By Sam Carpenter
I’m a telecommunications specialist and a provider of HVAC answering service, and have been for nearly four decades. And, by a variety of statistics, Centratel is the highest quality answering service in the country.
Take it from me, and know this for sure: for the average HVAC business, a fast, simple, and incredibly potent system improvement is to upgrade — perhaps even revamp — your internal and external communications protocols.
Times change and they change fast, and so must you if you are to keep up with your competition. Are you still operating with tools and protocols that have their roots in decades past? If you are, know that you have competitors who haven’t fallen into that trap.
I’m also an author. Here’s an excerpt from Chapter 18, Hyper-Communications: Grease for the Wheels, from my business book Work the System, the Simple Mechanics of Making More and Working Less. You will find the message completely relatable in that a huge percentage of industry businesses fail to pay attention to the very simple mechanics of their communication protocols. See what you think…
“(I have found that) in the world of framers, plumbers, electricians, roofers, and concrete professionals, there is an interesting commonality among the inexperienced: it is difficult to communicate with them. Phones go unanswered, messages are left with no return calls forthcoming, and/or voice-mail boxes are full. The subcontractor has gone missing. One has to wonder how these people stay in business (and I know for sure that most of them don’t). The dysfunctional communication system is a reflection of the new subcontractor’s chaotic business methodology in which he or she is so wrapped up in doing the work and reactionary fire killing, that insidious inefficiency goes undetected as it quietly devours profits. It’s a profound error of omission in which potential and paying customers are relegated to the bottom of the priority list.”
That’s just crazy, don’t you think?
My strong advice? First, if you identify an employee or an associate or a service provider…or even just an acquaintance… who treats their communications as critically important, do what you need to do to maintain the relationship. You want them in your life. What’s a quick indication of someone who cares about their customers and employees? Telephone calls are returned quickly. That’s just one indicator. Here’s another: it’s easy for people to get quick attention after-hours. They don’t have to solve a puzzle (a complex voice mail menu, for example) to accomplish that.
Second, what about you personally as well as within your HVAC operation? How effective are your communication tools and methods? Know that if the mechanical protocols within your business are of average quality, then there is much that can be improved. In most small to medium-sized businesses, “average” is usually not very good! If this is you, i promise it won’t take much tweaking to jump ahead of your HVAC industry competition. You just need to focus on the details and “work your systems” to higher efficiency.
So, examine your communications systems today. Upgrading inside and outside protocols and tools is perhaps the quickest, simplest and most potent system improvement you can make as you begin to leap ahead of your competition. The first step? Take care of your customers and potential customers after-hours, considering an elite-quality HVAC answering service.