Every day HVAC professionals, like other professionals, are on the lookout for magical tweaks that they can apply to their businesses to help them achieve their goals faster. It’s called working smarter. In fact, the ever-increasing need for customer gratification in the HVAC industry makes it even more urgent for contractors to seek means of executing their job in smarter ways.
Fortunately, Google Glass – small as it may seem – presents HVAC contactors with that magical tweak for improving customer experience and, at the same time, working smarter. Do you doubt it? Take a look these seven ways this piece wearable technology could help improve your HVAC business.
Enhanced first-time fix performance
Jeffrey Wartgow, the vice president of product marketing for TOA Technologies, which helps companies manage their field service workforces more effectively through its cloud applications, says that one of the biggest challenges to having a good first-time fix performance in the HVAC industry is the proliferation of the different models and units that need to be serviced. “To be able to work on all the different systems and achieve a first-time fix is a huge challenge,” he says. “With Google Glass, information for different systems could be made digitally available at the corner of a contractor’s eye, which he can quickly check in case he comes across something he doesn’t know how to fix.”
Apart from making information about systems available digitally, with Google Glass, contractors can connect with colleagues via real-time video streaming to help fix unusual problems. In the end, this would help contractors improve their first-time fix performance, which in turn, improves service margin.
Improved customer satisfaction
“Customers’ expectations are so extreme now,” Wartgow says. “They expect that, if something stops working, the technician should be right at their door like it’s a 911 call. And if they cannot receive such quick services they take to social media to give poor reviews.” Wartgow agrees that, with Google Glass, contractors can see paramount schedules and attend to them quickly to keep customers happy.
Moreover, improved customer satisfaction is another added benefit from an improved first-time fix performance. A report from the Aberdeen Group titled, “Fixing First-Time Fix: Repairing Field Service Efficiency to Enhance Customer,” shows that, field service companies with higher first-time fix rate experience higher customer satisfaction and retention.
The report from Aberdeen Group that was referenced above also says that 25% of secondary visits for field service companies in general are down to technicians lacking the necessary experience to fix issues. This means that field service companies have to invest in training. Fortunately, through real-time video recording, Google Glass presents a way to train technicians more effectively. “New technicians could be asked to record their first set of outings for a senior colleague to review and possibly teach him what could be done better,” Wartgow says. In addition, an experienced technician could use Google Glass to record and keep training videos for new technicians while working on systems.
Turning technicians into marketers
“Everybody wants their field workers to become salesmen,” Wartgow says. “Unfortunately, they are not trained to be salesmen; they are trained to repair problems. But you can still make them salesmen by prompting them with the right information at the right time through Google Glass for something like offering an upsell just like an ad would pop up on the internet.” In other words, with Google Glass, a technician, who would normally not know how to pitch customer, would suddenly become a marketer, which is a big plus to just about any company.
Taking customer engagement to a new height
The real-time video streaming that Google Glass offers presents a way to improve customer engagement. Let’s face it, there are certain HVAC system failures that users can fix on their own. So, through Google Glass, technicians can walk customers through simple techniques to fix such problems, which would save them some extra bucks. This is a form of content marketing and it helps convince customers that you actually care about them and not just their money. The direct result? They’d always want to call on you when big issues come up because, as they say, a good turn deserves another.
It helps earn the trust of customers
Again, with the video streaming service of Google Glass, technicians could stream live videos to a customer’s mobile device or computer so the customer can see what the technician is doing. An HVAC company, Las Vegas Air Conditioning, is actually using the Google Glass for this purpose already. The company says on its website, “This way you never say “are you sure” or “How do you know that’s really what’s wrong” and you’ll never think to yourself “I wonder if he lied to me.”
Of course, it’s difficult to deal with people who don’t trust you. However, in reality, you have to deal with them. Google Glass does present a near-perfect way to deal with such customers.
Helps protect contractors against false claims
One of the biggest, and perhaps priceless, applications of Google Glass is that it allows for proper documentation. “We hear cases such as the scratch on the kitchen cabinet that a technician made while working turning into the entire kitchen needs to be replaced, because there was not proper documentation of what actually happened,” Wartgow says. “But with the Google Glass, such things won’t happen because you will have video documentation.”
Threat to interpersonal customer relationship?
People have being saying that a technology like this would hurt attempts to build intimate one-on-one customer relationships. Well, maybe to an extent. But think about this. “Consumer behaviors are changing,” Wartgow says. “They want to do things on their own, or they want things to be done instantly. They feel they can take care of themselves. So you’re actually offering the worst customer experience for not offering the option.”