It’s hard to imagine that we are quickly approaching year-end. In a few weeks, we will gather together will family to celebrate Thanksgiving and a begin a season of wondrous holidays.
As we reflect on 2021, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to be a major issue. In previous editions of The Compressor, we urged you, your team, and your families to be safe. We promoted discussions which helped you provide a higher level of service to your customers all with a realization of how we impact their life.
This year, we worked with our legislative advocates on behalf of an Indoor Air Quality tax credit to benefit our customers and their families, and successfully gained financial assistance to support apprentices who paid their own tuition. We held a phenomenal networking and graduation event at the Bowie Baysox game in August. WOW! It was great to see people in person.
Although we turned a corner, we didn’t know what was ahead for us - inventory shortages, inflation, staffing shortages, and a myriad of other negative impacts on our industry and business. But, we forge ahead. We have to. People depend on us.
As we close this year and ring in a New Year, AACP will continue to be your advocate and an advocate for our industry. We remain committed to you, your team, your business, and your customers. We have begun plans to host NATE, CFC, and OSHA training along with soft-skills for our technicians. We forge ahead. We have to. You depend on us.
“Heading into the New Year, I have a number of goals for AACP. These include increased diversification and female representation in all parts of our organization, from our board of directors to our Apprenticeship program; increased Virginian and DC engagement; growth of the Apprenticeship program, including efforts to open in Virginia and DC; and membership growth and outreach.”
During his tenure as AACP President, Philip Thompson led the association to engage with new legislative advocates who represented HVAC contractors not only in Maryland and DC, but now in the State of Virginia. We were able to secure approval as an official sponsor of an HVAC Apprenticeship Program in the State of Virginia. Facing the unknown in March 2020, Philip led the Board of Directors and the association in a quick pivot from in-person to online meetings and learning. We hosted seminars and discussions to provide our members with an opportunity to share the challenges faced by the COVID-19 pandemic.
On behalf of the AACP Board of Directors, I extend our appreciation to Philip for his time, energy, commitment, and dedication to AACP.
Reprinted from ServiceTitan | Stephanie Figy
Running a profitable heating and air conditioning business requires more than just trained technicians and powerful equipment—it demands outstanding HVAC customer service to create repeat customers.
In fact, 73 percent of customers report loyalty to a brand because of friendly customer service. While your field staff interacts with your customers in person, your HVAC tech support team provides customers with their first impressions of your company while making appointments and answering questions.
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Try these top techniques to improve your team’s HVAC customer service skills.
Every sale in the HVAC industry begins with an initial phone call or online message sent to your company, and treating each customer uniquely helps create more powerful relationships. Using front- and back-end software to arm your HVAC customer service team with vital information about a customer helps create the perfect experience every time. Provide your CSRs with details, such as call occurrence, service history, equipment used, and even special notes from techs, managers, or other CSRs.
When a customer calls for service or repair on their air conditioning system, they typically don’t want to wait days or weeks for service. Ensure your HVAC technicians remain punctual to maintain a positive brand reputation. Dispatch the best available tech to serve the need for each call by using an operational platform that monitors the GPS location of field techs.
If an HVAC tech visits a homeowner to inspect an air conditioner or address their air conditioning system or a furnace repair issue, the customer might become frustrated if forced to wait hours or days to receive a cost estimate. Provide your field staff with mobile technology to give customers on-site estimates and job quotes, explain warranty information, and allow them to sign off on the work on the spot.
Train your HVAC customer service team to use their communication skills to ask the right questions when setting an appointment in order to set your HVAC techs up for success on the job. This also helps build a relationship with the customer before the HVAC technician even rings the doorbell.
After completing the service, call the customer (or send an email or text if that’s how a customer prefers to communicate) to say thanks and ask them how the job went. This often-forgotten gesture goes a long way in providing the best customer experience and building customer satisfaction.
The best companies in the HVAC industry respect their customers’ time by providing accurate service windows, being punctual, and calling should they fall behind in their day’s schedule. Using field dispatch software, your customers can receive an automated text notification when the tech heads toward their house for an appointment, then track the technician’s progress. On the flip side, your team of customer service representatives can rearrange tech schedules and adjust appointments on the dispatch board based on real-time data and messaging.
If your HVAC and refrigeration CSRs ask all the right questions beforehand, your technicians should show up to the job site with all the required tools to complete the service and keep the customer happy. That provides the best customer service experience, from start to finish.
Create a relationship with your customers by providing seasonal tips and incentives throughout the year. Through email marketing, text messages, or even phone calls, your HVAC customer service team should provide homeowners with friendly reminders for when it’s time to change furnace filters or schedule an annual tune-up on their HVAC systems. Send them digital coupons for getting maintenance service performed during the slow season.
Communicating throughout the year with consistent content marketing keeps your HVAC business top of mind, so the customer reaches out to your company first when they need future services.
Your company’s HVAC techs represent your brand, and as such, they should show up clean and in full uniform. Provide booties they can slip on before stepping foot in a home and train techs to be respectful of a customer’s personal belongings.
In addition, tablets or other digital mobile technology looks a lot sharper when presenting estimates and invoices than loose papers on a clipboard. Act like a modern HVAC pro by giving easy, quick pricing presentations and present digital forms for customers to sign electronically.
Improve HVAC customer service at every touchpoint with a combination of traditional CSR methods and advanced, automated technology. By implementing a comprehensive HVAC software system to support your business goals, your company will not only increase customer satisfaction but also grow your repeat customer base and overall profit.
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The HVACR industry learns the amount of HFCs that can be produced and consumed next year
Reprinted from ACHR News
On September 23, 2021, EPA issued a final rule entitled, “Phasedown of Hydrofluorocarbons: Establishing the Allowance Allocation and Trading Program under the American Innovation and Manufacturing (AIM) Act.” Specifically, the AIM Act directs EPA to phase down production and consumption of HFCs to 15% of their baseline levels in a stepwise manner by 2036 through an allowance allocation and trading program.
Figure 2: The HFC production and consumption phasedown schedule as outlined in the AIM Act. Courtesy of EPA)
To implement the allowance allocation and trading program, EPA has:
An allowance is the unit of measure that EPA uses in order to control production and consumption of HFCs. On October 1, 2021, EPA issued allowances for 2022 to companies that produced and/or imported HFCs in 2020. These allowances that will be valid between January 1 and December 31 of a given year, also known as a “calendar-year allowance" (see Figures 1 and 3). A calendar-year allowance represents the privilege granted to an entity to produce or import regulated substances in that year.
Figure 3: Production allowances allocated to each company for 2022. (Courtesy of EPA)
Entities will need to expend allowances in order to produce or import bulk HFCs. Producing HFCs will require expending both production allowances and consumption allowances. Importing HFCs will require expending only consumption allowances. Additionally, a third category of allowances called “application-specific allowances” can be used to either produce or import HFCs for use in the six applications listed in the AIM Act.
To ensure compliance with the phasedown limits, this final rule:
In addition, to prevent illegal trade in HFCs, EPA is coordinating with other federal agencies, in particular, U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
An advance copy of the final rule is available at https://www.epa.gov/climate-hfcs-reduction/final-rule-phasedown-hydrofluorocarbons-establishing-allowance-allocation , which will be updated once the rule is published in the Federal Register.
About the Author
Joanna Turpin is a Senior Editor. She can be contacted at 248-786-1707 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Joanna has been with BNP Media since 1991, first heading up the company’s technical book division. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Washington and worked on her master’s degree in technical communication at Eastern Michigan University.