Remote technologies offer a win-win for customers and contractors
By George TsintzourasHPAC General HVAC Systems diagnostics
Much like GPS or smart thermostats, remote A/C diagnostics and air conditioning monitoring systems belong in every technician's truck.
We know providing excellent customer service makes perfect business sense. You treat your customers well and they call you the next time their air conditioning needs servicing or when they are considering a new purchase. While providing high quality customer service to encourage repeat business is fundamental to success, the way we provide this kind of service is changing.
More and more HVAC technicians are retiring. Attracting and recruiting talent with the experience you need is time-consuming. This is especially true when trying to keep up with service demands, run a business, and retain happy customers. Additionally, some HVAC business owners might be thinking about hanging up their manifold gauges and retiring, as well.
When it comes time to sell the business, the number of service agreements that it holds is key to determining the business’ value. As reported in The Globe and Mail, the acquisition of Enercare by Brookfield in 2018 was motivated, in part, by Enercare’s broad customer base.
The industry needs a solution to help HVAC businesses offer improved customer service, to manage the shortage of technicians and to increase the resale value of their business. This solution can be remote A/C monitoring.
HOW DOES THIS TECHNOLOGY BENEFIT YOU AND YOUR CUSTOMERS?
The first benefit of remote A/C diagnostics is reduced call backs. When a customer’s condenser unit shuts down, the HVAC technician is relying on that customer to describe the problem. Often, this means the service tech is in the dark about the cause of the service interruption. But when the A/C unit is connected to an air conditioning monitoring system, the tech has a remote historical record of readings for liquid line pressure or power consumption, for example. This data allows the tech to start diagnosing the problem before he arrives on site. The right technician with the right supplies can likely complete the service call in one visit. An HVAC business can also ensure that they are making the best use of their technicians’ skills, especially as the number of more experienced techs decreases. Reducing call backs (and truck rolls) also provides a better service experience for your customers.
The second benefit is increased customer satisfaction. In the previous scenario, the technician played a passive role; he waited for the customer to tell him there was a problem. Not only does the customer have to tell their HVAC service provider about the problem, they have to endure a hot house. By the time the service tech arrives on site, a lot of customer goodwill has already been lost.
However, remote A/C diagnostics show the contractor the trends in A/C performance and the A/C monitoring system sends alerts to his/her phone when there is an urgent problem. The customer service experience is greatly improved because the contractor is the one who knows about the problem first. Increased customer satisfaction leads to increased retention and referrals which can lead to more service agreements.
The third benefit of remote A/C diagnostic solutions is the potential for increased sales. The HVAC businesses that are the first to offer new technology have a competitive advantage. As consumers connect more devices to their homes, they look for contractors who can provide technology solutions and make their homes more efficient. Contractors who offer bundled products and services can create new sales growth opportunities with new and existing maintenance contracts.
OUT-OF-THE BOX SOLUTIONS
Although remote A/C diagnostics technology is fairly new in the HVAC marketplace, there are already out-of-the box solutions providing contractors across North America with new business opportunities and growth. Much like GPS or smart thermostats, remote A/C diagnostics and air conditioning monitoring systems will be available in every technician’s truck in the near future. Investing the time to learn more about this important technology could greatly benefit your HVAC business.
Providing smart A/C monitoring solutions to your customers can increase customer retention and sales, improve operational efficiency for your business, and make it easier to service your customers effectively on the first visit. It is a cool way to keep your customers cool, which sounds like a win-win.