Hero
David Richardson/NCI
Interior Hvac Diagram
David Richardson/NCI
If you know what to look for, a visual inspection provides clues to unsafe operation. It's never good for one package unit to exhaust into the economizer of an adjacent unit.
National Comfort Institute
Before you jump on the heat pump bashing bandwagon, look at your duct installation practices first.
Podium
Text messaging has a 209 percent higher response rate than phone, email or Facebook, notes software testing and reviewing firm TechJury.

HVACR Service With a Text

Feb. 26, 2021
No-contact sales solutions are popular now, and into the future. For marketing, the best developers act as true partners in a contractor's success. We hear from Podium, Mosaic, Scorpion, and HVAC contractor Tim Flynn, who uses Scorpion and ServiceTitan.

As the country continues to struggle with the COVID-19 pandemic, several vaccines are now available, revealing a light at the end of the lonely tunnel. Yet not every citizen will take the vaccine. Mechanical contracting firms will need to continue providing field personnel with personal protective equipment and working under pandemic protocols — protecting customers as well as workers.

No-contact sales calls may seem strange, but it’s been a necessity over the last year. Much can be done through today’s technology, video calling being the predominant method of keeping in touch. But a combination of text messaging and photos is one technique HVACR techs can use to work with customers and solve problems — while saving time and money.

“Recently, we had a contractor start with Podium that was in near lockdown,” explains Marc Glutz, Podium’s director of sales. “A new customer came to the HVAC company website, asked about scheduling a time via Webchat (a website texting tool), communicated via text with the service manager, and even sent and received photos of the perceived problems via text.

“The technician was dispatched to the home with access to earlier conversations, was able to enter the home, replace the part, take and send a photo of the final
replacement and send a review link for the customer to provide a Google review. The customer did it all via text and left a five-star review. Easy communication, right in the palm of their hands via text.” 

Not all your customers will have a smartphone with Internet access, but almost everyone has a mobile phone that receives and sends text messages.

Text messaging has a 209 percent higher response rate than phone, email or Facebook, notes software testing and reviewing firm TechJury. And that was before the pandemic hit our shores. And keep this in mind: not all your customers will have a smartphone with Internet access, but almost everyone has a mobile phone that receives and sends text messages.

Because of the medium's immediacy, text messaging is an ideal way to communicate with customers to help with their home service needs. There are many ways this technology can help home service contractors benefit from “becoming textable,” Glutz says.

Other tools that HVACR contractors can benefit from include video chatting via text, internal feedback, creating and tracking marketing campaigns, and automation of appointment reminders.

“It is customizable to each company and their desired process and customer interaction philosophy,” he notes. “Podium has different tools within the platform to generate text conversation from a website, send photos and updates, collect secure payments and send bulk text reminders. Being able to execute on business processes via text seamlessly is great, but allowing access to techs, administrators, office staff and owners for oversight on a singular system for communication can save hours of time and stress.” 

Other tools that HVACR contractors can benefit from include video chatting via text, internal feedback, creating and tracking marketing campaigns, and automation of appointment reminders, he adds. 

“It’s about modernizing local businesses to help ensure communication is simple for the entire HVAC process via text,” Glutz notes. “Text messaging is imperative in today’s economy and marketplace. It saves us time, energy and opens conversations we may not usually have. So when HVACR contractors and homeowners can connect via text, it can become a win-win for both.” 

Kelly Faloon is a contributing writer to Contracting Business magazine and principal of Faloon Editorial Services. The former editor of Plumbing & Mechanical magazine, she has more than 20 years' experience in the plumbing and heating industry and B2B publishing. Faloon is a journalism graduate of Michigan State University.

SEE TWO SIDEBARS BELOW

About the Author

Kelly L. Faloon | Freelance Writer/Editor

Kelly L. Faloon is a contributing editor and writer to Contracting Business magazine, Contractor and HPAC Engineering. The former editor of Plumbing & Mechanical magazine, Faloon has more than 20 years experience in the plumbing and heating industry. She started a freelance writing and editing business in 2017, where she has a varied clientele.

Faloon spent 3 1/2 years at Supply House Times before joining the Plumbing & Mechanical staff in 2001. Previously, she spent nearly 10 years at CCH/Wolters Kluwer, a publishing firm specializing in business and tax law, where she wore many hats — proofreader, writer/editor for a daily tax publication, and Internal Revenue Code editor.

A native of Michigan’s northern Lower Peninsula, Faloon is a journalism graduate of Michigan State University. You can reach her at [email protected].