Why It Matters: Who's Answering Your Business's Phones


When potential customers need HVAC service badly enough that it’s prompted them to make a phone call rather than send a message, they want to hear a friendly and reassuring voice on the other end. 

Not only is this an opportunity to potentially make a sale, but to instill in a potential customer some reassurance that there’s someone capable on the other end of the line who cares about their problem and has the capacity to solve it.  

In any commercial business, the people you have answering your phones matter. Some studies estimate that a negative phone experience can lead to 74% of customers turning to a competitor! 

If the person answering your phone is poorly trained, telephone use can have an extremely negative effect on a business. That’s why it’s vital to properly train employees on good and bad phone etiquette. 

Here are 7 helpful tips for training customer service representatives in an HVAC business.

#1: Train employees on how to use a customer service script.

This is a thoughtfully crafted script that customer service representatives (CSRs) should follow as they interact with customers over the phone. The use of a script reduces common errors and helps CSRs provide accurate information to customers. Having a guideline for employees to follow will also reduce their anxiety about speaking with customers over the phone and not knowing what to say in a given scenario.

They say that practice makes perfect and this certainly applies to customer service scripts. The best way for CSRs to become comfortable both with using the script and speaking with customers is through practice. Have your CSRs practice with each other in scenarios where one person acts as an employee and another as a customer.


#2. Train employees on the basics of HVAC.

For any business, when customers call for information or support they want to be assured of one thing first and foremost: that the company they’re calling is competent. The only way to speak with authority on a subject is to be knowledgeable about that subject. 

Making sure your employees understand the basics of HVAC will go a long way in both bolstering their confidence and ensuring the information they’re conveying is accurate.

#3. Familiarize employees with your company’s services and mission.

CSRs need to know exactly which services your company provides. This will help them field calls more accurately. For example, don’t leave a customer with a faulty boiler waiting on hold if your company doesn’t service them. 

CSRs should also be familiar with your company’s mission statement and brand promises. 

Scripts can be tailored to contain language that reflects your company’s values and reinforces brand promises without necessarily speaking the words. But when your CSRs have these in mind, it leads to informed interactions with customers that present a cohesive, unified front from all your customer service representatives.


#4. Be an active listener.

When a customer calls with a complaint or if they need immediate help, they want to be heard. Being an active listener is essential.

There are 4 key components of active listening: 

  • Paying attention to what the speaker is saying
  • Repeating or paraphrasing to demonstrate the CSR both hears and understands
  • Voicing empathy and concern for the customer’s complaint or dilemma
  • Verbal affirmations such as “I see” and “I understand” to reassure the customer

#5. Answer the phone promptly, but not too promptly. 

CSRs should answer the phone by the 2nd or 3rd ring, but it’s also a good idea not to answer it on the first ring. Customers don’t usually expect the phone to be answered on the first ring and might be caught off guard. The 2nd or 3rd ring is the sweet spot that’ll leave customers feeling more at ease before they even speak with anyone.


#6. Use euphemisms.

In the world of HVAC, the last thing a customer wants to hear are the words, “I don’t know.” When a CSR admits that they don’t know something, it comes across as being uninformed and therefore unable to help with the problem–even if that’s not necessarily the case. 

There are many euphemisms that CSRs should use instead. “Let me find out for you” or “I’ll check on that for you” are two examples that’ll avoid putting any doubt in the customer’s mind.

#7. Always be polite and professional.

This perfectly summarizes the tone that CSRs should take with every call. Remind employees to treat customers how they’d want to be treated. The best way to disarm an irate, frustrated customer is by keeping one’s cool and responding with calmness and professionalism. 

At iMarket Solutions, we’re dedicated to contractor success. If you’re ready to succeed, contact us and schedule a free marketing consultation at your earliest convenience.