Someone once said that seeing isn’t believing, believing is seeing. Well, that’s definitely a crock and a crock drenched in childlike optimism. That statement works great in Christmas movies but does nothing for the people we work with. Whoever said that never ran an HVAC company, and they sure as hell never had a customer skeptical of everything they did and proposed.
This, my friends, is the nature of the business; you know it as well as we do. For years we have all settled for the status quo, we continue to make the same recommendation, visit after maintenance visit. No action is ever taken, the quote is never accepted…it just sits open with nothing happening, like a beer stand at an AA meeting.
This cycle of money being left on the table stems from distrust, which stems from a lack of understanding, which stems from not actually being able to see and comprehend the issues that exist or the signs of a potential issue down the line.
One of the best ways to combat this optical dilemma of mistrust is to allow your customers to see what they typically never see and help them to become knowledgeable about things they never thought they would.
“I’ll Believe It When I See It”
As humans, we inherently distrust what we do not know, and most people, whether homeowners or building managers, do not know how the systems that heat and cool their homes and buildings work. To overcome that knowledge gap, you must be proactive about the information you provide to your customers, and provide it in an informative and easily consumed fashion.
Utilizing photos and videos on every service and maintenance call is an invaluable way to engage your customers and help them understand what’s happening with their assets. They will begin to understand the purpose behind your recommendations and therefore feel more confident in the decisions they make.
Lucky for us, every technician in the field already has a super computer in their back pockets, sitting there full of untapped value. It’s just a matter of leveraging the devices to which we already have access in a simple, yet powerful way in order to communicate effectively with these customers.
Below are three guidelines for leveraging digital media to accomplish this goal:
1. Explain the System
Utilize a video to show and explain how the system operates, what does what, and what generally fails. This allows your customer to begin learning more about their equipment and begin to see you as someone providing real value and trustworthy advice, not someone just trying to rip them off.
If your customer does not understand the components that heat and cool their building, they will not understand why they need to maintain, repair, or replace. If it feels alright now, it must be operating just fine, right? Hardly.
2. Compare and Contrast
If your customers do not know what good looks like, they will never have a clue how bad something may be. Mitigating this can be as simple as capturing a photo that shows a dirty filter next to a clean one or pre- and post-work images of a coil cleaning.
3. Compliment and Identify
Your customers rarely experience good news from a service provider. In most scenarios, a contractor is onsite because something has gone bad. That “bad” can range from something as small as “Hey, it’s hot in here” to “Holy hell, the ceiling just caved in, and water is everywhere.”
Changing the perception of a contractor being onsite will take time, but there is a way to do it, and we’ve seen firsthand the difference it makes. Use videos to compliment the actions taken when the system is operating as it should, and identify items that generally cause concern.
Power of Partnership
This doesn’t necessarily mean you make a recommendation on the spot; it certainly doesn’t mean striking fear into the heart of your customer. It simply means explaining the current state, setting an expectation, and communicating why we should keep an eye on it. Using the term “we” subliminally creates a partnership between you and the customer, and you do it without tying yourself to a negative outcome.
When it comes to today’s customer expectations, it’s not enough to just tell and not show. What’s the use in spinning your wheels when the indisputable proof could be right there in the photos and videos you took? Leveraging the power of visual intelligence can be transformational for the way you do business, and content captured right on your techs’ own devices can easily become the cornerstone of retaining great customers and fostering partnerships — not merely servicing contracts.