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6 Questions to Ask When Choosing an HVAC CRM

February 13, 2020 - 7 minutes

An HVAC customer relationship management system (CRM) creates a return on investment by conveniently storing customer and job information in one place. You have tons of data on your customers: phone numbers, addresses, email addresses, job histories, and more. Without organisation, you could seriously compromise customer relationships and business potential.

Implementing a quality HVAC CRM frees up time spent sorting through separate papers or documents containing contact and job details. The best HVAC CRMs are more complex than free software/apps, but not as high investment as enterprise-level software.

We’ve created a list of questions to help you choose the best tool for your business:

  1. Do you need a customer relationship system specific to HVAC?
  2. What does a great HVAC CRM store in each customer’s account?
  3. What are some key benefits of a quality HVAC CRM?
  4. How personisable is the tool to provide a valuable customer experience?
  5. Is your HVAC CRM software a good fit for residential and commercial work?
  6. What are other must-have HVAC CRM features?

1) Do you need a customer relationship system specific to HVAC?

With the right industry-specific customer database, you schedule jobs and send invoices directly from a customer’s account. This way, you maximise productivity by running multiple aspects of your business from one place. The best software has accounting integrations and communication integrations. You’ll want a partial invoicing feature in case you have follow up jobs or want to break the invoice into multiple payments.

Choose an HVAC CRM software with the ability to sync job data with customer data. You want a  tool that stores customer and work history details and attaches this information to scheduled service jobs. Also, look for a system that provides training for your business. Then the whole team is on board about how to best implement and use the HVAC software.

With a general CRM, you are settling to work with something that wasn’t designed for your business. Nonspecific customer relationship systems aren’t created with your needs in mind. In most cases, they are an address book and a way to send emails. Most importantly, these systems don’t acknowledge the unique HVAC customer experience. A quality HVAC CRM caters to the customer journey every step of the way.

2) What does a great HVAC CRM store in each customer’s account?

  • Contact information like name, phone number, address, email address, etc.
  • Upcoming appointments
  • Job history – including the service type, date/time, and which engineer completed the work
  • Files, appliances, and other technical information
  • Records of communications  – including phone calls, emails, and timestamped notes
  • Reminders & service reminders
  • Work addresses
  • Branches (if applicable)

3) What are some key benefits of a quality HVAC CRM?

Remembers information so you don’t have to

Customers appreciate when their HVAC businesses remember details about their service history. This helps you exceed their expectations with quality customer service. If a customer calls and asks when their next appointment is, swiftly retrieve this information with your customer database.

Fewer errors 

Misspelling a name could cause you to lose a job, but with HVAC customer management software, misspellings are much less common. You only have to correctly spell a customer’s name once. From there, watch how a well-designed CRM automatically inputs their name in customer communications such as emails or texts.

Easily retrieve technical information

Attaching files and technical information, such as manuals, against a customer is a huge help. When your engineer is on the job, accessing information about an air conditioner on their phone is a simple task. HVAC software eliminates the need to carry around a hefty book.

Appliance information at your fingertips

Gas certificats on mobileGreat HVAC CRM software is comprehensive and lists each customer’s appliances. Store information such as fuel, make, model, and location in the property. This way, your engineers view the details of what they’re working with before they travel to the job. No need for your employees to to refamiliarise themselves with basic appliance information every time. This saves time and increases engineer productivity.

Files like images help everyone on the team understand what a customer’s units look like. Make sure there’s the ability to draw on top of images, allowing you to point out specific parts or details to your coworkers.

Enhance customer communication

You want a customer management strategy that optimises communication with customers. The best HVAC CRMs allow you to send emails and texts from the software itself. Emailing and texting from your system allows you to work in one place. That way, there’s less time spent switching back and forth between browser windows, papers, and devices. 

Log and view communication records

A quality framework enables you to create and view records of your communications so you keep track of when and how you’ve been in contact with your customer.

Look for a system that enables you to 1)  log phone calls with notes about what was talked about, and 2) store time-stamped notes containing customer or job information. Notes may include information like how to access the building or if there are pets at the building, etc.

4) How personalisable is the tool to provide a valuable customer experience?

With job history readily available for every customer in your system, engineers have a better idea of what they’re getting into before they head over to the job. This means they have a higher chance of doing the best job possible, personalised for their contact.

The best CRMs make the customer experience a simpler and more enjoyable process, therefore creating more return business and revenue for you. You want the ability to set communication preferences by contact. Your customer likes to receive communications in ways that feel right to them – whether it’s text, email, post, or phone calls.

Customer database graphic

5) Is your HVAC CRM software a good fit for residential and commercial work?

If you are dealing with commercial contracts, for example, a customer who has multiple properties or work addresses, an ideal CRM stores this information against the customer. No need to create new accounts for a customer’s various pieces of real estate.

If you work with a property management company who oversees a number of properties, you store all your work addresses against the property management company. Instead of having to invoice all the properties separately for the same customer, you send a single invoice against one customer.

Commercial contracts provide reliable recurring revenue. Many commercial contracts demand that HVAC companies use software, otherwise, they won’t hire you. It can be very difficult to work with larger contracts and grow sustainably without an effective HVAC CRM.

6) What are other must-have HVAC CRM features? 

Search function

Searching feels natural these days thanks to popular websites like Google and YouTube. Make sure your HVAC CRM has a search function where you can find customer information swiftly by searching for the job number, email address, phone number, address, etc.

When you have anywhere from dozens to thousands of customers, searching for what you remember about the customer/job is the easiest way to get all the information you’re looking for at your fingertips. With a quality HVAC customer management system, you spend virtually no time pinpointing the exact information you need at that moment.

Automatic sync of real-time information

A great customer system syncs real-time information. This means that if one person in the office types in customer data from a desktop, this information becomes available right away – across users and devices. The whole team is on the same page, instead of spending time communicating over phone or email about job and customer details.

The ability to work between mobile and desktop

A good customer management system allows you to work between mobile and desktop, making sure you and your team always have access to key information both on-site and in the office.

Ready to learn more about HVAC maintenance software?

If you’re looking for a CRM that does everything mentioned in the article, Commusoft’s customer database provides a comprehensive cloud-based system to organise and maintain customer data on desktop and mobile devices. By easily inputting customer information once into the system, you can create jobs against a customer, send out reminders and confirmations, log communications, and much more. Click below to learn more about how Commusoft would fit into your business.

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