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April 2018 Today's Word on Service and Service Agreements - HVAC Today

April 2018 Today's Word on Service and Service Agreements - HVAC Today

In my 34-years of experience as an HVAC industry editor, April always was the time to focus on the importance of service. After all, April marks the beginning of spring, and with that comes the need to tune up air conditioning systems.

Some things never change. So welcome to the very first service issue of High Performance HVAC Today magazine.

In the HVAC industry, service typically means maintaining customers’ mechanical and duct systems. This is so they perform in accordance to manufacturer specifications while keeping consumers comfortable and healthy without using too much energy.

The key word in that description is ‘performance,’ something that isn’t often associated with service agreements or service agreement sales. But I’m here to tell you that performance is really the key to service.

To thatidea we dedicate this April issue.

Obviously service can be viewed from many perspectives. From a customer viewpoint, service often is about how their concerns are addressed — both technically and from a timeliness standpoint. Customer service is one of the major influencers in a successful HVAC company.

Then there is the perspective of the company owner. Service is the mechanism that keeps his or her HVAC contracting firm top-of-mind with customers. It is also a means for smoothing out the ups and downs of business caused by extreme weather and seasons. Contractors also see service as a means for keeping tabs on customer equipment for marketing and ancillary sales purposes.

And then there is the perspective of the technicians themselves. Often they view service agreement work as busy work. It’s something that earns the company money but adds little to their own pockets. This is not a universal outlook. But it certainly can impact the mindset of younger technicians who haven’t totally learned the ropes yet.

All three perspectives are addressed in this issue of the magazine.

Former HVAC technician Casey Contreras presents a solution to technician woes when it comes to doing service agreement work. He makes a strong case for updating to ‘performance’ agreements and how you, the owner, can help technicians better understand it. Then they can more professionally complete the work. Read more about it in his article, Performance Should Be Native to Your Service Agreements.

Rob Falke takes a look at service through a contractor’s eyes in the article, Supercharged Service with Performance-Based Diagnostics.

Rob explains how many contractors implement performance into their companies through their installation and sales teams. He explains how performance service not only is every bit as important as sales and installation, but can more than supercharge your business when implemented properly.

Contractor Tom Johnson discusses the importance of keeping customers safe in his article, Safety is Job One. He recommends building combustion safety checks and CO monitoring into your service offerings to protect customers from the hazardous and potentially deadly consequences of carbon monoxide.

So there you have it. I would love to hear how you address service in your performance-based business. Write me at MikeW@ncihvac.com.