This week I received a question from Joni, who owns an HVAC company in southern Utah. Here is Joni’s question:


“I own an HVAC company, which does pretty well. However, one thing that is always an issue for us is our competitors. I recently saw a customer who we’d worked with in the past leave a Google review for one of our competitors, and that’s when I realized it was a problem. I know in when it comes to business, you can’t have all the customers. However, I’d like to know what I can do to avoid losing them to my competitors!”


Unfortunately, competitors are a part of business that everyone has t o deal with. Losing customers to competitors doesn’t have to be, though. If you can build strong relationships with your customers, you can feel pretty safe knowing they will be lifelong. I know that can be hard when you’re completing HVAC services for someone infrequently, however your relationships don’t have to be based on your short interactions while completing a job.


Build Relationships with Your Customers

Building a relationship with your customers is key when it comes to keeping them around. People feel most comfortable returning and using your business again when they feel that they have established a relationship with you and your business. You can do this by engaging with them, and reminding them of your current specials and updates. It’s important for your customers to feel like you are looking out for their best interest when you contact them.


Build Trust

Train your employees to always be honest with your customers. If there is a noticeable issue that will be presenting itself in the future with their HVAC system, give them a heads up. If you have pointers and tricks for saving money on their utility bills and conserving energy, don’t be afraid to share! Building trust with your customers is a sure way to get them to call your business back instead of finding someone new, and potentially untrustworthy. Not only that, but they will be more likely to refer family and friends when they trust you, which will increase your new customers as well.


Stay Fresh on their Minds

Always leave your customers with a way to contact you again.Whether it’s a sticker on their furnace with your phone number and website, or a magnet for their fridge. Leaving your customer with your contact information so they can get back to you as soon as they need another HVAC service ensures that they won’t have to go digging around the internet and checking reviews to find someone new. Chances are, they will call whomever is most convenient for them to contact, so make sure that’s you! You can also ensure you’re staying fresh on the minds of those customers by engaging with them and reaching out to them to build that relationship.


Offer Incentives

If you can afford to offer some sort of incentive for returning customers, don’t be afraid to do so! It’s always a great idea to offer $5 or 10% off their next HVAC service so your customer won’t have to try to decide where to go.If they know they can get a great deal with you, they will want to come to you. Whether it’s a dollar amount, percentage or something else that benefits them, any incentive to get them coming back is a great idea!


Try out these methods, Joni, and let me know how they work! I think you will see a big increase in customers sticking with you instead of heading over to your competitors for a quote or to complete a service!


For more insights on marketing strategy that actually works for small business, subscribe to the FreshLime Newsletter here. Connect with Jay Bean, Founder of FreshLime and Small Business Marketing Expert on LinkedIn and Twitter. And last of all, if any of these tips have helped you or if you have anything to add please comment below. We’d love to hear from you!