Are you planning to hire an HVAC company? You’re not hiring one for fun. After all, new AC units or furnaces can be expensive and getting them installed (and working) is not on anyone’s list of favorite things to do this weekend. Whether you’re hiring someone for the first time or calling in to have them fix that unit another installer did a patch job on, here are 10 things you need to keep in mind when trying to find the right HVAC company for you:
1. Their online presence.
Do they have a Google My Business profile? What does their website look like? Do they provide enough details and make it easy for you to contact with one click? HVAC contractors might say “Well, we’re not an IT business. We don’t need a website to be beautiful.” and they’d be in the right, but there’s a difference between beautiful and functional. Things move fast online and some web design practices have been left behind for a reason (remember pop-up ads?). As a customer, would you trust a contractor that can’t be bothered to upgrade their website? After all, what if it’s the same case with their work or tools? Thanks but no thanks, on to the next company!
2. Their social media behavior.
On one hand, it’s not surprising that some HVAC contractors spend more time on their social media profiles than their website. Social media is more accessible, it brings immediate feedback, and allows them to form relationships with customers and tradespeople alike. But if you’re looking for the right contractor to allow into your house, a closer look at their profiles should not bring up disrespectful comments addressed to competitors or snarky answers to customer feedback. Any HVAC business owner or manager worth their salt should know how to respond to negative reviews or risk alienating customers even more.
3. Their booking system.
Remember when we said that an HVAC contractor’s website has to be functional? Well, online booking is a big part of that functionality. You’re very much used to it by now because that’s how pretty much any other booking process works. After all, when was the last time you called a hotel to reserve a room? Most likely, you did all that online with plenty of time to spare in order to check your calendar and make sure that’s really when you want to go on holiday. Therefore, an online booking portal will make your life that much easier.
4. After step 3, do you receive any notifications or booking confirmation via email/text from the company you hire for HVAC?
You should! After all, it’s simply a best practice nowadays (especially when booking online), to confirm that the appointment request was acknowledged and approved. HVAC companies that really know what they’re doing will also add a Google Calendar link so you can add it to your schedule automatically, letting you rest assured you won’t forget about it. It’s good for the contractors too, as they have to deal with fewer no-entry situations.
5. Before the appointment, do you receive any reminders/personalized communication?
Same as with an appointment confirmation, these reminders are a must. Whether it’s a recurring check-up or a booking you’ve made yourself, service reminders are a good way for contractors to optimize their schedule and as a means for you to make sure you’re available. Additionally, regular maintenance checks can significantly increase the lifespan of your appliances so being reminded of an upcoming one is all the more valuable.
6. Do they give you peace of mind?
Do they send you a technician tracking link when your tech is on the way? Does it come with a photo and a short description? These are all things you should check, for your own safety. After all, you or a member of your family will be letting a stranger into your home so it’s understandable to expect that the company you hire for HVAC will do everything they can to guarantee your safety and security.
7. When the tech arrives, can you receive an estimate on the spot and approve it with a digital signature? Or do you have to wait until next time?
If this happens, it’s the perfect occasion to check out the competition and see if they can get it done faster. On-the-spot estimates should be standard in the HVAC industry by now rather than a way for a company to string you along until they have another free time slot when the job could’ve been done from the get-go. It’s normal, as a customer, to request an estimate in order to get an idea of what bill you’re looking at. A professional HVAC contractor will present you with a couple of options (Budget, Average, Expensive) then let you choose the service you prefer. This way, you don’t have to deal with a pricey surprise at the end of the job and they don’t have the hassle of a contested invoice.
8. How quickly do you receive an invoice after the job is done and is it the correct one?
The moment of truth, right? Well, if you hire an HVAC contractor who was aware of the previous point, you already know what to look for but mistakes do happen and often. Always check that your invoice is correct and it has a parts & work breakdown so you know what you’re paying for. When you hire an HVAC company that is great, they will be using a CRM software to automatically send invoices when work orders are marked as done. This way, they make sure that you don’t get someone else’s 10k job and suffer a minor stroke and their accountant doesn’t hate them.
9. Do you receive a feedback request from your hired HVAC contractor?
You always go back and Google your contractor then leave them a review and a star rating, same as you always leave an Amazon review and offer feedback to your Uber driver, right? No? Then no wonder many HVAC companies struggle with getting online reviews. The reason why you’re more likely to leave an Amazon or Uber review is that they ask you to (and repeatedly). Leaving a review is an opportunity for you to recognize both good work and a reliable company. However, if they never ask you, the chances are that you’ll put it off and never get around to it. While this isn’t a make-or-break decision when it comes to choosing a contractor, it does go toward proving they’re interested in knowing what customers want and are looking for ways to improve their service.
10. Do they offer recurring service contracts?
We’ve touched upon this during point 5, but a recurring service contract deserves its own mention. This is something you should always check first before you hire an HVAC contractor: do they offer recurring services and, if so, how do they uphold their service level agreements?
At the end of the day, recurring service contracts are an easy way for contractors to spread out jobs over the slow season and give you a better chance of receiving high-quality services, or even a discount for signing on to what is basically an HVAC subscription. Some companies even offer 24/7 emergency appointments or are able to guarantee a technician on the scene in 3-4 hours and, depending on the type of appliances you own or manage, this can make the difference between a quick job and a troublesome one.
All in all, these are some of the things you should keep an eye out for if you want to hire the best HVAC contractor around, particularly one that has invested in automated HVAC technology that will put you – the customer – at the forefront of their operations. They’re a good indicator of which will provide the best customer experience. These will also leave you looking forward to working with them again. Click this link to schedule your service call online!