Preparation is Key
Originally published: 03.01.20 by Jodi Peter
It’s March and the calendar says it’s spring. But if you’re the owner or general manager of an air-conditioning business, summer is likely already on your mind. Air-conditioning companies make up to 70 percent of their profits during the summer months.
You’re undoubtedly working hard to find employees, review your business systems, and execute your marketing plan in advance of the most important 12 weeks for you this year. You know you need to grow revenue during this short window to make your goals for the year.
You know you need this summer to buildcustomer relationships and provide the customer service that makes a positive first and lasting impression. You know one misstep or unplanned event can have a tremendous impact on your ability to increase profit.
You also know the need to prepare for your busiest season doesn’t change from year to year. You’re aware that the time to prepare for summer is now, before customers start calling. Here are the top six areas to focus on ahead of time to ensure you maximize your earnings potential for the entire summer season.
In order to meet your profit goals, you need to make sure your services are priced correctly. Calculate your break-even and desired profit and figure out what you need to charge.
Your pricing needs to be strategic; it shouldn’t just be what you believe your market can bear, or a random dart on a dart board. Set realistic goals for the company and every revenue producer in your company.
Make sure you have a process in place to get the right technician to aged equipment calls; don’t forget to track the results! Properly trained techs know how to educate customers on all their available options, including replacement. They’re masters when it comes to explaining how customers could be overpaying utility companies by keeping a less efficient system running vs. replacement options. The details matter.
Review your entire installation process with your staff. Revisit the technician training your staff has had or still needs. Include a close look at your transfer process for handing off an installation from your salesperson to your install manager and driving next-day installs.
If you don’t have a good process, profits will suffer and customers will not be taken care of in a timely manner.
Hours of Operation
Before summer arrives, establish whether you’re going to extend your hours of operation and how you’re handling emergency service calls. Then make sure you have staff trained in customer service working the extended hours.
A good place to start is to skills-practice scenarios from call center training with anyone who may answer the phones during regular or extended hours. Customers should never feel like they are talking to your “B” team, no matter what time they call.
Fleet & Equipment
Nothing can stall a good summer season like having a truck break down. Make sure you have your entire fleet serviced ahead of time to prevent or fix any minor problems. Inspect your current equipment and make plans now to bring in any additional inventory or equipment you might need.
At the end of the day, the biggest key to a good summer is having the right people doing the right jobs. Quality technicians and installers have completely different jobs. Your job is to make sure your employees are in the right jobs so they can be successful.
If you take the time to focus on these six areas now, you’ll be well prepared for summer when the customers start calling!