9 Common Gripes With Typical HVAC Customer Service

Customer gripes and grievances are not always left in scathing reviews. Sometimes, you just never hear back… And that silence isn’t the best feedback to address issues within your HVAC customer service process. So, we’ve compiled a list of 9 common issues that customers have with typical HVAC companies.

In this article, we’ll help:

  • Find HVAC customer service opportunities to increase repeat business
  • Examine potential unconscious habits that could hurt client relationships
  • View interactions from the client’s side for a better understanding of impact

After reading this, you’ll be able to take actionable steps to improve HVAC customer service, increase client satisfaction, and build repeat business for your HVAC business.

1. Overworked Field Techs

Since field team members frequently have face-to-face interactions with clients, they’re the most likely factor in your business to impact overall customer satisfaction. Due to this, it’s important to treat HVAC technicians well and consider their workload.

Overworked field techs may start showing up late to calls, or have delayed responses to emails or voicemails. Plus, if a field tech is racing from job to job, there’s a chance their uniform could be soiled on arrival to another client.

In many instances, a field tech may feel underappreciated and strapped for time. Keep in mind, clients can feel this stress as well. Regardless of your tech’s work, burned out technicians will likely negatively impact repeat business from customers.

Possible Solutions to Improve HVAC Customer Service

Even though field techs might not directly address their workload, it helps to be proactive and not wait until you see client’s complaining in online reviews.

Add a robust dispatch software to your workflow to see a top-down view of the entire field team’s schedule. This will help identify any tight scheduling issues, before they become HVAC customer service issues. FieldEdge even makes it easy to notify customers ahead of time if their tech is running late.

As always, be sure to have the field team pack a spare uniform in their service vehicle. They might not need an extra one every day, but when they do, they’ll be glad they have one on-hand.

2. Being Too Problem-Focused or Uncommunicative to Clients

Often clients either call in a panic or with some level of urgency. A problem does need to be addressed, but your tech should make each client feel they chose the right company to call for the job.

We understand that many techs just want to get to work. They need to know where the problem is and theorize the proper solution.

However, clients often prefer to be brought along on the repair journey, even if they don’t know how to express this want. Train HVAC techs to listen to the client’s needs and assess the problem with a solution-based mindset.

“Try to balance being an expert with listening to concerns and providing what customers think is right for their needs,” explains Zach Cutler, CEO of Cutler PR.

3. Rough Client Communication Hurts HVAC Customer Service

Train your team to avoid elevating to the same level of panic or frustration as the client. This includes every member of your staff who is customer facing.

It’s easy to get swept up in the emotions of someone calling with an emergency, or someone in discomfort looking for a quick fix.

Receive and acknowledge any emotional elevation presented by the client, but always be professional. You’re here to do a job, there’s nothing personal about it. If your team can allow a client to vent their frustrations while remaining cool, calm and collected, you’ll most likely have a client for life!

Also, prepare your field team with extensive notes in a client’s profile before they arrive at the job site. Knowledge is power, and it helps keep field techs calm if they understand the emotional state of the client they’re about to greet.

4. Not Having a Team “Gripe Catcher”

We’re not suggesting you only hire rulebook thumpers – we get the importance of venting. This is why Matt Michel, CEO of the Service Roundtable suggests designating a gripe catcher for your team.

Have a receptive source where your team feels comfortable airing their frustrations. This could be a member of your staff, or it could be a communal space or activity. Maybe an in-office arcade game or something to congregate around and share internal grievances.

Of course, this also means your organizational culture needs to be healthy. Any dysfunction at the office will spill out onto every jobsite. Make sure you’ve cleaned your own house before entering anyone else’s.

5. Disrespecting the Client’s Space

Remember, in the residential HVAC industry, you’re entering private spaces. Respect the fact that every person lives their life to their own specifications.

Always keep these things in mind when entering someone’s home or workspace:

  • Deodorant on hot days or sweaty repair visits
  • Shoe covers or booties when walking through someone’s home or office
  • Any tool bags or bulky equipment shouldn’t make contact with walls or door jams

It’s easy to forget how stinky and dirty our field teams can get when doing their jobs. However, any lingering smells, dirty floors, or scraped walls can leave a lasting impression on any client when the time comes to call again.

6. Impersonal and Inconsistent HVAC Customer Service

Everyone wants to feel like their patronage is appreciated. Yet, so frequently when we call for home services, we’re made to feel like perfect strangers.

While it may seem difficult to remember every single client personally, there are software solutions that can assist your team in quick retrieval of each customer’s profile.

Beyond that, FieldEdge is able to record each customer phone call to allow you to review and coach your underperforming team members. This allows you to spot areas of opportunity long before they become fodder for a negative customer review.

Also, you can personalize your marketing materials for each client. Include little adjustments to email marketing copy and subject lines that leverage the robust client profiles you maintain on each customer.

Communication Inconsistencies

No one likes repeating themselves – especially when they need something fixed and have to explain an issue they barely understand. Save your customers that annoyance.

The best field service software can log every interaction and add the details to client profiles that are then instantly updated across the entire organization.

Everyone will be on the same page in real-time. This way, you can rest easy knowing that even if you have to play hot potato with a customer on the phone, everyone involved will have immediate access to every note along the way.

Also, since client profiles are stored in a cloud-based field service software, even your techs in the field will have immediate access to all notes added to any profile in real-time.

See how FieldEdge helps improve HVAC Customer Service with anywhere accessibility and robust customer profiles. Book your FREE personalized demo today!

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7. Unclear or Rigid Service Quoting

Every customer loves to choose what price point works best for them, and offering a single quote for service isn’t very flexible. Also, making a customer wait to receive that quote is just an added pain point.

If the field team offers multi-option on-site quoting, you’ll see an increase in billable services. If you use flat-rate pricing, a visual price book can also help with this!

Using these tools, techs can walk customers through their options and communicate the benefits of each option while they stand face-to-face. When a client feels like they’re in the drivers’ seat of their repair journey, they’re more likely to say yes to more offered services.

Take the guesswork out of pricing your HVAC services. Download our FREE HVAC pricing calculator today!

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8. Making Clients (Needlessly) Jump Through Hoops

As a customer of services yourself, you know the benefits of a smooth interaction with a company. And with your own company, there’s many areas of customer contact that can be streamlined.

Some of these areas include:

Make your HVAC customer service as painless as possible by integrating the best field management software available.

You might be surprised how creating a streamlined experience for your customers leads to glowing reviews about your HVAC company.

And the best field service software will help streamline your operations to serve your clients better. Book your FREE personalized demo of FieldEdge today!

9. Ignoring Online Reviews

We know everybody loves five-star reviews. Although, critical reviews sure do sting, don’t they? It’s understandable that some businesses would rather ignore the scathing reviews left by unsatisfied customers.

However, sticking our heads in the sand means missing an opportunity to better our services.

Respond to every review within 24 hours. Though, if the review is negative or critical of anything specific, respond even faster and apologize for any mistakes your team made.

Always remember, it’s important to respond with transparency and integrity. Provide actionable steps you intend to take so no future customer will suffer the same fate.

Make Your HVAC Customer Service Exceptional Today

We’re confident no HVAC company is guilty of all 9 of these common customer complaints. But maybe you’ve found something on this list that can help improve your HVAC customer service right away. Improving your relationship with clients will yield consistent repeat business with satisfied customers.

With improved HVAC customer service you’ll find:

  • Clients return again and again for your services
  • Solid communication helps both your team and customers
  • Multi-option quoting will make upselling on-site easier
  • Prompt review responses will inspire more five-star reviews

Life becomes easier, and sales stream in when you’ve got satisfied clients. Plus, your team will feel the benefits too.

Related: HVAC Hiring Guide: How to Hire the Best Employees

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