Reputation Marketing and HVAC Careers
A catchy jingle used to be the peak of marketing.
When you wanted to get your name out there as an HVAC business or HVAC technician, all you had to do was put together a clever rhyme, set it to some memorable music, and then wait for people to show up.
Things are a lot more complicated these days, in the age of the internet. People comparison shop, check lists, and — most importantly — read customer reviews. Which means everyone, including HVAC technicians and business owners, need to look for new ways to promote their services.
Enter: reputation marketing.
What Is Reputation Marketing?
Reputation marketing is born from a combination of brand marketing and reputation management.
- Brand marketing: the tactics behind creating and publicizing a strong brand — including logo, messaging, company values, customer experience — and building that brand’s value
- Reputation management: the effort you put into responding to and influencing how the public perceives your business, including minimizing negative reviews and resolving customer complaints
Reputation marketing involves taking aspects from both of those areas to build great word-of-mouth-style advertising and bring in new customers.
You use all of the assets of your brand and what people are saying about it as your primary focus for promoting and marketing your services.
Unlike reputation management, which is all about reactions — reacting to complaints, reacting to negative feedback, and so on — reputation marketing is active and focused on the positive.
It’s a matter of leveraging customer reviews and ratings, testimonials, social media chatter, community awards, local news pieces, etc.
These days, reputation management tends to bring up some bad connotations, like killing negative reviews, buying spots on recommendation lists, or purchasing 5-star ratings from review generating services.
But reputation marketing is more about tapping into that feeling of getting a recommendation from a trusted friend or family member. You want customers to pick you not because of a sleek ad design, but because they did their research and know: you’re the best.
How Does Reputation Marketing Affect HVAC Technicians?
If you’re an HVAC technician or studying to become an HVAC technician, it’s worth it to start thinking of reputation marketing now. Not only because you want to be competitive in reaching new customers and keeping your existing ones, but because things like reviews can make you or break you in the marketplace:
- According to Pew Research, 82% of U.S. adults will “at least sometimes read online customer reviews…including 40% who say they always or almost always do”
- Businesses or individuals with ratings between 4.0 and 4.5 stars earn up to 28% more in annual revenue
- 94% of consumers say a negative review convinced them to avoid a business
As a service industry, it’s important for HVAC technicians to build a positive relationship with clients and customers. Oftentimes, as an HVAC tech, you’re meeting people when they are extra frazzled and extra irritable. Maybe their air conditioning went out during a heat wave or their heater isn’t keeping up during a cold snap. It can make for a stressful situation, but it also means that a trained HVAC serviceperson turning up and telling them it’s gonna be okay is an absolute hero. And everyone loves a hero.
But that’s just the first part of reputation marketing. Good customer service, positive communication, solution-focused problem solving — that’s just smart branding in the HVAC field. How do you turn that into marketing?
What Are Some Easy Ways of Using Reputation Marketing for HVAC?
As someone either working in or looking to work in the HVAC field, how do you make reputation marketing work for you? Here are a few easy steps you can take:
- Put customer reviews on your site and encourage feedback — Your website is one of the most powerful tools in your online kit. In addition to listing your services and promoting your brand, it should also have a spot where you list reviews from current customers and make it easy for other clients to post their feedback as well.
- Claim your listings on review sites — Claiming listings on sites like Google and Yelp let you become a verified account, which makes you look more trustworthy, helps you in search engine results, and lets you respond to reviews.
- Recruit satisfied clients for testimonials and references — Those HVAC clients who are big fans of your work may also be a big boost in your marketing. See if they are willing to offer a testimonial that you can use in your advertising or even be a reference for inquiries.
- Monitor your brand reputation online and have a response plan — Quickly responding to negative reviews can actually help you turn it around and sometimes even upgrade that review. It shows you’re responsive, you’re connected, you’re concerned about customer experience, and that can make a big difference.
- Be active on social media and promote your positive reviews — Picking at least one social media platform — Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, even Tiktok — and actively engaging on there can be a big opportunity to meet new customers and boost positive developments like a new 5-star review, a community business award, a local event you’re going to be a part of, and so on.
Getting Started in HVAC
If you are interested in getting started in the heating, ventilation and air conditioning field, before the brand, before the customers, and before the reputation marketing comes education and training. The first step toward running your own HVAC business is becoming a journeyman HVAC technician, which you can do in as little as 24 weeks with training from Vocational Training Institute.