Ask the Experts | How to Dissuade Customers from Cancelling Installs

Question: How do you try to dissuade customers from cancelling their installs that are booked weeks in advance?

Drew Cameron; President, HVAC Sellutions & Energy Design Systems, Inc:

The easiest way that I’ve found is to let the customer dissuade themselves by stating during the course of the visit with the salesperson that they want the results that they agreed to get that only your solution can provide. Hopefully, during the course of your time as a salesperson or comfort advisor in the home, you’ve differentiated your company, your solution, your people, and your warrantees and guarantees, so that your customers feel like you’re the only option for the desired result. That’s the comfort experience. That’s the outcome they want.

We must stay focused on the outcome, the result the homeowners are looking for. People don’t buy things, they get things. They want the outcomes. They want the results. In HVAC, people want to be comfortable. They want to sleep well at night. They want their kids to sleep well at night and be shielded from the allergies and asthma they might suffer from. They want to slash their energy bill. They pay for the results, they just happen to get the furnace or air conditioner.

The salesperson can help the customer realize that they might have to wait a little bit longer than they’d like to get that best possible solution to address their concerns. If you have this conversation correctly, most of your customers will agree to wait for you because they’ll get the results that they’re paying for and not just a swap out of the equipment. They want the correct outcome and the long-term customer care.

You have to explain that your other customers didn’t really want to wait for the install but they’re glad that they did. They got the results that they wanted. You have to let your customers know that getting exactly what they want doesn’t always happen as quickly as they’d like, but if they’re willing to wait, they can have the best experience money can buy. You don’t want to bash any other companies, but any company that doesn’t have an installation backlog in peak season probably isn’t worth the wait anyway.

You can also let your customers know that your team is very efficient, that you usually finish jobs quicker than you have them on the schedule board. You can also let them know you’ll contact them if there are any opening that come up sooner. In the interim, if they have no heating or cooling, you can certainly provide them with temporary portable units to make them as comfortable as possible and you’ll move them up in the queue as time allows.

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