Well, it finally happened. Michigan weather heated up, and my AC sputtered and died a sad death. So I called a local contractor to come out and diagnose the system. Turns out the compressor was bad, and the system was old — so I knew I wanted to replace it. Having written about the HVAC industry for five years prior to jumping over to Plumbing & Mechanical, I knew a little about it — I was a contractor’s ideal customer! However, I had a heck of a time getting replacement quotes.

One company was having phone issues and it was hard to get through ¬— when I finally did, I was greeted with a terse, “Hello?” Which caught me off guard. 

“Is this X Heating & Cooling?” I asked.

“Yes,” the woman replied. Okay, then. I proceeded to explain I wanted a replacement quote and she took down my name and number. Nobody ever called me back — their loss.

Another company didn’t even come out to my house — just took down my address, square footage and contact information, then emailed a quote. Yikes! That immediately disqualified them in my book. 

Of the two companies who came to my house, one salesman talked down to me — like I couldn’t possibly understand everything he was explaining to me because I was a woman. I immediately didn’t like his mannerisms, not to mention his quote was the highest we received for a standard efficiency system. He didn’t even offer one for a higher efficiency system. No thanks, bye!

Thankfully, the last company we contacted was great. The initial CSR was friendly and understanding. She was able to schedule the visit the next day. The salesman spent extra time patiently going over all the options and answering all of my questions. He made the decision an easy choice! The installers were friendly and cleaned up after themselves. It was a great all-around service. 

So what can you learn from my experience? Take the time to review how every employee in your company interacts with your customers. Listen to the CSR calls — are they being professional and friendly? Do a ride-along with your techs and install crews — are they explaining things clearly and cleaning up after themselves? Go on sales calls with your comfort professionals — are they being polite and offering good, better and best options for customers? There is always room for improvement. Maybe it’s time to take a closer look at your customer service training and revamp it.