How to Build Customer Relationships in HVAC
April 13, 2023
Building customer loyalty starts with creating a trusted, personal connection to customers. But evolving technology has changed how contractors and customers interact, oftentimes removing the key face-to-face moments that prompt those personal connections.
In the age of ever-changing technology, here’s how contractors can continue build customer relationships to grow their business and increase customer loyalty.
How Tech Has Changed the Contractor-Customer Relationship
In the past, contractors would gather around a homeowner’s kitchen table to discuss their HVAC needs and solutions. These conversations instilled trust in homeowners that contractors were knowledgeable about the industry and could install and service equipment with skill.
On the customer side, the internet has enabled homeowners to do their own research and select the equipment they want before contractors walk through the door. Even scheduling an appointment has become impersonal, as it’s now done with a quick click of a button online.
Although technology has brought many innovations to the industry, developing customer relationships is still key to business success. Contractors who want to build a thriving HVAC company need to take the time to build those relationships. You can’t grow a business without customers, after all.
“We sell heating and air conditioning equipment, but at the end of the day, it’s all about relationships,” says Rheem Regional Sales Manager Dennis Tisch. “And if you don’t have strong relationships, then the rest of it just goes to the wayside.”
How to Build Customer Relationships
Now that you understand how the contractor-customer relationship has changed, let’s explore how to build on it. Try these strategies to build loyal customer relationships in the technology age.
Act like a business partner.
Homeowners know their home best, but you know the trade. Customers are looking for an educated HVAC partner to help find the best solution for their home. Approaching conversations with a partnership mindset can not only meet their expectations but also shows that you are invested in their home comfort, care and can be trusted to the job.
Lead with care.
“At Rheem, even the quality of our equipment is because people care and that people are treated with respect,” Tisch says. “And that shows up in everything we put together, whether that’s with marketing materials or what we build and sell. There really is a genuine feeling that your cared for.”
You can’t cultivate a relationship with anyone if you don’t communicate with them. Creating regular touchpoints with customers by phone, email and even social media to check in can help keep you—and their HVAC system—top of mind.
For example, consider sending homeowners maintenance reminders before the busy heating and cooling seasons. Then, about a week after the maintenance call, reach back out to homeowners to ensure that their systems are working properly and their homes are comfortable.
Your customers are key to business success, but they are people just like you. Making conversation outside of HVAC can give a human face to your business, create connections to customers on a human level and build trust.
You may have a busy service call schedule, but to customers, you are the only HVAC contractor coming through the door that day. Take the time to talk with them, understand their needs and discuss solutions so that they felt heard and valued.
Like any relationship, developing a trusted partnership with customers takes work. But when you put in the effort, you will build customer loyalty, and your business will be rewarded.
Check out Rheem.com/HVACKnowZone for more HVAC business and industry resources.