HVAC Customer Service Nightmares: Revisited

We've all heard about HVAC customer service nightmares (hopefully not from our own customers). Our dealers often hear the horror stories from other business' disgruntled customers looking for a better experience with field service.

To bring light to better business practices, here's my advice on these HVAC nightmare scenarios:

Nightmare: A customer calls the HVAC company to fix a minor problem. When the technician arrives to look at the unit, the minor problem is misdiagnosed, costing the customer both time and money, and leaving them with a broken unit.

The solution: As a standard process, do a whole-home analysis. Listen to the customer's concerns and needs. Diagnose like a doctor - only after having practiced active listening with the customer. And if you're unfamiliar with how the system operates or see new problems you don't know how to treat, get additional training.

Nightmare: It's 110 degrees in Arizona and a contractor takes nearly a week to finish repairs that will restore a family's unit to proper working order.

The solution: Never make the customer wait more than 24 hours for emergency service. It's one of the biggest complaints, yet so many companies fail to follow through due to dispatching, over-booking, or communication issues. Create a timing policy and stick to it. If you truly offer 24-hour emergency service, be sure to accommodate that promise with extra staffing and time built in as needed.

How would you have dealt with these HVAC customer service nightmares?

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