Customers know that the best way to get a good deal on products or services is to comb the market, looking for the best company for their price. While many homeowners are concerned with getting the lowest possible price for what they want, another huge factor is the company itself that they’re considering. How do they generally treat their customers? And for an expensive yet critical part of the typical American home, the HVAC unit, homeowners are even more careful of their ultimate choice.
Appealing to a Wide Client Base
Customers have definite preferences regarding HVAC services, ranging from price to availability. However, don’t forget the more nebulous yet equally important factors many homeowners consider as they shop for air conditioning services. A few additional preferences may include:
- Experience and previous work
- Reviews and testimonials
- Speedy service
1) Experience and Previous Work
Past experiences, knowledge of current HVAC technology, and records of previous work are all important to prove your competence as a trustworthy technician. Even if you haven’t been in business very long, you can boost potential clients’ confidence in you by demonstrating an intimate knowledge of their HVAC problems and how best to solve them. Show off your current knowledge as well as your previous experiences and successful jobs.
2) Reviews and Testimonials
One excellent way to provide information about your previous work is through glowing customer reviews. How many past clients are thrilled with your excellent work on their HVAC systems? How recent are their reviews? Don’t be shy about promoting good testimonies from previous clients.
3) Speedy Service
Considering how many people use their HVAC units daily, especially during the summer, timeliness is a huge factor in which technician customers will hire. If their favorite technician isn’t available for a month, whereas a less familiar one can be there in an hour, most clients will choose the faster option. By its nature, HVAC is often a time-consuming job with work showing up abruptly and with urgent need. It’s important to do your best to be open to surprise jobs without neglecting previous appointments.
Pro Tip: Once you’ve been hired by a client, outline the timeline of your work for them. Make sure they understand exactly how long they can plan to wait on you.
Exceeding Customer Expectations
A home’s heating and air conditioning systems are among the most important parts, and consequently, homeowners prefer to hire only the best to keep their units maintained. In addition to exceeding customer expectations regarding your service and skill level, make sure you can meet their preferences regarding customer service as well. Your growing client base will appreciate your effort!
Connect with us to learn more about building an HVAC business after graduation.
Any job where you’ll be interacting with customers regularly requires excellent customer service skills. Considering the nature of an HVAC career, where you regularly enter your clients’ homes to examine their AC units and discuss plans for repairs, customer service is more than required to be successful.
As an HVAC technician, you’ll spend a good part of your workday talking to customers. Good customer service skills are absolutely essential to maintain strong relationships with your clients and build your long-term career. Let’s look at just a few customer service skills to develop for a future career in the HVAC field.
Respect the Clients’ Home
The majority of jobs you’ll be working on will be in someone’s house or apartment. Though it’s a more relaxed environment than an office, remember that you’re a guest in their home. Ask the homeowners’ permission before sitting on any furniture, using their bathroom, etc. Make as little of a mess as possible and clean everything up before you leave. Your ultimate goal should be to make it appear that, except for the now-working air conditioning unit, there’s no evidence you were ever there.
Pro Tip: If you’re replacing a faulty unit, ask the homeowner what they’d like done with the old one. Some don’t mind if it sits in the yard before being hauled off, but some prefer to conceal it in the meantime.
Develop Courteous Communication Skills
How well do you communicate? Coming across as too rigid will make your customers wonder if you’re upset while being too friendly could make clients uncomfortable. Your job is to find the perfect balance. Professional speech and behavior is sure to spark confidence in your clients.
There are times, however, when you can and should be understanding. Remember, no client plans for an expensive repair such as a faulty air conditioning system. While your ultimate job is to analyze and fix the problem, you should also offer empathy to the customer as they plan to handle this issue. Work with them as best you can to fix their ventilation systems quickly and to their satisfaction.
Present a Professional Image
You might have the best empathy and communication skills in the world, but if you show up to a job in filthy clothes and leave trash around the house as you work, your customers will lose faith in you rather quickly. A huge part of customer service is presenting a professional image. Along with the professional behavior required for your job, make sure your work clothes and vehicle send the same message. Most of all, remember that actions speak louder than words. Even with professional behavior to back you up, your client is not likely to call you back or recommend you if they have to clean up a mess once you’re gone.
Developing Great Customer Service Skills
When dealing with a professional, such as an HVAC technician, clients expect a professional attitude and a regard for the customer. As an HVAC worker, demonstrating excellent customer service to your clients will leave an excellent impression on them and encourage them to call you again the next time their air conditioning breaks down. Your investment in bettering your professional image could earn you new customers and repeat jobs!
Join the conversation to learn more about great customer service in the HVAC world.
In your new career in the HVAC field, you’ll be learning as you go and establishing yourself as a trustworthy contractor. Of course, no one is perfect, and you’re likely to make mistakes along the way. However, there are a few key errors you should do your best to absolutely never make.
Common HVAC Mistakes
As you work to develop your HVAC job, you may find yourself uncertain about some decisions or aspects of your new career. First of all, remember that everyone makes mistakes. However, a few particularly unfortunate mistakes could cause problems for you in the long run. Consider these choices you should absolutely not make in your HVAC work:
- Don’t sell yourself short
- Don’t just focus on the HVAC mechanics
- Don’t rely on “rule of thumb”
1) Don’t Sell Yourself Short
In your early days of business, you won’t be able to charge especially high prices for your services. You’ll still be in the stage of proving yourself to your clients. However, don’t constantly underbid on a job. Remember, the cost of a job is your salary. Don’t feel obligated to bid an unreasonably low price or accept a terrible estimate.
2) Don’t Just Focus on the HVAC Mechanics
On the surface, your clients are hiring you to work on their HVAC units and fix a definite problem. Ultimately, they’re hiring you to enhance their comfort in their own house. If you fix a faulty air conditioning but fail to mention that a poorly done window is causing the cold air to leak out, your clients may face the same problem later. Make sure your clients know what other work may be necessary to completely fix their problem. As an added bonus, you may be able to do some of that work yourself, resulting in a bigger paycheck!
Pro Tip: Don’t try to fix a problem you didn’t study for. Offer to expand your project to include additional HVAC work, but don’t try to fix a client’s broken window.
3) Don’t Rely on “Rule of Thumb”
You’ll rarely encounter two identical homes or HVAC systems. While you may be tempted to rely on what you believe to be universal characteristics between different HVAC units, the truth is that you’ll be working on drastically different equipment almost every time. Study and learn about the myriads of unique HVAC systems and house layouts, not a “rule of thumb” that changes with every change to building styles.
Don’t Make These Common HVAC Mistakes!
There’s no way to predict what you’ll encounter in your new career or the decisions you’ll have to make. However, you can decide ahead of time to avoid these pitfalls when they show up. Don’t allow yourself to make these mistakes! Your new career will thank you.
Join the conversation to learn more about what to avoid as you start your new journey into the HVAC field.
In a culture that emphasizes college and a degree as the ultimate good, trade school education and blue-collar jobs get far less attention. But the truth is that a trade school education can provide just as excellent job opportunities as any form of education. By staying informed about less conventional job routes, such as HVAC careers, people entering the workforce can make a better decision about which form of education and work to pursue.
What to Expect from an HVAC Job
By its nature, an HVAC job doesn’t offer the same daily repetition that a more conventional job would. However, there are still several consistent things you can expect from beginning your new career in this industry. The most common include:
- Job security
- New challenges
- Varied work environments
- Regular customer interaction
1) Job Security
The vast majority of Americans have air conditioning and/or heating units in their homes. Particularly in Texas, those units get plenty of use. At any given point, hundreds of people will need repairs or maintenance on their HVAC systems. Even if the exact work and timing vary throughout the year, you can be confident knowing you’ll always have a steady source of work!
2) New Challenges
Each job will bring with it new challenges and new learning opportunities for you. Not only will your clients be happy when you get their cooling systems working again, but you’ll also be satisfied knowing you completed a task and did a good job. The problem-solving nature of an HVAC job lends itself to variety and high job satisfaction.
3) Varied Work Environments
For the most part, you’ll rarely spend two days working in the same workspace! Every day you’ll be somewhere new, meeting a new person, and working on a new HVAC system. This appeals to anyone who prefers a little variety in their life. You can always count on a new environment for your workday.
4) Regular Customer Interaction
HVAC jobs also include a hefty amount of customer interaction. You’ll talk to clients or potential clients pretty much every day as you work on jobs or schedule future work. In addition to the inherent variability of an HVAC job, you’ll also find yourself handling a variety of different people every day.
Pro Tip: Even if you’re working alone, customer service skills are critical to your success in the HVAC field. Make sure you know how to properly treat your clients!
HVAC: An Appealing Career Choice
The HVAC industry appeals to people who crave new challenges every day, varied work environments, and regular interactions with clients. You can rest assured that you’ll stay busy for a long time while enjoying no two identical workdays in your new HVAC career.
Join the conversation to see why others chose the HVAC route and see if the choice appeals to you.
Any business owner knows the importance of marketing and self-promotion to keep business coming in. Your HVAC business is no exception. As you begin your career, it’s time to start developing useful HVAC marketing strategies and methods to keep people interested in your services.
Promoting Your Business
To successfully get people interested in your HVAC skills, take advantage of the multiple advertising channels available to you. There are many ways to increase your business’s visibility and grant you a return on your investment. For the best results possible, try these proven advertising methods:
- Professional website
- HVAC postcards
- Seasonal advertising
- Follow-up system
1) Professional Website
Prospective customers often judge a business based on how professional (or sloppy) its website looks. Build an impressive website or hire an affordable marketing service to do it for you. The more polished and easy to use your website is, the more likely it is to impress your potential clients.
As you begin to accumulate glowing reviews, feature them prominently on your website (with the client’s permission). If possible, ask the client to elaborate on why they appreciated your help. Consumers trust other consumers to give honest reviews. By including plenty of positive online reviews, you’ll show yourself to be trustworthy and a great HVAC provider.
Pro Tip: Reviews that mention your business’s location and/or your name specifically are especially good for online visibility.
3) HVAC Postcards
Mail advertisements have existed almost as long as mail has, but they still bring in plenty of business. Design some colorful, eye-catching postcards to mail out in your local area. To further pique interest, consider offering a discount code or referral option on the cards. And don’t forget to feature your website address prominently.
4) Seasonal Advertising
By its nature, HVAC work is seasonal. However, that just means you already know the best times of year to promote your services. Remind people to replace their ACs in the summer and tune up their heating units in the winter. As customers realize a project they’d been putting off is suddenly becoming urgent, you’ll start hearing from more people. Take advantage of the seasonal nature of HVAC to earn more work for yourself!
5) Follow-Up System
Remember, very few customers hire you after only seeing one ad or visiting your website once. Continue making yourself visible to prospective clients through regular postcards, online ads, phone calls, or other marketing methods to keep your business in their minds. Your patience will pay off as you attract more people this way!
Generating Business through HVAC Marketing
The HVAC industry offers something truly useful to consumers. With an effective marketing plan and quality customer service, you’re certain to earn many clients’ trust and repeated business. Keep your HVAC website running and keep your ads new.
Connect with us to learn more about your new HVAC career and self-promotion for your small business.
Aspiring HVAC students must make sure they’re fulfilling every requirement for a proper Texas HVAC license. As a future HVAC technician, you can choose between two licenses: the Texas Air Conditioning License Class A or Class B, each with their own functions and permits. Depending on your preferences and expertise, one of these licenses will likely be the better choice for you.
In Texas, the primary difference between the two licenses is their scope of permitted work. A Class A license places no restrictions on the machines you can service, while a Class B license restricts your activities to cooling and heating systems that meet certain size or energy requirements. The tests for each license require different preparations and knowledge in order to pass.
TACLA vs. TACLB: Definitions
A Class A HVAC license in Texas allows you to work on a heating or cooling unit of any size or energy output. Meanwhile, a Class B license restricts your work to cooling systems up to 25 tons and heating systems with up to 1.5 million BTUs/hour. It’s important to note that a Class B license doesn’t restrict where you can offer services, just the type of machine. Plenty of HVAC technicians with Class B licenses still enjoy productive careers.
Requirements for Both Licenses
Regardless of which license you choose to pursue, both will require certain guidelines to be met:
- You must be at least 18 years old.
- You must register as an ACR technician. No testing is required at this point in the process.
- You must be able to provide proof of 3-4 years of professional experience shadowing an expert.
- You must apply to take the ACR certification exam.
- You must decide whether you would rather pursue a Class A or B license.
- You must take and pass the ACR exam, then use this skill to find a job in the HVAC field.
Pro Tip: If you don’t pass the initial HVAC licensing test, you have a year to continue trying. However, you’ll need to pay the exam fee of $115 every time you try again.
Preparing for the Test
If you’re pursuing a Class A license, you can expect a test with 120 questions and a time limit of 240 minutes (4 hours). For a Class B license, the test will consist of 100 questions and have a time limit of 180 minutes (3 hours). Both require a score of at least 70% to pass. While both license exams will have specialized questions for their specific applications, you can expect the same general topics on both, including but not limited to:
- Boiler systems
- Business and law
- HVAC systems
- Heating and cooling
- Equipment requirements
- Refrigeration systems and principles
- Pressure relief
Starting Your New Career
An HVAC career in Texas certainly has a positive outlook and high job security. Before you dive into your new career path, make sure you meet all the legal requirements and possess all the knowledge necessary for this job. With the proper contractor licenses, you’ll be ready to start working!
Connect with us to learn more about our HVAC classes and how to study for your upcoming license tests.