When a potential client contacts you looking for a HVAC system installation, they’re taking a risk. They’re buying an expensive, complicated system they don’t entirely understand, and they need someone who does understand it to come into their home and set it up. They might be managing a large building or renovation project of which the HVAC system is only one component, and of course there’s the stresses of their daily life as well. All this adds up to a prospect who is stressed, overwhelmed, and desperate for someone to help.
Making a decision while stressed isn’t a great experience. If you were able to assure the customer their project is in the hands of professionals, that it would run smoothly and they’ll soon enjoy their HVAC system, you create a superior customer experience.
Of course, you can do this with words – by repeating that last sentence to the customer – but it’s more effective if you demonstrate it in action. But how do you do that?
By establishing trust.
Creating trust with customers
As a HVAC installer, you’re entering someone’s home. You might have to work in alongside other tradespeople, or learn details about their lives such as when they get off work. Trust is important to your customers. It lowers their stress levels – and we know that’s a good thing.
With customer relationships that involve a financial transaction, the key elements of trust are privacy, security, and accountability are essential. These are especially vital when you have a digital element to your business, such as online bookings or payments.
Trust improves the customer experience from the inside-out and from beginning to end. But it might surprise you to learn that a high-trust organisation doesn’t only focus on its relationship with its customers. According to research conducted by neuroscientist Paul J. Zak, employees in high-trust organizations are more productive. They have more energy at work, collaborate better with their colleagues, and stay with their employers longer than people working at low-trust companies. They also suffer less chronic stress. They’re happier with their lives, and all of these factors fuel stronger performance.
If you want to start building a culture of trust, we recommend visiting Stephen R. Covey’s website, from which you can obtain a wealth of resources and tools related to building trust.
The building blocks of trust
Apart from simply doing a good job – completing the work correctly, on time and on budget - there are four building blocks that create trust with your customers. They are:
Good in-person skills: Being cheerful, personable, professional, and genuinely concerned about a customer’s problems help your customer relate to you on a human level.
Conscientious follow-up: If you say you’re going to send a quote the same day, then send the quote. If you say you’ll check on something and let them know, then do it. Following through on your promises is one of the core abilities of a trustworthy person, and it’s how your customers will judge you.
Great systems: Following on from our last point, one way to keep track of the follow-up tasks that are needed is to establish a solid admin process. Tools like MyFLO make this easy by enabling you to run the whole business from the cloud.
Seamless workflow: If customers have to constantly chase you for your quote or can’t see progress happening on their project, they wonder if they’re been taken advantage of. They feel as though they’re doing jobs you should be doing. They hate having to pester you for details. Having to do these things makes them mistrust you. Your admin system can help you to streamline workflow and ensure you can follow-up on tasks not completed.
Many HVAC operators have number one down: It all comes back to being a genuine human who enjoys your job. You can achieve the other three by improving systems and workflow.
How systems improve trust
You may think it’s a stretch to suggest that an admin system can improve trust. But, but hear me out.
Each interaction you have with a customer influences their trust. Your customers interact with your admin systems more than you probably believe. It happens right from the initial call they place about the job, continues through your quote to the contract. Then, it keeps going as work is tracked on the job, changes are logged, data is recorded, and submissions are made for inspections and compliances. And then it keeps going even as you produce certificates, send invoices, and chase up payments.
That’s a significant number of touchpoints. At each one, you have the chance either to improve trust or to shatter it.
Many trade and installation companies suffer from archaic and heavily manual, paper-based admin systems. Details are often forgotten or misplaced as they move through the chain. Quotes and invoices take hours to complete, which means they’re often put off for days or weeks.
Moving to a cloud-based system enables your workflow and admin processes to be streamlined. You’re able to
- see the status of each job
- have an accurate scheduling calendar
- produce quotes and invoices in minutes (not hours)
- see exactly what has been achieved on each job.
But this isn’t what the client sees.
What the client sees is a company that can produce a quote when they say they will. It will be in a format she can easily read (not scribbles on a scrap of paper) and can email off to her partner for discussion. She sees a company who can give her an accurate date and time for installation, so she doesn’t have to take more time off work than necessary. She sees a company that prides itself on communication. She sees workers who show up to the job with the right tools, equipment, and knowledge. And she sees an invoice arrive as soon as the job is done: An invoice she’s more than happy to pay, one she can pay immediately, without hassle.
Cloud-based systems have another significant advantage. They make life easier for your team.
Trust improves your team: Building employee engagement
The systems and processes you use can also help promote well-being and trust with employees. Having certainty about the jobs that need to be done help or being able to see their workload across the week/month help the team to feel autonomous about their work, and insights gained from logging time enable them to see how their performance improves over time.
The bottom line: why care about trust?
According to a recent Inc article by Geoffrey James, gaining trust is a vital part of the sales process. Even if you have more experience, superior products, and a better price, if the customer doesn’t trust you, she’ll choose a competitor.
In the buying decision, trust beats all other factors.
Once you have the systems and processes in place to reliably establish that trust with customers, you’ll improve your bottom line. Word will get around that you’re one of the good guys and customers can trust you inside their homes and with their money.
That trust is more precious than gold.
At myFLO we’ve been helping companies like yours build customer trust almost since we started.
To find out how we can help you get on the right path, talk to our experts today on 1300 78 46 60.