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    Field Practices & Digital Innovations to Manage COVID-19 Issues

    Nov. 23, 2020
    It is safe to assume that the safety protocols adopted by HVACR professionals will need to remain in place for the foreseeable future and perhaps permanently.

    The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound effect on many industries that make up the US economy. Due to the unique dangers the virus poses, many businesses have chosen to reimagine how they interact with customers. And given the nature of the work, this has been especially true for the HVACR industry.

    Most experts expect the public health emergency to linger well into 2021, so it is safe to assume that the safety protocols adopted by HVACR professionals, such as contactless and mobile technology, will need to remain in place for the foreseeable future and perhaps permanently. 

    By respecting the concerns of a nervous public, businesses that adapt to the pandemic's reality cannot only help keep their customers and employees safe, but build trust with the communities they operate in long after the danger of COVID-19 passes. 

    But this changing approach is best seen as an opportunity for HVACR companies looking to expand their customer base. By respecting the concerns of a nervous public, businesses that adapt to the pandemic's reality cannot only help keep their customers and employees safe, but build trust with the communities they operate in long after the danger of COVID-19 passes. 

    Based on the experiences of HVACR companies across the country, here are some of the best precautionary measures your business can put in place:

    1. Daily sanitizing of equipment.
    2. Providing technicians with the right cleaning supplies, such as hand sanitizers, disinfectant sprays, and wipes.
    3. Providing proper PPE such as masks, gloves, and booties.
    4. Creating efficient ways that minimize contact for your technicians to receive the supplies and tools they will need for the day.
    5. Holding meetings virtually or in a location that allows for proper social distancing.
    6. Set a policy that employees are required to notify their supervisors if they are displaying COVID-19 symptoms.

    Contactless and mobile-based systems to facilitate communication and billing with clients will be the standard in the future. For your business to be seen as safety-conscious, the following contactless capabilities should be integrated into your customer service processes:

    1. Having the ability to send estimates via email or text message.
    2. Being equipped to accept payments via website, mobile app, or email/text message. For less tech-savvy customers, phone payments may be necessary, such as Venmo.
    3. A system for sending digital invoices and receipts to customers. 

    Interestingly, contactless estimates, payments, and receipts are seen as more convenient for customers than previous methods and are likely to remain in place after the danger of COVID-19 has passed. 

    By undertaking the steps above, your company creates a culture of safety and helps your technicians adopt the necessary mindset to interact with customers. And when the time comes for an employee to enter a customer's property, it is imperative that they take the following precautions: 

    1. Before arriving at a job site, check with the dispatch team to determine if the customer has any special requirements for entering their home or business. For example, some locations may require temperature checks upon arrival.
    2. Maintain proper use of PPE, regardless of what others at the site may be doing.
    3. Ensure that everyone on your team observes social distancing of 6 feet or more.
    4. Be equipped to take contactless payments and provide electronic invoicing.
    5. When leaving a site, discard any used gloves or masks, sanitize any used tools, and wash hands before entering a vehicle.

    With the right forethought, precautions and technology in place, your team can ensure the safety of the people who need your services. By integrating these protocols into your company's daily routine, you can substantially reduce the risk posed to your employees, as well as the customers they serve.

    NOTE: See our Q&A with Josh Smith of Scorpion here.

    Louie Luepke is a marketing manager on the Home Services team at Scorpion. Prior to Scorpion he held a sales and marketing director role at a cleaning and restoration company, spent time as a technician and a BMS project manager at a prominent commercial HVAC company, and worked for a plumbing and construction company. While he loves all of the trades, HVAC has a special place in his  heart as his father has been working in the commercial HVAC field for over 30 years. He loves getting to take the hands on experience he has in these fields and using those skills in his current role to help his clients achieve their goals.

    About Scorpion
    Scorpion is a premium provider of marketing and technology solutions for the home services industry. As a partner for business owners, Scorpion delivers a better way through honest guidance, effective strategies, and award-winning growth technology for clients who need a clear path forward. To learn more, visit ScorpionHomeServices.com.