Is Your HVAC Business Ready for Summer? 5 Ways to Prepare for Your Busiest Season

by

Andy Bagner
Implementation Manager
June 11, 2019
/
3
minutes to read

Get to the Point:

  1. The Best Way to Prepare Your Team for the Busy Season Is to Plan Ahead — Talk with your employees about what they can expect in terms of timing and schedule.
  2. Reach Out to Your Regular Customers and Schedule Maintenance — Doing this and managing time effectively are very important when you are at your busiest.
  3. Make Sure Your Team Knows and Trusts Your Software — Proper training is the most effective way to ensure confidence.

Depending on the location of your HVAC business, summer might still seem far away. But guess what? It is nearly the official first day of the season (June 21), and whether you are based in Syracuse or San Antonio, that means more appointments and more business. As a recent Electric & Gas Industries Association survey found, many contracting companies make up to 70% of their annual revenue during the summer months.

But more jobs do not have to mean more stress for business owners. Here are a few ways to get ready for your busiest season.

Plan, plan, plan!

The best way to prepare your team (and yourself) for the days, weeks and months to come is to plan ahead. Talk with your employees about what they can expect in terms of timing and schedule. Discuss talking points related to referrals and follow-up appointments.

This would also be the time to ponder whether you need to add staff. Good planning might actually mean additional staff is not necessary yet.   

Reach out to your regular customers and schedule maintenance.

Your regular customers may already know a pre-summer AC tune-up is wise, but that doesn’t mean they’ve actually scheduled something. Reach out to these folks early, and stress to them the importance of yearly maintenance.

If you have service agreements with your customers — we recommend that you do — check to ensure all of these appointments are scheduled well in advance.

Manage time effectively.

One of the most pressing issues for business owners is time management. After all, customers expect technicians to complete work in a timely fashion. And business owners, of course, expect technicians to manage time properly.

There are many ways to measure time — for instance, Pointman’s software includes time tracking. However you do it, let your employees know that you are watching. This does not have to come across in a threatening way. Instead, use it as a reason for praise. And by making this a focus in the days before summer begins, you’ll be able to carry it through the busy season.

Been putting off training? Do it now.

If you have new equipment, new processes or new software in place, you might be thinking you’re better off waiting until after summer for training. Here’s some advice: Don’t wait. Get to it now, before your schedule gets even more packed.

Related to this of course, is compliance. In a recent blog we discussed ways to get your team on board with new software, and training is essential to that process. Want to increase compliance? Make sure your staff realizes the importance of training.

Make sure your team knows and trusts your software.

The above point leads nicely into this one. You always need software that is reliable. But this is especially true during summer. When you are at your busiest, you need to feel confident in the tools you use every day. Summer is not the time for software that does not work properly, or that your team does not trust.

This all goes back to the previous point — training is a must. It’s the most effective way to ensure confidence.


Looking for more insight on planning for the summer? Check out a past Pointman blog post on the topic. And also check out our field service management software for residential contractors. With unlimited business coaching, a team of analysts and a community of peers, our members always have the support and resources necessary for good planning.


4. Add-On or Upsell Count and Amount

Here, we’re looking at repairs sold beyond the original reason for the call. Every time you enter a customer’s home your techs have the chance to sell value added work, beyond the repair itself. If you’re training your techs to sell add-on products, don’t you want to know who's doing it well, and who may need a training refresher?

5. Agreement Opportunities/Sales

Maintenance agreements are the key to a consistent client base and essential for keeping your team busy during the shoulder seasons. Every time your technician is in the home of a non-member there is an opportunity to sell. Are they delivering? You need to know.

6. Future Opportunities

Are your technicians talking to customers with forced air heat about the improved comfort that comes with a humidifier? How about the benefits of water softeners or whole-house surge protection? If the customer is interested, but not now, you need to be able to follow up on those opportunities.

How much money do you think gets left on the table just by failing to make a follow-up call to reintroduce an offered product or service? Tracking these opportunities can be the secret to putting more of that money in your pocket. These opportunities are the gold dust that’s hiding in your business. With a little work, there’s a lot of money just waiting to be panned for and earned.

7. Replacement Opportunities/Sales

Repairing a capacitor on a 17-year-old condenser, or the pilot on a 12-year old hot water tank? These are opportunities for replacement, and your techs should be offering that as an option along with the repair itself. You can determine what you consider a replacement opportunity in your business. But regardless of the conditions you establish, you want to know which of your techs is making the most of them. 

And if they didn’t sell? See the previous item. You should be setting this as an opportunity for a follow up.


Have any recommendations for additional information you’ve found to be essential? How do you make sure your team shares these details after each visit? We’d love to know — drop us a line here.

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