HVAC technician Zak Saboune admits the residential air conditioning market is highly competitive making it hard to stand out from the crowd.
As the founder of Australia's biggest home service companies, with 3,500 homes serviced per month and over 180 staff, Saboune is making an impact. These are his top tips for success.
First things first, make sure you work on a positive pricing method whereby customers feel they are getting a good deal.
Consumers generally don’t like the uncertainty of not knowing how much they will pay at the end of a job. A smart pricing model is to present what the customer wants, which is ultimately a flat rate.
For example, tradies tend to charge for time, material and parts. But you might want to look at charging a flat rate for every task, rather than an hourly rate.
At Service Today, our prices are pre-determined, and the only adjustment that our licenced technicians can make is to give small discounts.
This allows our customers to have no hidden surprises at the end of the job and to rest assured that they have transparency over the end cost.
Next, look at discounting for members. This tactic is not necessarily to generate direct profits, but to build relationships with your customer and drive consumer loyalty and ensure repeat business.
For example, you might want to look at building a customer club which offers preventative maintenance along with a member rate discount, money saving coupons or loyalty credit dollars.
Hiring the right staff is crucial to your business succeeding. Without the right staff in place, you won’t be able to service your customers effectively.
Tradespeople are often thought of as unreliable, unprofessional and badly presented. Seek to dispel this myth, exceed expectations, and ensure your staff are reliable, professional, honest, timely and presentable.
Make sure your employees are rigorously screened and skill-tested. Seek to hire staff that are reliable, loyal employees and avoid subcontractors if possible.
Also make sure all new employees are provided with ongoing training, development and support to ensure they are equipped with the right tools to effectively carry out their roles.
To ensure repeat business, create a model whereby customer satisfaction is guaranteed and that your customer will keep coming back for repeat business.
Ask yourself what your customer might expect in order to keep coming back for more.
For example, you could consider a membership model which gives lifetime warranty on workmanship and dispels the myth that once a tradie completes a job, no matter how good or bad, the consumer is left hanging.
In this membership you could ensure repairs are certified and warranted for life, meaning that if a defect is found as a result of poor workmanship, the company endeavours to repair the issue and replace any parts necessary.
In turn you stand to gain customer loyalty and most of all repeat business ensuring that you have a point of differentiation to your competitors.
If you can differentiate your business from your marketing, through to the quality of your work and the customer experience, you will be well on your way to being the preferred service in your field. And it starts with giving the service everyone always hopes to receive when they pick up the phone to a HVAC tradesperson.
About Zak Saboune, founder - Service Today:
Early in his career, Zak Saboune recognised that being a skilled tradesperson wasn’t enough in today’s competitive world. Zak’s strong belief in reliable on-time performance and predictable, honest pricing led him to the creation of Service Today, a professional home services company offering services including emergency plumbing, electrical, heating and cooling.