Plumbing and HVAC pros are essential employees during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, that doesn’t mean your phones are ringing off the hook for service appointments. A lot of people are scared to let people into their homes right now while they self isolate and ride out the pandemic. While this whole public health crisis can be a headache, it also offers opportunities to nurture your HVAC or plumbing customer relationships.
We’ve assembled four ideas to help you stay in touch, build awareness, and bring in additional revenue.
How Nurture Customer Relationships During the COVID-19 Pandemic
1. Let customers know you’re open for business.
Have you told your customers that you’re still open for business during your community’s shelter or safe-at-home order? People may not be aware that your company is considered essential. Let them know you are open and what precautions you’re taking to keep your plumbers or HVAC technicians, as well as your customers, safe when making service calls.
|We've got tips for your techs working in the field, too. Check out Don Napier's advice for reassuring customers and taking appropriate precautions when visiting a customer's home during the COVID-19 outbreak.|
2. Teach people to perform easy, routine maintenance, and repairs.
This suggestion may sound counterintuitive. You didn’t start a plumbing or HVAC company to teach other people to fix their systems. However, you’ll gain trust by giving away some knowledge on how to perform regular maintenance and fix easy-to-repair problems.
Create some videos or write up instructions and share those with customers. Let them know how to determine if the issue requires your expertise, and remind them of the steps you’ll take to keep them safe if you do need to make a service call.
Share this content via email and social media to maximize your reach.
3. Offer extended warranties to your customers.
Follow up with your existing customers who have purchased new equipment in the past two years and educate them on the benefits of an extended warranty. Times are tough for many families, and there is a degree of uncertainty that many people face when it comes to ongoing employment. Making sales calls right now is tough. No doubt about it.
|Discover the benefits of offering extended warranties to your customers! Register for JB Warranties' .|
However, an extended warranty can offer peace of mind to some of your customers who want to safeguard their recent investment in a new HVAC system or plumbing equipment. They may prefer to purchase an extended warranty now rather than face costly repairs later when their finances may be tighter.
Just remember to proceed with empathy and tact when talking about why your customers should consider purchasing an extended warranty. People are fearful enough these days. Make this an empowering decision -- not one to make out of a sense of fear.
4. Think about ways to help people with “pandemic” problems.
Some readers may think this is a little “out there,” but bear with me. What do you think a lot of your customers are dealing with right now? Several people are working at home for the first time in their lives. Many of them are working at home with a spouse and kids.
Give them a few ideas and treats to help them stay sane.
- Send your customers a list of game ideas and activities to keep their kids occupied during the workday.
- Put together a list of ways people can use their guest bathroom as the perfect temporary home office. (People are already really doing this when they need their own space in a small home.)
- Hold a photo contest for the most creative use of a guest bathroom during quarantine -- as an office, a playroom.
- Detail ways to keep the house cool while everyone is working from home. Are there ways to keep the electric bill from skyrocketing as the weather heats up and people are stuck at home?
Be creative, and don’t be afraid to partner with some other local businesses to do something really fun for your mutual customers.
How Are You Nurturing Relationships Right Now?
These are strange times, and there is no such thing as “business as usual.” How are you adapting and changing your approach to nurturing your customer relationships?
Share your comments below. We’d love to hear what’s working for you.