling reassured. Holds, queues, and call backs are an option, but they are not ideal. Often, your callers will go to another repair service to have their needs met more quickly. When the A/C is out and mama isn’t happy…. You know the rest of that story.
A Better Way
What we look for from our customer service representatives who answer calls on your behalf is to act on your behalf. Your success is our success. What does that mean for you? To capture more calls, and then turn them into an opportunity to make a wonderful first impression and gain a customer for life.
Partnering with an answering service can allow your HVAC business to continue to be available, be consistent with great service, all designed to be scalable and grow as your needs grow.
Discuss how you can capture more HVAC customers on the first call with us. Together, you can begin to form a plan that allows you and our team to help you meet and exceed your business goals one great call, service appointment, and delighted customer at a time.