• Part 1 of Consumer and HVAC Contractor Relationship

Who is Educating Your Customer?

May 06, 2013
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Miami FL
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You know you have a good business relationship when people constantly ask you for advice and information on HVAC. You’re happy to help, but it’s not really your business to educate the consumer.

Yet you can’t afford to ignore their questions. Winning a customer’s trust by referring them to a reliable consumer-education website might be your best tool for ensuring repeat business.

They don’t need a manual; they need a friendly source of info!

There’s a wide gap between documentation and an advertising brochure. Your customers may not be satisfied with the glossy package they get from the manufacturer, but just try running this by them: delta Hs = (1.08)(CFM)(deta T DB) Huh?

Here’s what your customers are saying: With more higher SEER units being installed, there is some confusion among the general public about humidity control. Check out self-help websites and you’ll see half-baked theories about how the old AC kept the house cool and dry, but the newer one is not keeping it as comfortable so it must be that high-efficiency units are less effective, etc.

If you’re getting questions from your customers about HVAC, there are websites where you can refer them, for solid, non-technical information.

Here are a few websites that are consumer-oriented:

  1. Energy.gov
  2. Google.com
  3. ACDoctor.com

 

  1. The first one, Energy.gov, is managed by the Department of Energy. There’s a ‘public service’ section that includes information for homeowners and a sub-section on heating and cooling. It has lots of pretty pictures and charts, and also basic information about home construction and government programs.
  2. Google.com allows consumers to search anything, but they will see sponsored websites from other HVAC contractors as well as objective information.
  3. ACDoctor.com is run by Watsco, the giant HVAC distributor. While ACDoctor is a registry of qualified contractors, there is also ton of information here for consumers-- including multiple pages under “Get Educated” and sections on energy conservation, comparison shopping, air quality, rebates and incentives. ACDoctor attracts heavy traffic from residential customers who need both information and a good contractor. ACDoctor educates the public, and then distributes these HVAC leads to its contractor members.

For the busy HVAC contractor, these websites are like having an inhouse customer service department. Instead of spending your valuable time trying to explain relative humidity or SEER ratings, you can stay focused on the job of installation and maintenance.

I’ll close with just one example: You’ve got a single lady in her 50s whose A/C is no longer doing the job. It’s noisy, and operation gets more expensive each year. She tells you she’s ready to invest in a new system: What should she buy?

You explain that you can do an assessment of how much cooling capacity she’ll need, and you can recommend some good brands. But before she makes the final decision, suggest that she check out a specialized, knowledgeable website such as ACDoctor She’ll feel that you’re being open with her, and she’ll feel more comfortable with her final decision.

You get the job. She feels her opinion was respected. It’s a win-win.

 

 

 

 


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