Mike Weil, Director Communications, National Comfort Institute, Inc.

Mike Weil

Keeping Up with the Times: What Changes Influence Your Business Today?

Recently I spoke with several HVAC contractors who commented on how the industry today is so different than it was just eight or nine years ago. That got me thinking about why.

So here are some key changes that continue impacting the HVAC Industry and your businesses.

Top Technician Skills

Trained and certified technicians are the norm. You must have them. But that isn’t enough. Technicians need great people-skills too. Those who have both are worth their weight in gold, which means you must pay them more.

By their nature, generally speaking, the people-skills part doesn’t come naturally, but it can be learned. That costs money too. Think of it this way — it’s an investment in the future.

Manufacturing Changes

More than ever before, manufacturers are building Smart Technologies into their products. This is driven by regulations, the development of Green Building standards, and evolving ASHRAE standards. It’s all about energy savings through better controls, system efficiencies, and data collection. This means more training is necessary for your technicians.

The Tech Industry’s Impact on HVAC

Apple, Google, and the other Internet companies have an undeniable hold over nearly every person alive today. For the HVAC Industry specifically, their apps and software enable building managers and owners to operate facilities from mobile phones.

Homeowners can do the same. Combined with sensor technologies, data gathering is easy, and analyzing it is even easier. These types of tools need to be mastered and used by you and your workforce team.

Data-based Decision Making

Consumers and contractors alike want more information before they make buying or management decisions. Business owners are leaving the “intuition” or “gut-feel” part of their decision making behind for quantifiable metrics. I’m talking about everything from gross revenue per technician to time spent on the job, fleet management, accounting, payroll, and so much more.

What about system performance? There are great tools for recording system data and analyzing it to help you diagnose and repair customer comfort issues like never before.

Do you use data for decision-making?

Web-Based Reviews

Consumers use the data of online reputations — web-based reviews of your company, people, and services to make buying decisions. Their expectations are higher than ever, and much of this is due to what they learn on discussion forums, review sites, and digital/web content. Do you know and manage your online reputation?

Marketing Trends

If you’re not marketing to consumers on their mobile devices, you are missing the boat. Social Media connects consumers and the business world in ways unheard of just 10 years ago.

This means your website needs to not only be mobile friendly, but quick to load, and super easy to use. When is the last time you updated and upgraded your online presence?

The Good News is …

Yes, change really is the only constant in our lives. For the HVAC world, that change is now flooding in from outside technology that has a direct impact on your business.

If you do it right, this can be an excellent thing. Technology can even help attract new people to your company — customers and technicians alike. Everyone wins. Good news indeed!