This month’s issue focuses on branding, and you’ll find several great articles on the subject. An important part of a strong image is how you treat customers before, during, and after a sale or service call.

While by no means exhaustive, the following list can help you maintain a stellar brand and reputation that will help you keep good customers and acquire new ones:

Performance test every system your company touches. Basic testing of temperatures, static pressures, and airflow should be your standard on every maintenance and service call. Your salespeople should also test every system they look at.

Our industry has never before had better tools and software available to make testing easy, fast and accurate. Be sure to equip your field people with the right tools. Not only will that help you reduce callbacks, your techs will uncover opportunities to upgrade customers’ comfort systems like never before.

Help keep customers healthy and safe. Do your field people perform carbon monoxide (CO) safety testing on every service call or installation? If not, you not only expose your company to liability, you could inadvertently endanger your customers’ health – or worse.

Combustion Analyzers have come a long way in terms of affordability and ease of use. Make sure your techs have the tools and certification training to keep your customers safe and uncover opportunities to sell safety improvements.

Show up on time and don’t postpone. Whether on a service call or an estimate, there is nothing more aggravating than a tech or a salesperson not showing up on time. It sends a signal that the customer is not that important to you. A close second is postponing – especially more than once. Sometime this can’t be avoided.

The key is good, timely communication to reduce customer inconvenience.

Verify Performance on all your installations. While initial testing is important, testing after an install or renovation is even more critical. This is where many miss the opportunity for wowing the customer.

Final verification that you did what you promised closes the loop and leads to increased satisfaction and referrals. Don’t skip this step!

Train field technicians to respect customer property. There is nothing worse than dripping oil in the driveway or to have customers find your installer’s tools laying all over their washer and dryer – or other furniture.

Not only does this set you up to have to make it right, it negates the good will you are trying to build. This needs to be taught and reinforced. It is easy to get so focused on the work and forget that the customer’s home is not a construction site.

Perform a quality check on every installation. This step will also reduce callbacks and unhappy customers. I just had a master bathroom remodeled and the contractor had to come back five times to make everything right – and there are still some issues that should have been caught the first time!

Even though they did a decent job, I won’t refer them to my friends or family.