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Manasota Air Conditioning Contractors Association

What does it take to WIN with Maintenance?

Thursday, April 20, 2023 1:29 PM | Anonymous

Most people measure whether they are winning at something by the amount of money they make. This definition of winning may be the reason most HVAC businesses steer clear of maintenance. Our industry views maintenance as a loss on the scorecard. But is it?

On the other hand, there are companies that, almost like ghosts, haunt the rest of the industry with successful maintenance programs that win for all parties involved. These ghosts, in effect, quietly take care of customers and keep them as raving fans. They find ways for their customers, their co-workers, and their businesses to win. Wouldn’t it be nice to spend some time with those ghosts and get an inside peek at what makes them winners?

DO CUSTOMERS WIN? In business, nothing matters if the customer doesn’t win. That is why successful maintenance programs place the customer first. All processes and procedures are there to serve the customer. In fact, great maintenance programs find processes and procedures that exceed customer expectations for years to come.
Consequently, if you were the customer, what elements of a maintenance program help you to win?

Some common winning features include:

  • Pre-scheduled tune-up
  • System performance evaluation
  • Seamless monthly payment plan
  • Visible system improvement
  • Priority service
  • Discounts on service and accessories
  • Tidy work areas
  • Respect for customer’s home and family
  • Clean trucks parked in the appropriate place

DOES THE TEAM WIN? The HVAC industry faces a severe labor shortage. Not having a large enough labor force can cause a deterioration in the quality of work performed. Why? Because fewer techs try to squeeze in more calls and spend less time discovering the source of customer complaints. Therefore, quality is bound to suffer.

Also, a smaller workforce usually has a higher overtime percentage. In other words, overtime means technicians lose time with their families. This leads to things like burnout and bad attitudes. Will quality work suffer as a result? You bet.

So, your team members must have your respect and concern for the challenges this type of work causes. So to have a successful maintenance program, you must have successful co-workers. This means hiring people with the right attitude, then training them to provide top-shelf craftsmanship on every job.

Then there is the whole career thing. Providing HVAC careers and training for your team is so essential by today’s standards. When your team members know the progression of their careers and they know you reward quality work, they will work harder and help the entire company be successful.

Unfortunately, many within the HVAC Industry view maintenance work as ‘busy’ work. They view it in the same light as when a teacher gives the substitute busy work for the class to perform when the teacher is out.

They don’t place a high value on maintenance that our customers and co-workers can rally behind. If we treat maintenance tune-ups like an option, then maintenance will never be more than just busy work. Teams must understand the importance of regular maintenance, and owners must continually re-enforce its value.

So, contractors whose teams win with maintenance have found a way to value this work. In case you thought otherwise, this is not busy work. It becomes a pathway for the homeowner to know their system is operating safely, their home environment is healthy, and they are more comfortable. Maintenance assures customers their system is also operating efficiently.

  • Features winning teams have in common include:
  • Training programs that correspond to pay increases
  • Performance bonuses for quality work
  • Company provided uniforms
  • Public praise/private reprimand.

CAN THE CONTRACTOR WIN? You already know the answer. You also know it is not easy to have a maintenance program that wins. For this reason, High-Performance Maintenance Contractors all measure, evaluate, change, and re-measure. As a result, a winning contractor must spend time training themselves. They must seek ways to improve their own performance even as they seek to improve their team’s performance.

Contractors who win can expect the following:

  • Customers who are Raving Fans
  • A successful, trustworthy team
  • Steady, predictable work schedules
  • A reputation for quality work
  • Consistent income.

NCI CAN HELP WITH SUMMIT 2023 In each section of this article, I listed features a single High-Performance Contractor uses to Win-Win-Win. Can you imagine being in a room full of successful contractors all sharing their experiences?

You will have that opportunity at National Comfort Institute’s High-Performance HVAC Summit 2023. Come join us! You will hear experiences and share ideas with other High-Performance Contractors in each session. That is to say, there will be some ghosts haunting these sessions and I can’t wait to learn how to be a winner.

If you haven’t done so, sign yourself and your team up. Plan to join your peers from across the country in Branson, MO, from April 16-20

This article is based on an upcoming discussion moderated by Jim Ball at National Comfort Institute’s 2023 High-Performance HVAC Summit in Branson, MO. In its 20th year, this event focuses on the High-Performance HVAC Contracting segment of the industry and promises to be something you and your team should not miss.
You can learn about upcoming sessions, special events, registration savings for members, and more at

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