5 Telephone Customer Service Tips for HVACR Contractors
Originally published: 03.01.14 by Gere Jordan
Despite the growth of the Internet and social media, most people still contact HVACR companies by phone. That means no matter how awesome your website is or how many followers you have on Twitter, you need to get telephone customer service right in order to grow your business. Below are five tips that HVACR contractors can put into plce today in order to improve the level of customer service they deliver over the phone.
1. Make Sure Someone Answers.
This may seem obvious, but the number of contractors that simply fail to answer the phone is shocking. Before you can even think of landing new customers or impressing folks with your professionalism, you have to be there when they try to reach you. Solo contractors and small companies often use the excuse that they’re on jobs and are too busy to answer every call, but potential customers aren’t going to try calling you back. They’re going to move on to the next company.
2. Avoid Voicemail.
If number one got you thinking about ways to answer every call, it’s important to note that voicemail doesn’t count as a solution. It’s an improvement over simply having your phone ring continuously, but it’s a long way from being customer friendly. People want to speak to a live person. Answer every call yourself, hire a receptionist, use an answering service, or pay your son or daughter to man the phones - whatever you have to do to make sure potential customers hear a live voice.
3. Be Prepared to Handle Every Call.
Everyone has a frustrating call center story. You call a big company looking for help; they transfer you from one person to another until you eventually hang up. Surprisingly, calling smaller companies can be just as frustrating. Instead of being transferred all over the place, you’re stuck with one person who doesn’t know what they’re doing. To make callers happy, you need to understand their needs and be prepared to satisfy them while on the phone. Are most of your service customers calling to schedule an appointment? You better make sure your calendar is accessible wherever the phone is being answered. Make a list of the different requests you commonly receive and make sure you have a standard solution for each.
4. Answer the Phone Professionally.
Customers hate calling a business and receiving some generic, casual telephone greeting. You need to answer professionally in the name of your company, and the same greeting should be used every time.
5. Be the Person You Would Invite into Your Home.
Hiring an HVACR company isn’t like hiring someone to mow your lawn. Both involve someone providing a service at your residence, but only one needs to come inside. That requires more trust. Keep that in mind as you interact with customers over the phone. Ultimately, they are going to ask themselves a question before deciding to move forward: Do I trust them?
To gain trust over the phone, you need to be patient, polite, friendly, and knowledgeable. Ask questions about their problem in order to showcase your expertise. Say please and thank you. Don’t make it obvious you’re in a hurry. Make them feel comfortable and they’ll schedule a service call with you in no time.
Put these Tips to Use!
Now that you’ve read these telephone customer service tips, be sure to evaluate your current practices and look for ways to improve. Don’t be the HVACR company that loses business by not paying attention to the importance of telephone calls.