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10 Summer Sales and Preparedness Tips for HVAC Service Techs

June 14, 2024
FROM A LEADING HVACR DISTRIBUTOR: Strategies to make more service calls, increase first-time fix rates and raise profitability.

As the mercury rises and the demand for cooling solutions escalates, HVAC service technicians are gearing up for their busiest season of the year. However, amidst the flurry of service calls and the pressure to maintain profitability, navigating the summer heat wave season can be daunting. It's a time when factors like labor shortages, parts availability, and heightened competition come into play, making it crucial for technicians to be armed with the right strategies.

Below are into ten indispensable tips for HVAC service techs as they work through the summer onslaught. From optimizing service calls to enhancing first-time fix rates and boosting profitability, these strategies offer a pathway to success in the sweltering months of summer.

1)  Have a clear and robust tune-up offering –Sure, there are do-it-yourselfers out there, but most customers prefer to trust a professional to prepare their HVAC for the warm summer months. However, it may not always be top of mind. Be sure to have a clear outline of your tune-up services and the resulting benefits – and have a plan to effectively market to your customer database and through local marketing vehicles like Valpak. As you know, beyond what you’ll earn on the actual tune-up, the visit can also lead to additional revenue for needed fixes or preventative maintenance identified through the process. It also provides an opportunity to further develop customer relationships and loyalty.

2) Develop a training plan – New government regulations regarding manufacturing and energy efficiency of HVAC equipment are changing the game. Be sure to have a plan so that you and your team are familiar with the latest on new equipment installation. Also, stay up to date on equipment reviews and star ratings. Some new, energy-efficient equipment is being rushed to market by manufacturers without rigorous-enough testing. This will help you build trust with customers by recommending only the best equipment and also potentially recommending to repair existing equipment vs. replacing it at a time when the manufacturer market is adjusting to the regulations.

3) Repair vs. replace – Due to inflation, many of your customers may be considering whether to repair or replace failing equipment. Be prepared to have this conversation, because in many cases, it may be more advantageous to repair using genuine Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) replacement parts. If this can be a workable solution in your view, you could be a hero for saving your customer thousands of dollars.

4) Educate your customers on the value of OEM parts – OEM parts are built and tested by the manufacturer and are safe, reliable, efficient and warranty protected. OEM parts are configured with the right materials to fit factory specifications for an HVAC equipment model. Adjustments are made to OEM parts by the manufacturer to meet the high standards required to keep equipment running safely, reliably and efficiently for longer. Manufacturers test their parts based on the way equipment works in real life, and this thorough testing of OEM parts guarantees their quality.

An original component manufacturer (OCM) or generic part doesn’t get that kind of care and attention and these parts just aren’t tested the same way as OEM. Generic parts are known to fail quicker, causing a lot of wear and tear on equipment. Build trust with your customers by recommending using genuine OEM parts.

5) Stock up on high demand parts before it becomes more difficult to get them – Motors, fans and the parts related to them are in high demand year-after-year. Think about securing some extra inventory of these commonly replaced parts early in the season before you run into any potential shortages.

6) Have a strategy to secure parts fast – Though securing high demand parts ahead of time can be a good strategy, it can also get expensive to keep surplus parts inventory on hand. This is why it’s important to know about options for fast parts delivery when needed. Some services deliver parts to you or your customer’s doorstep in two hours and/or offer guaranteed same-day delivery. This can mean less wasted time driving to a parts location and more time to increase your service calls per week without increasing hours worked.

7) Know before you go – If you do need to visit a parts store, work with a service that allows you to order ahead and pick up within the hour guaranteed. This is perfect for fixes that need to happen immediately, and time is money. 

8) Coordinate with dispatch – Make sure dispatch (or your company’s call center) is asking the right questions as service call requests come in. If you know the equipment manufacturer, model number and the symptom/nature of the problem, it’s easier for you to determine the parts needed for the repair, based on your experience.

9) Check out new tech – There are also new parts predictor tech tools to make diagnosing a snap. Right from your phone or laptop, after you enter the equipment manufacturer, model number and problem, the best tools can predict needed replacement parts with incredible accuracy – and allow you to order the right parts on the spot. Be sure the tool you use is drawing on years of real-world data based on fixes of identical equipment. This will help you have the right parts in the truck for each job, or delivered to the job fast, in order to increase your first-time fix rate, equipment uptime and save you time.

10) Think through the labor aspect – It’s no secret that there’s a service tech labor shortage and that’s strained even further by new training requirements as new, high-efficiency equipment is introduced. It’s hard to find people with all the skills to make your business successful and earn customer loyalty and word of mouth. Whether you’re a one-person band or managing a team, think about how to do more with less.

As summer approaches and HVAC systems strain under the weight of escalating temperatures, service technicians stand at the frontline of maintaining comfort and functionality for countless homes and businesses. These tips serve as a beacon of guidance, illuminating the path towards efficiency, reliability, and profitability in the face of seasonal challenges.

By embracing clear tune-up offerings, staying abreast of industry regulations, and prioritizing genuine OEM parts, technicians can not only streamline operations but also foster trust and loyalty among their clientele. In a landscape where time is money and customer satisfaction reigns supreme, these strategies pave the way for a successful and rewarding summer season—one where service calls flourish, first-time fix rates soar, and businesses thrive amidst the heat wave frenzy.

John Warpinski is Director of Customer Partnerships for Parts Town.
About the Author

John Warpinski | Director of Customer Partnerships

John Warpinski is Director of Customer Partnerships for Parts Town.