HVAC Industry Problem: Undetected Repair Problems

25% of HVAC systems have Undetected performance issues without you knowing or feeling it.

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Are HVAC sleeping giants waiting to break?  Or are technicians just taking advantage of customers?

This topic hits straight to the heart of what the boots on the ground in our industry face on on a day to day basis.  Technicians have the unique opportunity to be perceived by customers as either a blessing or a curse.  Sometimes a bit of both.  

Ask any technician.  Each have their own 'war story'.  Customers too.  It seems everyone I know has a horror story about a contractor they have worked with in the past.  Poor workmanship. Dishonesty.  Overpricing are just a few.  These are the kind of scandals that force HVAC technicians to end up on NBC Dateline year after year.  This often times creates conflict in the client relationship and effects sales, value, and self worth. 

Entouch Controls brings up a unique statistic that contains both promise and the possibility of inflaming customers  

25% of HVAC systems have performance issues that go unnoticed.

Many times technicians especially on days where the weather is exceedingly hot or cold.  We show up and fix a problem with relative ease for a lower cost and the customer is on cloud nine.  We are lauded with praise and thanksgiving for the hard work.  We get an extra spring in our step for helping a little old lady and got paid to do it.  Pretty amazing but then there are those times where our recommendations fall on deaf ears.  Things we believe that are in the best interest of safety or efficiency, code compliance etc that ought to be performed are not accepted.  To go a little further the above quote states that some "25 % of systems have performance issues where the customer does not even know it or feel it.  That should put us on edge.  "Well, it feels just fine".  "Don't fix what aint broke".  This is where the angst can come from.

Collectively you can feel home owners shaking their head saying 'of course you're just trying to charge me more money'.  On the other end a collective nodding is happening from technicians who see issue after issue spring up that could be preventable by proper maintenance etc.  What should we do then?  We are in a natural condition where we are potentially in conflict with the paying customer.  How do we walk through this?  How do we still come out the hero?  The answer is a process NOT a slick salesie pitch or technique but first a little truth.

TRUTH: Sometimes you're just not going to be the hero.  Something breaks(on accident) as me some other time about porcelain dolls falling during an installation.  OR They had a bad day.  Don't sweat it.  Learn and move forward.  

Still there is work to do.  How do you master these scenarios where you can provide the best service and come out profitably?  Better yet how do we prevent these scenarios from occurring?

Provide Regular maintenance with the Relationship in mind - 2 or 3 times annually.  This grows the relationship.  Maintenance is NOT just a time to clean and check the system but to also create common ground and context with your customers.  People do business with those they like.  We should be offering maintenance during repair calls and installations.  You may feel like a hero for giving a repair to the little old lady but if you had provided maintenance you may have prevented the problem to begin with.  Also,  'new' equipment needs maintenance as well.   We should be offering maintenance to every customer every time.  Maintenance well executed is the lifeblood of the service side of HVAC.

IF YOU ARE A TECHNICIAN TELL US HOW YOU WORK THROUGH SITUATIONS LIKE THESE.

Statistic comes from the following article:

Reduce Energy Costs and Extend the Life of HVAC with Analytics November 26, 2013

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