Good advice for choosing an HVAC contractor is easy to find. Just search online and you’ll find plenty of information: work with a service provider who is licensed and insured; be sure your provider offers clear, written estimates; make sure your questions are answered and you understand what you’re getting.
All wise advice! And following it will help you find a more reliable and competent professional.
But in your search for a competent professional, are you overlooking one of the most important qualities of a service provider?
There are plenty of competent service providers, but it would be a mistake to base your decision to work with one on competence alone. Whether you need a new air conditioner or furnace, a repair, or system maintenance, the one thing that will distinguish a “competent” professional from an excellent one is deceptively simple: customer service.
In a world where cutting costs and getting things done quickly are often prioritized, it’s no wonder that customer service has been on the decline.
But when you’re making an investment as significant as an HVAC system, you don’t just need a professional, you need an advocate – someone who is as invested in your comfort and well-being as you are.
What does that look like if you’re shopping for a contractor? Today we’re sharing two key tips to help you choose that ideal service provider – the one who is both competent, and caring, and who will make your experience a memorably positive one no and for years of service in the future.
1. Look For (The Right) Reviews
Reading online reviews can help in your search for a qualified professional – just approach them with caution and a healthy dose of skepticism. As you peruse them, keep this important thought in mind: a hundred 5-star reviews don’t carry the credibility of a handful of thoughtful reviews.
Sadly, good ratings are easy to fake. As hard as sites like Google and Yelp might work to keep the ratings fair, there’s bound to be someone working just as hard to game the system.
So when you look at reviews, look for more than stars, which are easy to fake. Look instead for the words and stories of the people writing the reviews. It’s harder to fake a great experience than to perform a quick click of a star rating!
The more specific the review, the better. “Great job” is not as helpful as, “When my furnace died during a snowstorm, this company showed up in 24 hours.”
If the service provider responds to reviews – both positive and negative – all the better. Nobody is going to have a perfect track record, so how a provider responds when things go awry can be just as telling as when things go well. Does the provider make an effort to resolve the situation? Or are they combative and defensive? Knowing that things can go wrong – and that your provider will have your back – is a vital part of excellence in service.
2. Be Prepared To Answer Questions
Another good indicator that you found a service-oriented professional is the quality of your conversation. Anyone can sell a furnace or air conditioner – you can buy one yourself at any big box store. But that doesn’t mean you understand the costs and benefits of the myriad options available, or that you’re getting the features that matter to you.
It’s not even enough to purchase the most expensive option with as many bells and whistles as possible. You might be compromising your comfort and the efficiency of your HVAC system if you over-buy as much as if you under-buy. When it comes to heating and cooling, bigger is most certainly not always better. A good system isn’t the biggest or the most full-featured, it’s the one that is sized properly for your home and that will serve you best over time.
As the saying goes, you don’t know what you don’t know. That’s why a good provider won’t necessarily take your word for what you think you need.
A service-oriented professional will not only answer your questions fully, but ask them, too. Those questions may be about your home or your heating and cooling challenges. They may be about your allergies, pets, children or air quality. They may be about whether you have a damp basement or suffer uncomfortably dry winters.
These questions can help your contractor make recommendations that will keep you healthier, more comfortable, and ensure that you make a better investment in the long run.
You may not realize the benefits of a simple air purifier, humidifier, or other component, until a concerned contractor brings them to your attention. Whether you choose to purchase additional components is entirely up to you, and should never feel like an imposition. But the more information you have, the better decisions you can make. And more confident in your choices you’ll feel.
So as you look for a contractor, always look for a competent professional. But don’t forget to also look for one who demonstrates a commitment to you and your family. Your health, your comfort, and the value of your investment should be just as important as the sale.
If you’re looking for a furnace or air conditioner replacement, maintenance or repair, or if you want a recommendation for another component, contact us and let us know. We care about your comfort – and we’re here to prove it to you!