How to Make Angry HVAC Clients Happy

Angry HVAC Clients may become disgruntled for a whole host of reasons.

Maybe the office manager gave an estimate on the phone and the service tech tried to quote the customer a higher price.

Perhaps the technician is running late, and the customer will be late getting back to work. 

Sometimes angry HVAC clients are just having a bad day and they are taking it out on you. 

How you react to an angry HVAC client says a lot about your business. Acting as a professional and trying to understand their grievance is the first step to addressing the problem. Solving the issue favorably can turn customers into loyal repeat buyers.

There are a few strategies you can use to address the situation:

  • Listen and relate to a customer who is upset
  • Treat every customer with the same respect
  • Respond to parts and cost complaints
  • Address negative reviews

Listen to the Angry HVAC Client

When a customer becomes angry, it’s best to hear them out. Let them have their say and know you are listening to their problem. Acknowledge their emotions and frustrations before offering any troubleshooting.

When they have had some time to vent,  restate the problem in your own words to make sure you are both addressing the same problem. If it is the fault of you or your business, apologize and begin to problem solve. 

Diffuse the situation by finding an agreeable solution to the problem. If a customer thinks that you are trying to help them, the anger usually dies down when they know you are both on the same page. Let’s look at a couple situations:

  • The customer is angry and feels like the price is too high for the furnace you are installing. Remind the customer that you have a good, better and best model program to choose from and review the entire cost again to make sure they are comfortable with it. Explain any considerations that go into that model – perhaps there are only a couple equipment options that will fit their unique needs. 
  • The customer is complaining that you should have arrived earlier, even though you were just 5 minutes late. If you are late, apologize to them and recognize that their time is valuable. Share that sometimes you may run a few minutes behind due to unforeseen circumstances or the last job requiring extra time. Don’t argue that five minutes won’t matter in the grand scheme of the job – you’ll end up with a customer who feels disrespected! Instead ensure them that you will do your best to complete their current job with accuracy and on time

Treat Every Customer with Respect

The challenge of an HVAC technician is to do the best job you can do and to treat everyone with respect – even if they aren’t treating you with respect. 

Customer service skills are a must for service technicians because you will be dealing with all kinds of personalities. Being polite and courteous can go a long way in securing long term customers.

Whether you are working in a five million dollar office space or a two-room shack, treat both jobs exactly the same. You are there to fix their furnace or air conditioner and should do so with a smile on your face, no matter how uncomfortable you may be. 

New customers don’t know you, and many times you will need to earn their respect. Here are a few ways to increase your chances of winning them over:

  • Show up in a clean truck. That means inside and out. Sometimes curious customers will even look inside your truck. If they see candy wrappers and receipts all over your truck, they may think you do sloppy work.
  • Dress like a professional, and make sure you are in uniform per your company’s guidelines!
  • Introduce yourself with a handshake, eye contact and smile.
  • After diagnosing the problem, explain the issue and repair needed. Get sign off on the price BEFORE you start the work.
  • Show the customer the new part or equipment you are installing, and the old part once it is removed. 
  • Thank them for their business and leave the area cleaner than when you found it.
  • Follow up with the customer in a day or two to make sure everything is still working correctly. Pro Tip: FieldEdge can help with this.

The Dreaded “I Looked Up The Part on Amazon”

Every technician has experienced a customer nickel and diming them by looking up the part or parts you are installing in their system. The customer will point to the online price and ask why you are charging them more. 

A good answer to this question is to calmly explain that you are running a successful business and that the part they found online will certainly be cheaper, but you have the part available right now in your truck. The customer is paying you for convenience and to fix your problem right then and there. 

Also explain that even if the part is cheaper, its installation requires skilled labor. Remind them that the installation is part of the price they are paying you! 

If Customer Remains Angry – Here Comes the Negative Review

An HVAC technician’s responsibility is to do the best job possible and to treat everyone with respect – even if they aren’t treating you with respect. 

The hope is that the client is happier when you leave the job than when you arrived. As the old adage goes ”you can’t please everyone.” But you can try your best. 

If a tech decides to argue with the customer, it’s no good for anyone. An angry customer turns into a keyboard warrior before you even start your truck to leave! And one bad review can be more influential than 20 positive ones.

86% of consumers said buying decisions were affected by negative online reviews

If you do receive an unfortunate review, make sure to reply in a timely matter. If you know the complaint was warranted, apologize for the mistake and offer to come by for a follow-up business to correct it as-needed.

If a nasty review is posted and you’re not sure where things went wrong, ask if you can email or call the reviewer to learn more and try to make things right. Above all, NEVER point fingers or get into an argument in the review thread. Try to take the conversation offline if there are more details to hammer out! 

A professional response indicating what happened and how you tried to rectify the situation can alleviate any doubts about the quality of service you provide.  


Improve the Customer Experience with Field Service Software

One key to keeping customers happy is to implement field service software (like FieldEdge!). How can software improve life for the customers? Here are a few ways:

  • Better communication: Even pizza shops send you a text when the food is on the way. Field service software always keeps the customer in the loop with automated message or call reminders for appointments, invoice due dates and when the service technician is en route to their house or business
  • Built in customer outreach: Integrations may include email marketing tools that send out monthly resources or third-party services that can send automated gifts to customers. Technicians can also use the field service app to pull up work order history to better serve customers while on the job.  
  • Service Agreements: Not only do they build recurring revenue, but customers like them for keeping their equipment in tip top shape for the cold and warm months.

See how FieldEdge can put a smile on every customer’s face! Book your FREE personalized demo today!

Book a FieldEdge Demo!

Happy Customers are Repeat Customers! 

Now you have several important strategies in your arsenal for dealing with angry HVAC clients and reframing the conversation to keep everyone happy. Use these tips the next time something goes wrong on a service call!

In this post you learned how to: 

  • Listen and relate to a customer who is upset
  • Treat every customer with the same respect
  • Respond to parts and cost complaints
  • Avoid and deal with negative reviews


Related: Responding to Reviews Online for Field Services

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