Sime’s National Sales Manager, John Moran, shares his ideas about how gas engineers and installers can support their customers when they switch their boilers back on.
October is the time of year when the great British public switches on their central heating. 1 October is often called ‘central heating day’ and it’s also the time when lots of householders realise their boiler isn’t working quite as it should. Their heating might not come on at all; it might come on far too slowly, and their boiler might have an error code that they don’t understand and don’t have the manual for.
It’s that moment when they reach for their phone and call their installer, go online to search for a local heating engineer or go on social media to ask their friends who they might recommend. It’s also the time of year when installers start to get very busy with this kind of call and the anxiety householders have over calling out their heating engineer, contacting their insurers to get things sorted, and hoping they’re covered, or that it’s affordable, can be palpable!
If you have a list of customers you’ve seen in the past twelve months or more, it might also be worth giving them a call to check that all is well with their boilers. Many people still do not get their boilers serviced and encouraging your customers to keep on top of their heating maintenance can help them keep their troubles at bay. Most people wouldn’t dream of leaving their car unserviced for more than a year, and yet are quite happy to ignore the white box on the wall when it’s one of their most important and expensive household appliances! Keeping your customers up-to-date with their boiler servicing during the summer months can be an excellent way of freeing up your time for this time of year so you can help new people and bring in new business!
We would advise that good old-fashioned customer service can go a million miles to solving these issues and also to bring you repeat business and new customers. When you take those calls, ask whether the customer has their boiler manual. If they don’t, help them out by advising them how to find one (manufacturers’ websites is always a good port of call). Ask them to check that their radiators are switched on – it’s a bit like the classic IT manager’s question – have you turned it off and on again – to make sure that they’re not worrying unnecessarily. Take their details, find out the make of the boiler and be clear about when you are free to come and help them. Be kind. People get stressed in this kind of situation and you are there to alleviate that stress and worry so be friendly and understanding, especially if you can’t be there for a few days.
Looking after your customers, old and new, during these autumn and early winter months is part and parcel of running your business. It’s also how you can ensure work throughout the year and a good reputation in the town where you live.