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The Secret to the Best HVACR Partner Programs? Listening to Customers.

June 21, 2024
Top partner programs listen first, then act to meet the needs of the distributors, contractors, and homeowners they serve.

Manufacturers of HVACR products are finding that their partner programs need to change with the desires of their customers and advances in technology. If you think about it, distributors, contractors, and homeowners all need different types of information from manufacturers, and they deserve to be able to access it easily through user-friendly technology and in clear language (read: no jargon). On-trend manufacturers are taking note so that they can reevaluate and reintroduce their partner programs with the ultimate goal of better serving their customers.

So, what is the first actionable step manufacturers should take? Wrong question. First, they must only listen. The best HVACR partner programs take the time to hear feedback from their customers—the good and the bad. Then, they spring into action, using what they have learned to deliver improved services and offerings.

Flexibility and Adaptability

Will Barber, customer programs lead for Bosch Home Comfort USA, has been tasked with reintroducing a partner program to accommodate all the company’s customers. “Our primary aim was to create a program with flexibility and adaptability — something unique in the HVACR business,” Barber explains.

Bosch is listening to its customers and incorporating their feedback into future decisions. “We started planning some fairly aggressive new program features that various customers have asked for,” Barber continued. “We’re going to roll those out over the months and years ahead. This included changes and updates to our EasyAir app.”

The Bosch EasyAir App — available on the Apple Store or Google Play — was designed with both homeowners and contractors in mind. All functions are available from a mobile device in real time. Multiple products are integrated with EasyAir, and as more Bosch products with 5G capability are released, they will be added to the EasyAir network as well.

The app provides easy registration for all Bosch HVACR products. Homeowners or technicians scan the serial code from the unit by using the camera on a mobile device, and the app then auto-populates the information. Homeowners can easily monitor energy usage, receive critical alerts, and control a smart thermostat program from their phone. They can also easily access their contractor’s phone number in an emergency.

Homeowner data is also available to the contractor. Plus, the app helps the contractor install, monitor, and troubleshoot Bosch-connected HVACR home comfort products. Contractors can monitor unit status, view system data, request remote monitoring permission from homeowners, and more. Bosch is currently working on developments to enable the app to track the top five common fault codes and provide diagnostics on each.

Home Comfort PRO Features

Bosch’s Home Comfort PRO program offers their contractors help with their business operations as well as technical support. Home Comfort PRO includes three different status levels: Silver, Gold, and Platinum. The reward system is based on one point equalling one dollar. Points are earned on product registrations and increase with the different tier levels. Points can then be used to purchase items through the company’s partner shop for cash-out options, apparel, gear, gift cards, and more.

  • Marketing Assistance
    Bosch provides its PRO program members with a variety of marketing materials, including advertising templates, social media content suggestions, product images, and logos — all accessible from the Home Comfort PRO dashboard. When using or incorporating these readily available content pieces on their sites, Bosch customers also gain extra credits that can be redeemed through the Bosch program levels mentioned above.

    Bosch evaluates how much business a dealer or contractor completed within the previous year and, based on that information, sets a growth target for the upcoming year. Once that target is achieved, the dealer or contractor receives additional bonuses, benefits, and incentives. “This is a key benefit that I haven’t seen in any of our competitors’ programs,” Barber says.
  • Lead Management
    As part of the Home Comfort PRO program, Bosch is currently rolling out its lead management tool, designed specifically to provide high-quality leads to dealers and contractors. This tool is found on the Bosch website, where it leverages the company’s brands during campaigns to maximize views. During these campaigns, homeowners who are already familiar with Bosch products fill out a questionnaire on the website, which allows the company to capture important data, such as what type of energy system the homeowner has, what their present and future needs are, and what they’re looking to spend. These homeowners are past the awareness stage and are considered motivated buyers. The data collected is forwarded to a qualified Bosch Home Comfort PRO. Both the installer and homeowner are invited to provide additional feedback, allowing Bosch to continually improve the process.
  • Financial Options
    Bosch uses this customer feedback to develop new features and resources. For example, the company is currently negotiating with strategic partners to address financing options and hopes to offer this resource to help contractors better assist their customers.

An Ideal Partner Program

Barber and his team at Bosch have put a lot of thought and effort into providing distributors, contractors, and homeowners with user-friendly tools to make their lives easier. A partner program for distributors might include documents on the Inflation Reduction Act and multi-product discounts. For contractors, the focus could be on technical documentation and the latest video training. Homeowners might be more interested in local and national rebates, easy access to product information, and resources to help them find local qualified contractors.

With key features such as the EasyAir app, Home Comfort PRO growth incentives, and the online lead management tool, the company is well on its way to providing the best partner program in the HVACR industry.

To learn more about the Bosch Home Comfort PRO program, visit bosch-homecomfort.us/hcpro.

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