The job outlook for HVAC technicians is expected to increase significantly during the next decade, which is excellent news for those with aspirations of entering the field. 1 However, as heating and cooling systems technology continues to become more complex, industry professionals need to develop their skills accordingly. The BLS reports that employers sometimes prefer candidates with technical training to those with no secondary education. In addition to having substantial technical expertise, HVAC technicians should also possess good customer service skills. Here are some customer service tips for HVAC techs entering the field.
Learn to Listen
Listening to customers about the specific issues they’re having with their heating and cooling systems helps technicians pinpoint problems more quickly. Being a good means knowing which questions to ask and how to ask them. For instance, simply asking a homeowner to describe a certain sound that the system made prior to malfunctioning can provide you good information concerning the cause of the breakdown.
HVAC repair and maintenance professionals should be careful not to use overly technical language when talking to customers because most won’t be familiar with HVAC jargon. It’s essential to have the ability to explain the basics of how heating and cooling systems work in plain language. For instance, you should be able to explain clearly why regular filter changes help keep HVAC systems functioning smoothly without being overly technical.
Besides knowing which questions to ask customers, it’s also important for you to ask yourself the right questions when you go on a call. Here are some questions:
- What is the system is supposed to do?
- What is the system failing to do?
- Which are the missing or malfunctioning components preventing the system from working properly?
- What steps need to be taken to solve the problem and get the system up and running again?
Be Patient and Understanding
Those with HVAC certification routinely find themselves in a variety of situations throughout the workday. Entering people’s home to work on their HVAC systems can expose technicians to circumstances that require considerable patience and understanding. For instance, a hectic household with crying children and harried parents can be a difficult work environment. It’s easy to become impatient when trying to perform complex work in a distracting environment. However, it’s important for HVAC technicians to be handle these situations professionally. This increases the likelihood of getting the job done and keeping the customer happy.
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Be Reliable and Punctual
A common complaint among customers is that HVAC technicians don’t show up on time or that the job takes longer than anticipated. Although it’s probably nearly impossible to be at every single residence right on time or work for exactly as long as originally estimated, every effort should be made to operate in a timely fashion. Paying close attention to how long particular jobs take and scheduling accordingly will help prevent untimely delays, as will providing yourself with a bit of breathing room by not stacking appointments too closely together.
Arrival and Departure “Etiquette”
When you arrive at a home, always make sure to verify the address before you approach the front door. Introduce yourself immediately after the customer opens the door and verbally verify the name and address. Let the customer know when you have finished the job and are preparing to depart. Be sure to turn on and test the system before you go to ensure that all is well. Consider leaving your card with the homeowner before you say a pleasant goodbye.
If you want to learn more about what skills and knowledge HVAC technicians need to succeed, go to RSI.edu and check out the programs.
1 – http://www.bls.gov/ooh/installation-maintenance-and-repair/heating-air-conditioning-and-refrigeration-mechanics-and-installers.htm
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