As a High-Performance contractor, at some point or another, you will struggle with whether you should suspend having your service technicians test and diagnose airflow problems during the summer season.
The argument is logical at face value. After all, summer is the busiest time of the year for most HVAC companies, both in terms of service and installation.
You may not have enough resources to take care of all your customer’s emergency service and replacement work if your people have to slow down to do more labor-intensive summer testing, duct renovation, and performance improvement projects.
There is some truth to this. It’s hard to scale up your labor even further during peak demand times. And what do you do with those employees when things slow down?
It’s expensive and time-consuming to find, hire, lay off, and rehire technical personnel, not to mention the resulting morale issues. And frankly, it’s no way to treat people anyway.
The obvious solution is one that allows you to level your workload across all seasons so it’s more predictable and easier to manage. When you do this, many things fall into place including productivity, profitability, and morale. Plus it makes it easier to manage your resources.
So What’s the Solution to the Summer Testing Dilemma?
A great way to accomplish all of the above is to have your service technicians do baseline performance testing – mainly key static pressure and temperature measurements (which they may already be doing), on every service and maintenance visit. Then you need a process to help you generate work in your slower season.
One problem with putting off following up on typical leads is the proverbial “trail” tends to run cold. With the right process, you can harvest the leads from summer testing when you need them most.
Tall order? Maybe. The key is to have a system that works as cleanly and automatically as possible, and keeps your leads from falling through the cracks during the busy season.
NCI has such a process. There’s not enough room to go over it in full detail here, so we’ll start with a 30,000-foot view.
If you’re interested in receiving a free copy of NCI’s approach that includes customizable materials and access to free software, go to ncilink.com/FallLeads!
The key is to have a system that works as cleanly and automatically as possible, and keeps your leads from falling through the cracks during the busy season.
So let’s take a look at the basic steps:
STEP 1. Your service technician takes four static pressure readings and two temperature readings and records them so they can be added to the service ticket or your CRM. He or she also performs and records a visual inspection of the equipment and the duct system where it is easily accessible.
STEP 2. A designated person in the office evaluates the information and scores the severity and priority of the issues, based on a grading system.
STEP 3. Based on the initial findings, a letter and/or email is sent to the customer at the right time explaining what was tested and observed, and what the scores mean in laymen’s terms.
The letter should further outline possible next steps, including setting up a time to explore the issues together. You could hold off sending the letter right away until things slow down a little, and you have the time to follow up. The key is to cue these mailings so they are not forgotten.
STEP 4. Follow up the letter with a visit from your Comfort Advisor. He or she would perform some additional testing and provide customer education based on the initial findings.
By the way, this process works well during your less-busy season too. The only difference is you would not delay contacting the customer.
This approach will help open your customers up to seeing you as a problem solver who cares about them and the Safety, Health, Comfort, and Energy Efficiency of their home.
The typical resulting sales from summer testing include air distribution improvements, equipment replacement, and add-on accessories that truly address your customers’ needs and desires.