HVACR service with text
As the country continues to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, several vaccines are now available, revealing a light at the end of the lonely tunnel. However, not all citizens will be vaccinated. Mechanical contractors will need to continue providing field staff with personal protective equipment and working under pandemic protocols – protecting customers as well as workers.
Contactless sales calls might sound strange, but it has been a necessity over the past year or so. Much can be done with today’s technology, with video calling being the predominant method of staying in touch. But a combination of text messaging and photos is a technique HVACR technicians can use to work with customers and troubleshoot issues, saving time and money.
“Recently we had an entrepreneur startup with Podium that was almost stuck,” says Marc Glutz, Podium Sales Director. “A new customer came to the HVAC company website, requested to schedule an appointment through Webchat (a website SMS tool), communicated via SMS with the service manager, and even sent and received pictures of the perceived problems by SMS.
“The technician was sent home with access to previous conversations, was able to enter the house, replace the part, take and send a picture of the finalPodium replacement and send a review link for the customer to provide a Google review. The customer did everything via text message and left a five-star review. Easy communication, directly in the palms of their hands via text.
Not all of your customers will have a smartphone with internet access, but almost everyone has a cell phone that receives and sends text messages.
Text messaging has a 209% higher response rate than phone, email or Facebook, notes software testing and review company TechJury. And it was before the pandemic has hit our shores. And keep this in mind: not all of your customers will have a smartphone with internet access, but almost everyone has a cell phone that receives and sends text messages.
Due to the immediacy of the medium, text messaging is an ideal way to communicate with customers to help them with their in-home service needs. There are many ways this technology can help home service entrepreneurs “go textable,” Glutz says.
Other tools that HVACR entrepreneurs can benefit from include SMS video chat, internal comments, creating and tracking marketing campaigns, and automating appointment reminders.
“It is customizable according to each company and the desired process and customer interaction philosophy,” he notes. “Podium has different tools within the platform to generate text conversations from a website, send photos and updates, collect secure payments, and send bulk text reminders. Being able to run business processes through text seamlessly is great, but allowing access for technicians, administrators, office staff, and owners to monitor a single communication system can save hours and stress.
Other tools that HVACR entrepreneurs can benefit from include SMS video chat, internal comments, creating and tracking marketing campaigns, and automating appointment reminders, he adds.
“It’s about modernizing local businesses to ensure that communication is straightforward for the entire HVAC process via text,” Glutz notes. “Text messaging is imperative in today’s economy and market. It saves us time, energy, and opens up conversations we may not be used to. So when HVACR contractors and homeowners can connect via SMS, it can become a win-win solution for both.
Kelly Faloon is an editor at Contracting Business magazine and director of editorial services at Faloon. Former editor-in-chief of Plumbing & Mechanical magazine, she has over 20 years of experience in the plumbing and heating industry and in B2B publishing. Faloon graduated in journalism from Michigan State University.
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