7 ways we provide outstanding HVAC customer service
You can tell it’s summertime in northeast Florida – and not just because of all the backyard barbecues, garage sales and community pool gatherings.
It’s the buzz of what’s being said at these venues at this time of year, when air conditioners break down most frequently: Those air conditioning guys; they have no manners. Those air conditioning guys; you can’t depend on them. And Those air conditioning guys; they’re all the same.
There was a time when Charlie Marks might have chimed in to add to this litany of complaints. But then, that was before he established his company in 1998 and decided then and there that his company would stand apart from “those other guys” by offering respectful, professional and dependable service.
Actions, not just words, set Charlie’s apart in outstanding HVAC customer service
It was easy for Charlie to place himself in the shoes of a customer because he once wore those shoes himself. Based on his experience with contractors, he decided to run his business differently – and cultivated seven key differentiators to set the tone:
What Charlie’s does: We make scheduling appointments easy. Customers can make an appointment via phone or on the company website.
Why Charlie’s does it: People prefer to reach out in different ways (an understatement since Charlie launched his namesake business before “going online” was a buzzword. He realizes the importance of adapting to changing times.) Many on-the-go homeowners have even taken to sending a text message to request an appointment. Charlie’s is all for simplifying customers’ lives – as long as an appointment can be confirmed.
What Charlie’s does: Polite, friendly and helpful human beings answer Charlie’s phones during regular office hours…and after hours. You never have to leave a message!
Why Charlie’s does it: Many companies seemed to have lost sight of the personal touch about the time that “going online” became hip. Charlie never understood why – and places huge importance on creating a connection with people who not only need help but often are in the throes of a crisis.
What Charlie’s does: Charlie’s reminds a customer of an appointment before it takes place.
Why Charlie’s does it: In this way, Charlie’s “took a page” out of physicians’ playbooks. It seems like a smart idea, especially for maintenance appointments that often are scheduled weeks ahead of time and can be quickly forgotten in the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Friendly reminders, such as email notifications and real time updates when the technician is in route (GPS tracking), have resulted in many rescheduled service appointments – and the vital maintenance that is necessary to keep air conditioners functioning as they should.
What Charlie’s does: We send a photo of each technician before he arrives at a home for an appointment.
Why Charlie’s does it: This courtesy establishes a “comfort quotient” and provides peace of mind to people who are nervous about letting a stranger into their home. Furnishing a photo ID beforehand also tends to exceed people’s expectations – proving that Charlie has heard some of those horror stories at backyard barbecues, garage sales and community pool gatherings.
What Charlie’s does: Charlie’s technicians ensure that customers know exactly what they’re doing at all times and why they’re doing it.
Why Charlie’s does it: Keeping customers informed is one motivation, but Charlie’s aspires to educate, too. Educated customers are more likely to be more vigilant about the care of their air conditioner, which leads to greater efficiency and longevity.
What Charlie’s does: We protect our customer’s homes by wearing shoe covers and using tarps to cover carpet and furniture.
Why Charlie’s does it: We treat our customers’ homes as if they were an extension of our own. Even longtime customers with whom Charlie’s is on a first-name basis know that technicians behave like guests who have an important function to perform – because they are and they do.
What Charlie’s does: We keep an up-to-date file on our customers’ air conditioners, warranties and maintenance history.
Why Charlie’s does it: Few people can keep track of every owner’s manual, warranty and tune-up receipt. But Charlie’s can. A comprehensive record helps Charlie’s technicians extend the most informed and professional service available, bar none.
While Charlie appreciates accolades and testimonials, he’s familiar with the buzz taking place at backyard barbecues, garage sales and community pool gatherings at this time of year. This is why one of the greatest compliments he can overhear is, “Those air conditioning guys at Charlie’s – they’re so different from the other guys out there.” Find out first-hand when you call Charlie’s for a service appointment – another way Charlie’s can help you keep your cool this summer.