The Right Words (and Actions) Matter: Tips for Talking to Customers

In HVAC training programs, aspiring technicians learn industry jargon, technical lingo and trade terminology. They graduate from HVAC programs with the technical knowledge to tackle the most complicated system problems. 

What they may not learn is the basics of customer interactions. Appropriate social and conversation skills – also called soft skills or people skills – are essential on the job, particularly when using The EverRest Group’s Peak Performance methods. If your customers don’t like you, chances are they won’t buy from you., a leading employment website, said soft skills allow for easy conversations, workplace flexibility and a good attitude. Certainly, learning and developing soft-skill traits improve a company’s functionality and growth potential.  

“For many businesses, people working in customer service roles or using customer service skills are the human face of the company. These businesses rely on employees who can create a positive dialogue with customers, helping to foster loyalty and a good reputation,” Indeed said in its career guide. 

Let’s look at some soft skills that are important to success in the HVAC industry:

  • Speaking with authority
    No need to pull out the 50-cent SAT words for every conversation, but technicians should sound knowledgeable about the field. Make sure the words are easy to understand and not full of technical terms. 

  • Remembering the audience
    Talking with customers is not like chewing the fat with a buddy. The conversations with customers should be more like talking with a great aunt or second cousin – keep it polite, polished and pleasant. Never use a tone that could be construed as demeaning, demanding or derogatory. 

  • Being approachable
    Some of the most approachable people lead with a smile and eye contact. Technicians should listen to customer concerns and nod in response to a conversation. 

    At the same time, there’s no need to act overly friendly. Customers can see through a slick salesperson and will back away. 

  • Using patience
    Customers may have several questions or ask for the same information repeatedly. Keep the conversation on track by answering knowledgeably while using a friendly and informative tone.

With more refined soft skills, technicians can help companies work toward EverRest’s 5 Critical Components of Success:

  1. Reaching a target sales ratio of 80% equipment and 20% service
    Rather than repairing the same residential HVAC system over and over, successful technicians can help move toward a business model that focuses on 80% replacements and 20% service calls.

  2. Implementing lead generation strategies
    With Lead Generation Tasks, Secondary Lead Conditions and Mandatory Lead Conditions, technicians can help customers uncover problems and meet company goals.

  3. Staying in 4 to 5 homes a day
    Since customer contact is essential to working The EverRest Group’s approaches, technicians should be in 4 to 5 homes a day, implementing the lead generation strategies. 

  4. Maximizing replacement gross margins and closing rates
    To maximize replacement gross margins, technicians on service calls (tune-ups or repairs) provide customers with the information to make the best decision about the future of their HVAC units.

  5. Tracking performance and making as-needed adjustments
    Successful technician performance is key to HVAC company success. By tracking performance (including sales to replacement goals), technicians can make adjustments.

Overall, technicians should respond to all service calls with a sense of urgency. Soft skills help technicians communicate with customers and execute EverRest strategies for company success