Excellent customer service will make your customers satisfied, happy, and willing to give you their business instead of going to a competitor.
What HVAC Customer Service Skills Do Techs Need?
Technical knowledge and hands-on skills can make you a good HVAC Technician, but if you want to be great, you also need to refine your customer service skills. After all, an important part of your job every day is to listen to what customers need, solve their problems, and explain what you did. Customer service is what turns a one-off call to fix a busted heater in the middle of the night to a lifelong customer. Here are the customer services skills you’ll need to work in HVAC:
Honesty and Integrity
If you want customers to come back time and again—and of course you do—it’s important to say what you’re going to do, do it well, and charge fairly. When you price out a project, be clear from the start. If you run into problems, let the customer know. And when they ask you about products and equipment, offer an honest evaluation and assessment. You’re the expert.
Your customers don’t share your expertise in HVAC. They may not understand a lot of technical jargon or be familiar with how HVAC systems work. That means you need to communicate clearly and explain the problem and solution in a way that the customer can understand. Use plain language and encourage the person to ask questions if they need clarification.
The other half of communication is listening. When a customer explains what the problem is or what they need from you, listen to understand them and not just to respond. They may not know what the problem is, and certainly they don’t know what’s causing it, so it’s up to you to listen carefully, gather information, and figure out what they are trying to communicate to you.
Patience and Understanding
Not every house call is for routine maintenance. And when people are frustrated with broken units and malfunctioning systems, they may be impatient and irritable. Try to put yourself in their shoes. The timing, inconvenience, and expense of failing HVAC systems can combine to make otherwise happy people pretty miserable. And while you may be an HVAC hero, it’s important to remember that your clients don’t know all you do. Answer their questions with patience. Meet their curiosity with the enthusiasm you hold for your job. The more positive your interactions with customers, the more likely they will be to return.
Reliability and Punctuality
Start your day early and check your schedule so you know where you need to be and at what time. Is it realistic? While you can’t predict how every appointment will go, you probably have an idea that a routine maintenance call isn’t going to take as long as a mystery repair of a busted air conditioner.
Schedule your day accordingly. Work as efficiently as you can, but if you run into an unanticipated delay, notify your next customer so they know and can adjust their schedule or reschedule. Your customers’ time is valuable; treat it like it is. Missing appointments or showing up late can affect your reputation, your business, and your income.
As soon as you step foot on someone’s property, consider yourself a guest in their space. Treat their home like you’d want them to treat yours. Wear protective footing or lay down mats on the floors to prevent footprints and scratches. Try to stay in one small area and keep it as tidy as possible. Don’t leave tools lying around, take old or broken components directly to your truck, and clean up after yourself. If you need to use the bathroom, ask permission.
Do you already work in HVAC or are you considering a new career? At Charter College, we offer a Certificate in HVAC/R that can prepare you for an entry-level job in the field. Call 888-200-9942 or fill out the form to learn more.