5 Tips for Surviving HVAC’s Slow Season
When you work in a seasonal industry like HVAC, you must learn how to stay afloat during the slow spring and fall seasons when homeowners aren’t using or thinking about their air conditioners and furnaces as much. Some fledgling companies may not survive the pressure, but with the right strategies, you can learn to ride the ebb and flow of busy and slow seasons with ease. Here’s how.
Push Maintenance Plans
Offering service agreements and encouraging customers to sign up is the key to staying busy in the spring and fall for two reasons. First, maintenance should ideally take place in the very seasons when emergency repairs and replacements are minimal. This keeps your crew busy until summer and winter come along.
Second, maintenance plans promote repeat business from loyal customers and ensure they don’t choose a different company for the job. The trick is to entice them to sign up.
To do this, start by instructing your technicians to promote the benefits of preventative maintenance at every service visit. These benefits include longer equipment lifespan, fewer mid-season breakdowns, lower repair costs, and upheld warranty coverage.
Then, offer reasons for customers to sign up with you instead of someone else. Perhaps members receive preferred service, waived diagnostic fees, and no after-hour charges. It’s up to you how you structure your service agreements.
Shift Your Advertising Dollars
While selling maintenance plans to existing customers is a surefire way to boost repeat business, it’s not your only option. Shift your advertising dollars to focus primarily on preventative maintenance to reach new customers during the spring and fall as well.
Tell homeowners in your area that it’s time to get ready for summer or winter by tuning up their comfort system. Direct mail and newspaper ads can be effective offline methods, as can social media outreach and pay-per-click advertising online. Set different phone numbers for each marketing method to help you understand which ones are paying off the most.
Offer Off-Season Discounts
Installations are the highest-ticket jobs in the HVAC industry. Upgrading customers’ home heating and cooling systems in the spring and fall provides the steady stream of income you need to make it through the slow period.
Encourage people to upgrade at this time by offering coupons and limited-time discounts. You might make slightly less money on each installation, but the cash flows when you need it. Plus, you secure a potential maintenance plan with every job, no matter the season.
Hire Seasonal Help for Summer
While you have some downtime this spring, shift your focus forward a few months to when things will pick up again in the summer—the busiest HVAC season of all. Chances are you’ll need seasonal technicians to keep up with demand. You need to plan ahead if you hope to have the adequate staff necessary to cash in on the busiest time of year.
To help you know how many people to hire, break down your seasonal data from the past. Then, assess whether you have the intake and dispatch tools needed to keep track of all your extra crew members. Finally, establish quantifiable goals you want your team to hit to make this your biggest summer yet!
Use HVAC Software
Following all of the above suggestions is easier when your entire business is organized using HVAC software. 3C Connect helps make your business as efficient as possible by offering technician scheduling, billing and invoicing tools, and inventory management all rolled into a single app.
Our field management software helps you track maintenance plans, offer discounts on-site, track technician and company performance, and keep everything organized to minimize overhead. Best of all, the Cost Recovery Plus feature of our HVAC software makes it a zero-cost solution for your business.
All of these benefits make 3C Connect the obvious choice for helping you survive HVAC’s slow season. To learn more, please request a demo of our field management software today!