Comfort FAQ

Over the course of 2010, this space has identified opportunities within customers' homes that you may not have observed in the past. Opportunities are based on a homeowner survey conducted by Decision Analyst, Inc.

Q: How can I make the Internet work more to my advantage in 2011?

A: You might be old enough to remember the time when the catalogs would arrive, and the whole family began looking through them for Christmas presents. I even remember the scissors that my sister and I would use to cut out our selections, and the cutouts pinned to my wall as I waited for Santa.

Catalogs have been replaced by the Internet. Everyone, from the six-year-old to the live-in grandparent, is on the Internet this time of year.

They find what they want, and those who want to know what it costs, and how it works find a site that gives them that information, too. The Internet has become a go-to site for many if not most shoppers.

What about your business? How is your website working for you? How are you using it with your customers to help build your relationship? How are you using it with the homeowner who is looking for your service?

In a research study conducted last July, Decision Analyst asked homeowners who had a recent HVAC service call, questions about the call. Half of the calls were to "fix" something, the other half were strictly maintenance. What we found continues to reinforce the fact that you're not doing all you need to do to build your company's name and presence. Looking strictly at those homes needing something fixed, we found four of 10 homeowners couldn't remember the name of the company that fixed their system!

If they don't remember you, how can they trust you? How can they trust your insights, your professionalism, your knowledge of the products and their installation, and your ethics?

Your website can go a long way in providing information to customers and prospects who are looking for you. This is December. Take a few minutes, go to your computer and ask a few questions:

  • Where do I find a furnace to buy?
  • What kind of checks can I do to make sure my furnace is running correctly?
  • Who are the heating contractors in my area?
  • What's a good way to heat and cool my house?

Now…who came up in the search? Why did they? Did you? If not, why didn't you? For more on this topic, visit http://bit.ly/uptoninternet

Garry Upton, of Decision Analyst, Inc., Arlington, TX, shares his interpretation of Decision Analyst’s American Home Comfort Study of homeowners, and explores what customers look for in HVAC contractors. To learn more about this study, or to purchase it, contact Garry at [email protected].

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