Is your “Local Heating and Cooling Contractor” really “Local”?


People choose their Heating and Cooling contractor for various reasons. In these tight economic times, a major consideration is obviously price. Most contractors that have been in the business for a while, know where the market is and are typically priced competitively. So how do people choose if prices are basically equal?

It usually comes down to a couple of pretty basic things: reputation and customer experience.

Reputation is something we all fight to keep pristine. Without being simplistic, I think its fair to say that the longer a company has been in business the better the reputation. Sure, there’s likely to have been the odd customer that wasn’t completely happy but over time, businesses don’t survive for very long if they don’t make their customers happy.

So given that you need to keep making customers happy, what do we need to do to make sure they keep coming back? Fortunately, there is a lot of disagreement on how to do this.  Although it may seem basic, we try to focus on a few things:

i)                   Be aware and sympathetic to what the customer is going through. This seems simple enough, but you’d be surprised how some contractors react to this. We think the people answering the phone should be local so they can appreciate what you’re going through if you’ve got no heat or no cooling. Curiously, this is not shared by all of the industry. Our longest standing competitor (after 3 or 4 ownership changes) “America Capital buyout Article” now chooses to have their call centre located in the southern US.

ii)                 Make them feel like they are getting personalized service. Again, fairly basic, but how many contractors out there don’t take the homeowner through how there equipment is operating and review any other potential problems they see cropping up?

iii)               Re-invest in the community you are working in. How to accomplish this is fairly simple for us. However, it may not be so straight forward for those multi-branch operations. Do you only reinvest where you make the money? Is the money made locally or at head office? Is the ownership of the business committed to ‘making it work’ in the community?

So the next time your house isn’t quite as comfortable as you’d like it to be, look for a heating contractor that is competitive, has a strong track record, and is focused on making your experience enjoyable. Life is too short to go through unpleasant ones – for both the customer and the supplier!

Do you put an emphasis on shopping locally to build and grow our Waterloo Region community? Please feel free to share your thoughts.

Examples:

Foodlink Waterloo Region

Momstown KW

Uptown Waterloo Patios

 

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