In the HVAC industry, customer service is a huge factor in success. It’s not enough to have highly trained technicians if they lack customer service skills. In this era of online reviews and instant feedback, workers must know how to treat customers.
The Importance of the Customer Service Experience
The customer service experience starts with the initial contact and lasts days or weeks after the repair. It encompasses every interaction between the customer and your company, from the technical work done to the conversation before and after the repair. Here are some proven ways to provide an exceptional customer service experience:
No matter what the job or pay scale, employees should conduct themselves with the utmost professionalism. Conversation with customers should be personable but not personal. Attire should be neat, and employees should be clean and put together.
Go Above & Beyond
The bare minimum should never be accepted as adequate. In today’s competitive market, it simply won’t cut it. From the persona answering the phone and setting appointments to the field technicians and management calling to gauge customer satisfaction after the fact, every person involved should be warm and professional, and able to handle any issues.
Regular reviews should already be part of your employee advancement strategy, but integrating customer feedback can enhance the process tremendously. Discuss any negative feedback employees have received and create a plan or recommend training to address these issues. Use this feedback as a learning tool to ensure that even perceived failures become lessons.
Providing exceptional customer service every time requires vigilance and consistency. Everyone should be doing an exceptional job every day. Any deviations from expected performance should be addressed quickly and uniformly. Regular training should be a priority to make it clear to employees that the customer experience is as important as the technical job.
Contact Us to learn more about training HVAC technicians to value the customer expereince.
HVAC training serves at an important foundation to your HVAC career. It teaches you the basic repair and installation methods, terminology, tools, and best practices. However, with rapid advances in technology, it’s important to continue your education and strive to learn more.
HVAC Certification vs. Training
Becoming a state-certified HVAC technician isn’t a substitute for good training, just as training is not the same as being certified. Think of your training diploma as graduating, and your certification as graduating with honors. It’s that distinction that will set you apart.
Becoming state-certified conveys a level of expertise that HVAC training courses alone can’t offer. This also offers employers and customers peace of mind, and can be a real benefit to business.
In addition to establishing your expertise, state certification shows a clear intent to better yourself and advance your skills. This can mean a lot to employers and shows that you’re in it for the long haul.
Once you’ve received training and become certified, your potential is limitless. This shows potential employers that you’re going places, and they should offer upward mobility if they want to keep you. There should always be opportunities for advancement when someone has shown a desire to grow.
The Right Balance
Like most things in life, it’s important to maintain an appropriate balance when it comes to education, experience, and certifications. This is why most professional certifications require a certain amount of experience and education and may require recertification.
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A career in heating and air conditioning is a sure bet. It’s one service that people can’t live without, and will prioritize to repair when inoperable. That provides a level of job security that’s hard to come by.
First Steps to Getting the HVAC Job
The job hunt is your first step in getting a job in the HVAC industry. Your resume should be concise, free of grammatical errors and easy to read. Many technicians are under the impression that they don’t need a resume, but it establishes a level of professionalism that’s hard to ignore. It’s also a good place to emphasize any special teaching methods you’ve learned that set you apart.
Research the Company
So you got an interview. What now? To help impress your potential employer, do a little research about their company to help you prepare. Browse the company’s website and check out their mission statement, and overall atmosphere. To get a better understanding of what will be expected of you, focus on the specific services the company offers. When interviewing, make sure you mention your experience and how it relates to these services.
Have Everything Ready
During the interview, you’ll probably be asked to prove some relevant paperwork. Depending on the organization, this could include anything from a resume, diploma, or training certification to personal and professional references. When you are contacted to set up the interview, don’t be afraid to ask for a list of documents to bring. In addition to this paperwork, also bring along a pen and paper to jot down notes, and any questions you might have for your interviewer.
Dress the Part
Most HVAC companies have a fairly casual dress code, but that doesn’t mean you should show up to work in jeans and a t-shirt. Dress to impress, in order to make it clear that you’re serious about the position. Usually, a nice pair of khakis and a tucked-in button-up shirt will do. Avoid loud color or prints, and try to cover up any tattoos. If you have facial piercings, remove them or cover them with a skin-colored bandage.
A Little Humility Goes a Long Way
Even if you think of yourself as an expert, don’t bring that attitude into the interview. Your skills will speak for themselves when the time comes. Be humble and confident, but never cocky.
Your Best Foot Forward
Once you’ve aced the interview, wait a day or two before you email the interviewer to thank them for their time. This reminds them of the interview and may prompt a decision. Don’t be pushy, but grateful for their time and consideration. If you find out that they went with another candidate, react with understanding. It’s important not to burn a bridge you may need to cross one day!
Contact Us to learn more about what skills can set you apart on the job hunt.
When you’re hiring a new HVAC technician, it easy to fall into the “Well, we can train them” trap. When you need help, sometimes that need clouds your good judgment. That can result in hiring someone that needs more experience or training than you have time for. With a little patience, you can find the perfect HVAC technician to join your team.
Building Your HVAC Technician Job Description
When you’re drafting your job description, you need to be as specific as possible. ‘Experienced HVAC Technician” means different things to different people. How much experience? What kind of experience? If there’s a specific certification or reputable teaching method you’d prefer your candidates to have, don’t be shy about conveying that in the job description.
Do not write a description of the job you hope it will be. Write an honest job description of exactly what the expectations are and what you can offer. For example, your company might have a truck, but will a new employee actually be able to rely on that for transportation? If not, don’t include that in the description.
A job description is your chance to convey exactly what you need. Think of it as a checklist to the perfect candidate. If someone reading it doesn’t have the right skills, they won’t apply. However, it’s up to you to clearly define what skills you’re looking for, and what level of ability you expect.
Outline Daily Duties
Employees like to know what their day-to-day will look like. Scheduling is an important part of the job description, so be sure to include a general idea of what their day will look like. Try to offer a rough idea of how many service calls they’ll be responding to daily, and what the general hours are (especially if they’ll be on call).
Finding the Right Candidate
Drafting a good job description is the first step to finding the right candidate. Unclear requirements or job expectations will leave you vulnerable to new employees who may lack the skills or discipline to do the job properly.
Contact Us to learn more about finding the right HVAC technician to join your team.
One of the top reasons customers stop using a service company or contractor is employee indifference. If a customer feels disrespected, uncomfortable or ignored by their HVAC technician, chances are good that they’ll go with another company next time. This is why the right employee can make or break your business.
Hiring the Right HVAC Technician
Hiring for such a technical position means that many of the skills needed can be taught to an employee who is willing to learn. What can’t be taught is a positive attitude and a desire to work for the good of the team. Here are 5 tips to help you find the right HVAC technician:
1) Develop a Clear Job Description
How can you expect a potential employee to get the job done if you’re not even sure what the job is?! In order to find the right person for the job, you need to develop a clear picture of exactly what the job responsibilities will be. The job description is essentially a blueprint for the type of person you’re looking for, and will also help eliminate candidates that would not be a good fit.
2) Determine Experience Level Needed
There is much debate in the HVAC industry about desirable experience level. Some would argue that years of experience make for a better-trained employee. However, the consensus seems to be that you can’t teach old dogs new tricks. A veteran technician will come with experience, but may also bring along bad habits and a lack of ambition. The sweet spot is an HVAC technician that has received training classes but is still fresh enough to be molded into the kind of employee that you need.
3) Ensure Legal Compliance
Be sure the HVAC technician you’re considering has been certified and properly trained. Each state is different but might require a specific license for HVAC repair. Proper training and state certification will ensure that your technician understands how to install HVAC systems correctly according to building codes.
4) Check Background & References
So you met a great candidate and you feel good about them joining the team. Do you hire them on the spot? NO! This is business, and sometimes your gut instincts will be wrong. Always check the criminal background and references for potential employees. This may save you from being unpleasantly surprised down the road. If you’re unsure of how to get an unbiased opinion from former employers, the best way is to ask the applicant rate themselves and then ask the previous employer to agree or disagree with their rating.
5) Consider a Probationary Period
A probationary period can be very beneficial to both the technician and the management. This period (often 3 months) allows for initial training and on-the-job experience, with no commitment from either party. This allows you to see how they interact with customers, what their work ethic is like in real life, and how much they still need to learn.
Your Most Valuable Asset
Once you’ve gotten through the gauntlet and hired a great employee, focus on making their experience at your company the best it can be. Don’t give them a reason to leave or seek out better opportunities. Offering a positive work environment, upward mobility and attractive perks can make a new employee your most valuable asset.
Contact Us to learn more about hiring the right technician, or read our most frequently asked questions for more information about proper HVAC training.