Coronavirus and HVAC
How Your Company Responds Matters
Interesting times, aren’t they? Coronavirus is here and we’re all being asked to practice “social distancing,” and work from home. Easy to do when you’re an accountant, but we all know HVAC is a little harder to do from your couch. We’re watching our schools and local restaurants close down, public gatherings banned, and big HVAC industry events canceled, one after another. We’re also seeing a lot of chatter on social media about what it all means for your family’s health, and the health your HVAC businesses. Techs are getting sick. Staff need to stay home with their kids. Customers are putting off service. Contractors are worried. Not just about their health, but about the long-term effect this all will have on their livelihoods.
Focus on what you can control
As you work to keep your family, staff, and your customers safe, it can start to feel like things are spinning out of control. At times like this it helps to focus on the things you CAN control. Including how you respond to this national health crisis. Should you find yourself with some unwelcome downtime, here are a few marketing tasks you can do to stay productive and keep yourself focused on the end game.
- Get on social media and let your customers know if you’re open, and what your hours will be until further notice. Or that you’re closing temporarily, but available for emergency service by calling X number. Either way, strike a positive and reassuring tone.
- Clearly communicate what you’re doing to keep your staff as well as your customers safe. Like, booties, gloves, respirators, sanitizing equipment and frequent hand washing protocols.
- Send out an email newsletter with all of this information, and other tips, like what to do if AC goes out while caring for an ill family member. And invite customers with health concerns to call the office so you can discuss how to approach their service call in a way that is comfortable for them.
- Don’t make the mistake of halting your marketing. Staying visible may not make your phone ring right now, but it will make a huge difference as things come back online. People remember the businesses who stay top of mind.
- Promote your IAQ products. Just as storms make generators very popular, this health crisis gives you the opportunity to create awareness of how IAQ products can improve health. Send a postcard out. Support it with a social media post. Blast out an email to your customers. Mention IAQ on calls.
- Market clean & checks – remind folks to get them done right away in case they need to isolate in the near future. Be sure to mention the safety protocols you’ve put in place.
Go the extra mile
- Bring a mask for the customer when you arrive at their home
- Order small gel packs of hand sanitizer customized with your company logo, and leave a few with the customer.
Make good use of your time
- Catch up on writing blog posts for your company website
- Review your marketing plan and see what you can get a jump start on while things are slow. While you’re working on your spring postcards, might as well get those summer postcards designed and ready now, and they will be ready to drop in the mail when the time comes.
- Work on your marketing plan. If you don’t have an annual plan in place, now is the perfect time to create one.
Ethics and integrity matter
- This is the time to come together to help our neighbors. This is not the time to price gouge on IAQ equipment. Or make false or unproven claims about the benefits of IAQ equipment. Instead, educate. An educated customer will always spend more.
- People remember and reward the businesses that went the extra mile in times of crisis. Think Anheuser-Busch. After Hurricane Harvey they halted beer production at their Georgia plant to produce 50,000 cans of water to send to Red Cross shelters in Louisiana.
- The opposite is true also. People remember the businesses that take advantage of people. Think Turing Pharmaceuticals, led by convicted felon Martin Shkreli, who raised the price of a desperately needed drug by 5000%. You remember that colossal jerk, right?
This too shall pass. Stay positive, focused, and visible, and your services will be in high demand when it does. Hang in there, HVAC heroes!
Need to get an IAQ postcard out to your customers, or need help with a promotional item? Want help putting a marketing plan together? EB&L can help. Call 315-685-9500 today! Or email firstname.lastname@example.org.