Top 5 Ways to Lose Customers (And the Solutions for Bringing Them Back)

Ever wonder how people initially choose an HVAC company and become repeat customers? Wonder why your company isn’t getting glowing endorsements on social media? Curious about why other companies have a robust local following?

Customer satisfaction is essential to remaining in business. Yet, so many HVAC companies make mistakes (either intentional or not) with customers that start a landslide of problems. Your company may employ the best HVAC technicians in the business, but if they can’t demonstrate professionalism at every turn, you’ll lose customers. 

From our perspective, there are five common ways to drive away customers and solutions for bringing them back.

1. Tell customers they’ll have to wait for their HVAC repairs

No matter the time of year, customers with broken-down HVAC systems want them repaired quickly. There’s no faster way to lose a customer than to make them wait for critical repairs. And there’s no quicker way to lose a sale than to delay any opportunity to run Lead Generation Tasks

The best way to tackle missed opportunities is to have strategies:

  • Develop an emergency response plan that can be implemented during weather extremes like heat waves and winter storms. 
  • Schedule employees who will field overnight calls and handle emergencies, particularly during the busy seasons (summer and winter).
  • Set a time during the day to handle last-minute calls and emergency repairs specifically. 

2. Schedule an Appointment and then miss it

Missed appointments equal missed opportunities. Businesses that miss appointments (either deliberately or accidentally) quickly gain a bad reputation.

HVAC technicians who consistently meet scheduled appointment times build trust and respect, which can lead to repeat customers, referrals and sales. 

Use a calendar, scheduling app or planning software to make sure technicians show up at their appointments on time. If the technician will be late, inform the customer about why and the new ETA.

3. Work as slowly as possible

Customers often take time off work or away from other activities to be available for their HVAC service call. The last thing these customers want is a technician who dawdles. 

HVAC company owners and managers should focus on hiring experienced technicians who work quickly and efficiently through Lead Generation Tasks and Secondary and Mandatory Lead Conditions, if necessary. Working at peak efficiency also gives technicians plenty of time to visit 4 to 5 homes a day. 

4. Leave a big mess for the homeowner 

Technicians who track mud into the home and leave trash on the ground may as well say goodbye to their customer. That customer will likely never call again. 

Cleaning up after the job is part of good service and should be done at every call. A clean work area also opens the door to talking to customers about the importance of regular service and maintenance agreements.


5. Be a know-it-all

Nobody likes a know-it-all. Let me repeat: Nobody. Likes. A. Know-it-all. Sure, your technicians might be tops in the field, but let the work speak for itself. There should be no room on your staff for rude, braggart, showy and obnoxious technicians. 

When hiring technicians, look for candidates who have the best skillset and a pleasant personality. Weed out toxic people who can wreak havoc on your company.

Overall, the bigger picture here is to hold your technicians to the highest standards of professionalism. Technicians who come off as aloof, condescending or even a bit odd display unprofessional behavior that will follow your company. Customers look to your company to solve problems, not create new ones. 

When it comes to customer service, we look to expert Shep Hyken’s adage, “Don’t just fix the problem, fix the customer.” That is, make sure the problem is fixed and the customer is satisfied. A satisfied customer calls back and tells their friends.