Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) solutions are an important part of most HVAC companies. Even though they’re good for customers, and ultimately good for business, it can sometimes be hard to make them a priority. So we called up Duane LeBlanc, General Manager at Dave Droegkamp Heating, Air Conditioning and Sheet Metal in Hartland, WI, and asked him how he works toward success with IAQ year after year. Here are his top five tips.
1. Don’t just be a service tech – be a solution tech.
Duane believes that everyone, and not just the people with “sales” on their business cards, is responsible for talking about IAQ solutions with customers. Even his technicians are looked at as solution providers instead of simply service techs.
“We train our staff to look for, uncover and present opportunities when they’re in the home,” Duane said. “Whether they bring up an issue, or the homeowner does, we want our techs to be able to explain what might be going on and offer up a fix for it.”
2. Keep your truck stocked with easy add-ons.
The HVAC business is cyclical. One month you’re booked solid with back-to-back service calls, and the next you actually have enough down time to clean out your truck. On those days when your schedule has some flex, take the time to assess the homeowner’s comfort needs, and if appropriate, offer an add-on solution. Whole-House Humidifiers, for example, don’t take long to install but can potentially add several hundred dollars to the service ticket and a couple hundred to the bottom line.
If you’re installing a new RedLINK-enabled thermostat like the Prestige® IAQ, offer to also put in a Wireless Outdoor Air Sensor. Or, if you’re doing seasonal maintenance and changing the furnace filter, suggest a 24V UV Air Purifier with AirBRIGHT™ Odor Absorption to help eliminate airborne contaminants and surface mold. These are all easy ways to add value to the customer relationship while also adding to the overall ticket.
3. Start small and build over time.
The jobs where you sell in a humidifier, dehumidifier, media cleaner, UV treatment light and HRV all in one day aren’t common, but the great thing about IAQ is that it doesn’t have to be all-or-nothing. Duane recommends starting small and demonstrating value so you’re the customer’s go-to the next time they have a problem.
“If you start with a humidifier, and it works and solves their problem, the next time they have an issue, they’ll ask you what you can do about it,” he said. “Especially with maintenance contracts, you’re going to get more opportunities to offer these solutions. You don’t have to sell everything on one visit.”
4. Bring in smart tools to solve complex problems.
Some IAQ problems are relatively straightforward, and others can leave you scratching your head – especially when you’ve tried a few things and the homeowner isn’t completely satisfied. That’s when Duane suggests using AirAdvice for Homes™, an advanced diagnostics monitor that runs a full IAQ assessment in just 30 minutes.
“Sometimes, you get to the point where you need to better qualify what’s going on, and it helps the customer understand what’s happening in their home,” Duane said. “You’re only in the home a couple times a year, and sometimes it can be hard to get a good sense of changes over time. AirAdvice generates a quantitative report you can show the homeowner that highlights areas of concern. It’s really helpful.”
5. Don’t be afraid of not knowing the right answer.
Depending on your role, you may or may not be an IAQ expert. If you’re not, don’t let that stop you from having IAQ conversations with customers. If you reach a point where you’re not sure how to respond or what’s best to recommend, it’s okay to tell the customer you’ll consult with others before getting back to them with a solution.
“Not every employee has to know everything,” Duane said. “We generally want our people to know what we offer and to convey the general sense that we can provide solutions to most home comfort challenges – even if it takes additional support from others within the company or industry.”
Ready to solve IAQ challenges like an expert? Honeywell is here to help, with a full line of Whole-Home Comfort Solutions designed to help homes (and the people in them) be well. Check them out, and discover how the Whole-Home Comfort Solutions portfolio helps bring balance, create comfort, and accelerate opportunities.