For HVAC dealers, training has a better ROI than advertising

HVAC employee training

In fact, training may be your best investment in business growth

Ask most marketing firms about what you can do to increase revenue, and they’re likely to tell you that you need to spend more money. We believe it makes far more sense to help our clients spend money more effectively and profitably.

When clients ask us where they should spend more to boost their bottom line, they expect us to suggest things like more advertising, and are nearly always surprised when we suggest they should invest it in their people. Specifically, investing in customer service training for their CSRs (customer service representatives), their techs, and anyone else involved in the sales process.

Real-world experience with our clients proves there’s no more effective way to boost your average ticket and total revenue than investing in your people. Plus, even small incremental improvements in your team’s skills result in large bottom-line increases.

Here’s an example that’s based on real results our clients have seen. Consider a contractor who receives 1,254 leads to service customer equipment and 345 for new equipment. Historically, the contractor’s CSRs have been able to turn 65% percent of the service leads into booked calls, with a completed job rate of 95% and an average repair ticket of $564. That gives us 774 service jobs for $436,731 in revenue.

The CSRs are less successful with equipment leads, booking just 55% of them with a 75% completion rate. That results in 142 completed jobs at an average of $12,874. Total overall revenue is just about $2.3 million. Not terrible.

But what happens when the CSRs receive some training that bumps their service booking rate up to 70% and equipment up to 65%? Keeping all other variables the same, total revenue jumps to $2.6 million. In other words, a slight performance increase on the part of the CSRs added $366,709 to the bottom line.

Now we’ll take that a step further by investing in similar training for their service techs. As a result of the new skills and techniques they’ve learned, the techs manage to increase the average service ticket to $764 and equipment sales to a slightly higher $13,500. That brings total revenue to $2.9 million, a gain of $638,777 (or 12.6%) over the original scenario. Mind you, that’s simply the result of training — no additional advertising or promotions. And the contractor will see the positive effects of that investment in training month after month because it becomes a permanent part of their employees’ skillsets.

Callers enjoy talking to the trained CSRs, who are warm, polite, efficient, and know how to listen. They’re also good at gathering information to help the tech be more efficient and know what to expect when they walk in the door. For their part, the techs have learned how to size up each customer’s home and adapt their messages accordingly. When a customer raises a concern, they address it respectfully, earning the customer’s trust. The contractor trusts them, too, so they’re empowered to make decisions without having to call the office for permission.

One caution about this approach: good training isn’t cheap. Nor is it a one-time thing. In fact, when you see the impact high-quality training can have, you’ll probably be eager to invest even more in sharpening your team’s newly earned skills. But bargain training programs won’t make it work. We can point you to the right kind (and show you how to increase the impact with incentives that really motivate).

Know how many times you’ve dreamed about your business becoming a well-oiled machine that works so well you can take a couple weeks off without worrying? This is the only business model we know that consistently makes that possible. The smarter your team becomes and the more trust you place in them, the more revenue you’ll see and the more you’ll be able to focus on big-picture strategies instead of putting out daily fires.

If you’d like to know more about Cornerstone, and how we work as your outsourced marketing department to help grow your business, contact Or you can call (317) 804-5640  x108.

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