The HVAC industry is one of the most competitive industries, and most of the companies are considered small businesses, which makes fighting for leads and customers crucial to survival. Beyond the continual need for new leads, an HVAC service needs to consistently produce excellent customer service or risk losing faithful consumers to other companies. A service must also keep track of service technicians while maintaining and securing jobs. If all that sounds like a lot to manage, that is because it is.
HVAC companies, unlike other industry corporations and businesses, live and die through consumer communication.
While the marketing of a service is often good enough for many different industries, HVAC clients expect more than service; they expect convenience and timely communication. After all, would you want slow service when your A/C stops working and it’s 95 degrees outside in August?
Because of the focus on direct contact, HVAC services should embrace technology, like text messaging. By using a texting management firm like CanaryTEXT, a company can encourage rapid communication and exchanges with consumers, but that is only one of at least seven benefits of use text.
Securing New Leads
The primary objective of any business is to secure new leads, which in turn ensures more profits. Unfortunately, traditional methods for lead generation are time-consuming and often result in less than optimal sales conversions. Using a website or posting your business’s phone number on social media profiles is only going to get you so far, mostly since the majority of consumers prefer not to call a company to inquire about services.
When the phone number is not a favorable option, most potential clients will choose to send an email, especially if they are introverts. The main problem with email is that it is slow, often requiring several days of exchanges before a contract is secured.
Despite the popularity of phone numbers and email exchanges, there is a better and more efficient way to communicate: through text. Most consumers prefer text messaging, and despite some pre-existing assumption, it is relatively easy to implement, especially when using a service for small businesses.
There are at least four ways to use text to secure new leads for your HVAC service.
Google business listings
Most companies have a Google Business listing, and if you do not, you are missing out. Google Business listings are an excellent way to generate new and local leads. The primary purpose of these localized listings is to help consumers in your area find your business.
One of the most beneficial aspects of these Google listings is that they can now include a messaging option.
If you have never seen one of these listings, then type a search in Google for any service near you. You will see a list of local businesses, and under the company name will be several options, like call, directions or website. If you want, your listing can also include a message option, which means that a potential client can simply select the button and be taken to their texting application with your business’s text number already filled out. It is as easy as that.
Adwords is a pay-per-click advertising option on Google; other search engines have similar platforms. There are three ways to integrate text into your Adwords campaigns, securing more real estate and leads for your HVAC business.
- First, you can simply ask people to send your company a text, and like the Google Business option, when the customer taps the “send text” button, an extension opens a text to your company’s number.
- Second, you can entice readers with a discount code offer by advertising something like, “text to get 20% offer duct cleaning.”
- Finally, you can ask the client to text to schedule an appointment, and when they text the number, a reply is sent with a link to your business calendar, allowing them to select from available openings.
Embedded click-to-text button
Another way to encourage the use of text message communication is by embedding a click-to-text button into your website pages. While it may sound complicated, it is straightforward, but if you are not comfortable with the process, a text message service can help. The embedded text prompt will appear on all devices, even desktop displays. While the appearance of the button on a machine where it is likely useless seems ineffective, it is an efficient way to ensure that all consumers are aware of your service’s texting capabilities.
Most businesses choose to put the click-to-text button on the homepage and contact pages of their website. This placement ensures that customers using mobile devices can easily navigate to the texting option.
Floating click-to-text button
A floating click-to-text option is more practical as it only appears to users on mobile devices. The term floating simply means that the text button does not always appear on your website. For example, when a potential client visits your website while on a desktop or laptop computer, they will not see the click-to-text button. While the use of a floating button may not seem as beneficial as an embedded button because it does not advertise texting options to all users, not all users require the text option.
However, as stated, many customers do prefer digital communication over phone calls. Therefore, if you want to ensure that consumers have all available communication options at all times, then it is likely best to embed the click-to-text button or be sure to highlight your company’s texting abilities.
Aside from securing new leads, text messaging can help your business save money by servicing more customers quickly and efficiently. When it comes to HVAC services, you need to speed up your scheduling process to secure more business. By using text messaging for scheduling, you can drastically reduce the time it takes to schedule and verify an appointment.
Most consumers will choose to contact your company through email if there is no texting option. Did you know that, on average, it takes about 12 hours or more to get a response from a promotional email? Even if a customer chooses to contact a business by phone, it can take even longer to reconnect and confirm details playing phone tag.
Text messaging is fast and reliable. While people may avoid listening to their voicemail and emails may get lost in the spam abyss, a text message is read by most who receive it. The primary reason that text works so well is that the messaging is brief, and more often than not, the entirety or premise of the message appears in a client’s notifications.
Sending Seasonal Reminders
The HVAC business is all about establishing long term professional relationships. It is not enough for an HVAC company to rely solely on installations. While installations may be a significant contributor to the business’s profits, it is the routine maintenance and seasonal call that are the bread and butter of the industry. Believe it or not, text messaging can help with reminders.
A text messaging service for small businesses will offer many benefits, including bulk and scheduled texting. Therefore, when you have a new client, it is easy to set automatic reminders for things like filter replacements, duct cleanings and system inspections. The greatest part about these messages is that they do not need to be intrusive. A notification sent to the customer’s mobile phone with a reminder and a call-to-action is all that is required in order to make texting an excellent tool for establishing trust and future business. These reminders also serve as a way to help customers maintain their new system.
Service contracts ensure revenue because they are legally binding agreements with the client. Unfortunately, attempting to finalize these agreements is challenging and time-consuming. The process usually involves having to meet with the customer in-person at your office, or it will include a back-and-forth process through email exchanges.
While the lengthy contract finalization is worth it because of the money, text messaging can speed up the process, equating to a more efficient use of your time. For example, with broadening technologies and capabilities of smartphones, it is now possible to take a picture of the contract and text the photo directly to the client. Even more important, many smart devices will now allow a client to sign documents digitally, which means that in a matter of minutes instead of days, you can have the final version of the contract, signatures and all, allowing you to move onto the next client.
Consumers today place a lot of trust in the opinions of others. Review sites and even reviews on your own site are often how future clients determine if your service deserves their business. While it can be scary knowing that your future success depends on the star rating your clients decide to give, reviews keep companies honest and focused on providing ideal customer service and support. While there is no way to get away from that one angry client or scathing review, you can use texting to try and boost your portfolio.
Text messaging services for small businesses allow you to create custom messages and even schedule their delivery.
To try and prompt more reviews for your business, schedule a message to automatically be sent a few days after the completion of a job.
The message does not have to be involved; simply ask if the customer would be willing to leave a positive review on whatever site you like. You can send the link for the review site to make it easy and less work for the client. Most customers who are happy with the service provided will be happy to accommodate the request.
HVAC services will often offer sales or promotions, typically dealing with seasonal issues. While these promotions are great marketing tools and can encourage further client spending, they only work if your customer-base knows about them. While many companies use their email list to promote these seasonal savings, did you know that the open rate for emails is only about 18%? Yikes! Other promotional options include social media and traditional marketing, but if you are more interested in a strategy with less risk, consider that 99% of text messages are read.
Texting your client list is as easy as uploading the list to your text service. From the text service, it is easy to schedule seasonal promotions, even if they are months in advance. Text messaging provides more visibility with the ease of automation.
Tracking Service Techs
Text messaging not only helps you connect with customers, but it can also help you stay in touch with your service technicians. Using a text messaging service, you can quickly and easily check on the progress of specific jobs, even having drivers check-in when they arrive on-site, and when the job is finished. Texting allows you to keep better track of your schedule and calendar without having to nag or micromanage employees.
Beyond you tracking your service techs from the main office, text messaging can also be used to alert customers when a tech is nearby.
While all home contact services provide windows for worker arrival, it is often helpful to clients to have a narrower timeslot on the day of the assignment. Being able to send a customer a message stating that a driver is twenty minutes away helps people get their home ready by laying kids down for naps or putting their pets outside in crates.
HVAC companies require direct contact with potential and current clients. Text messaging allows for this contact but in a less intrusive way. Through texting services, you can promote your business, encourage repeat services and even keep track of your employees. While traditional and many digital marketing tactics do work, none have the reach and response rate that texting does. If you are looking for a way to secure more leads and keep in touch with your growing list of clients, then choose text messaging as a primary point of contact.
If you are interested in using text messaging to improve your business, then contact a CanaryTEXT representative for further details.