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How HVAC Answering Services Work

Seasonal influxes in telephone calls make HVAC answering services a crucial part of a successful HVAC contracting business.

Image of air conditioning units installed by a contractor that uses an HVAC answering service

Heating, Ventilation and Air-Conditioning (HVAC) companies commonly use live HVAC answering services to support their business. This is done for two primary reasons:

  1. Provide 24-7 support for existing customers
  2. Capture after-hours and weekend sales prospects

Have you ever heard of an HVAC company that doesn’t provide after-hours emergency support? Probably not. That is because this is a highly competitive environment and if you want to stay in business, you need to be available around the clock to serve customers. So owners of these businesses turn to  24 hour HVAC answering services for support to ensure that a professional and friendly representative is available at all times to provide answers and quick services.

Many HVAC businesses are very seasonal. They have specific times of the year when they become exceptionally busy, which is an optimal time to have good HVAC answering services in place. Normally, these busy periods happen first in the Spring. This is when folks want their air conditioners fixed, serviced, or installed before the hot Summer months. Then, HVAC services get a lot of calls in the Fall, just prior to Winter because people want to ensure their heating systems are working properly before the cold weather hits. There are also periods when the first cold/heat waves hit that remind the people who didn’t think ahead to make the call.

So the  HVAC business owner has 3 choices:

  1. Hire additional to sit in the office for 2 months to handle the influx of calls.
  2. Deal with constantly getting interrupted on the job site by incoming phone calls.
  3. Partner with a professional HVAC answering service that already has highly trained and experienced operators in place.

Most opt for HVAC answering services, because…

  • It’s much cheaper than hiring additional staff.
  • It lets contractors focus on their work without interruption.
  • HVAC businesses still get to capture every sales lead while providing exceptional customer service.

HVAC owners know that they can alert their service in advance of peak seasons so that they can ensure they are always on the best billing plan. HVAC answering services will primarily bill based on call volume/time spent on the phone, and so it is not unusual for HVAC owners to adjust their billing plans as necessary to make sure they remain cost-effective.

How much do HVAC answering services cost?

That is a question that gets asked a lot. That’s understandable, because, after all, while there are many considerations to make when choosing an answering service for HVAC businesses, price is always one of them. So when people need an HVAC answering service, they often do a quick internet search and then place a call. Invariably, two questions will be asked immediately:

  1. Do you provide after-hours service?
  2. How much does is cost?

The short answer to the cost question is this: it depends on call volume.

The secret to an answering service handling an HVAC call effectively is to help convert callers into SALES. HVAC answering services can quickly turn a profit for the HVAC owner if they can consistently turn callers into qualified sales. Let’s say the HVAC operator pays his live answering service about $120/month (based on call volume) for after-hours assistance. Then let’s say the HVAC outfit bills $99 for an after-hours service call. It would only take two simple phone calls for the answering service to more than pay for itself by “closing” just two calls. HVAC answering services must be professional, friendly and courteous so that a price shopper in distress turns into a paying customer.

HVAC owners know that their potential sales prospects are keenly interested in price. If the price is right and the service is available, they will win the business. So HVAC owners are sure to tune up their live HVAC answering service to be sure they know how to quickly offer price quotes. Usually, there is a set fee for this type of service. HVAC answering services will respond quickly by telling the caller, “Yes, we do offer after-hours support. We bill $99 for the first hour and we will give you an estimate on anything that requires additional attention. Would you like me to page a technician now?”

Message Accuracy and On-Call Schedule Management

Of course, it is important not only to turn the caller into a prospective sale but to capture detailed and accurate messages. HVAC  businesses have their on-call staff geared up and ready to go at a moment’s notice. The last thing a technician needs at 2 am is to find out they have been given the wrong address to drive to. Or to show up in the middle of the night only to find out that the caller really didn’t want after-hours support. Detail and accuracy goes a long way in the wee hours of the morning!

A lot of HVAC companies have multiple techs that work on-call after hours. It is not unusual for a moderately busy HVAC company to have 4 or 5 trucks on the road at night. So when a call comes in from a customer in distress, which of the HVAC technicians gets the call? Good HVAC answering services will know, and they also help the HVAC company by managing their often complex list of after-hours on-call technicians. Not only are there a number of techs ready to take the calls, but there is a specific order that each of them must be called. Then those technicians all work on different days. Then sometimes those coverage days change due to scheduling conflicts or illness. Then there are last minute situations where one tech covers for the other. And so on.

Yes, it gets complicated. But great HVAC answering services have the ability to manage these ever-changing on-call lists and keep the right drivers on the road at the right time.

The best answering service for HVAC companies provides excellence in all things

When it comes to choosing an HVAC answering service provider, trust is key. After all, HVAC businesses are putting faith in their answering service partner to help them run a successful operation. From professionalism on the phones 24 hours a day and helping capture sales leads, to efficiently navigating on-call schedules and providing great service at an affordable price, there is a lot that goes into being the best answering service for HVAC contractors.

Contact us today so we can learn what you want out of your ideal HVAC answering service partnership!

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About Brian Gabriel

As the Call Center Manager for Sound Telecom, Brian is responsible for overseeing the daily operations and long term success of the company while managing a variety of inbound customer support programs. He also has a hand in taking care of the Solaxis services division. Prior to joining Sound Telecom, Mr. Gabriel held management positions with several prominent Internet Services companies including and Brian started his career in advertising and sales before moving to Washington State. He joined AEI Music in 1995 and supervised their international customer service department and technical support call centers. Brian received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism with a minor in Spanish languages from San Diego State University. Brian teaches adult education at his church and actively supports Christian ministries.