October 30, 2014

Why consumer reviews are vital to your business

shutterstock_137135720At Lennox Industries Inc., we pride ourselves on the quality, functionality, and craftsmanship of the family of HVAC products we offer. That’s why Lennox is the only organization in the industry to allow published reviews of the products we sell.

The Lennox philosophy 

It’s our experience that the modern consumer trusts the reviews of other homeowners more than the message of a business. Because of that philosophy, we built a platform on Lennox.com to allow consumers to share the more than 12,000 reviews they’ve provided in the last 12 months voicing their opinions and experiences on using their Premier Dealer – both good and bad. The resulting word-of-mouth referral experience has been immeasurable.

But the rewards have definitely outweighed the risks. Lennox.com Dealer Reviews hold a 4.8 out of 5-star review, with more than 98% of consumers saying they would recommend their particular dealer to their friends and family members.

Additionally, on behalf of all Dave Lennox Premier Dealers across North America, we also actively solicit feedback from their consumers on the quality of service their Dealer provided. And if the Dealer chooses, we make their Dealer Reviews available online.

Consumer opinions count

Another aspect of our consumer review platform is being able to take action as a result of those reviews. Our product management team recently made some changes to the popular iComfort Wi-Fi thermostat platform based on suggestions and experiences posted in our review sections.

So what does the Lennox review experience mean to dealers? To quote baseball legend Babe Ruth, “Don’t let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game.” Adapt your company culture to the modern-day customer by adding reviews to your website today.

Jim Cadena is a Senior Merchandising Manager for Lennox Industries Inc. 

 

October 28, 2014

Why consumer financing is important

shutterstock_221294869The two questions I get asked most often from dealers are, “how can I distinguish myself from the local competition?” and “how can I better my sales?” The answer to these two questions is simple — consumer financing.

I sat down with Lennox Industries Senior Merchandising Manager, Jim Cadena, to talk about the importance of offering consumer financing.

M: Jim, when a Comfort Advisor offers financing, how often would you say he or she is able to close the sale?

J: When financing is secured for a consumer by a Comfort Advisor, whether it is the first or fifth proposal the consumer has received, nine out of 10 times the deal closes with the advisor who secured the financing.

M: In your experience, what would you say is the benefit to offering consumer financing up front?

J: It allows the customer to really focus on the pitch. Taking the financing concern off the table (by mentioning its availability early in the call) allows them to pay more attention to the product information and uncertainty of how they are going to pay for it.

M: Finally, what would you say is the largest benefit to dealers for offering consumer financing?

J: From a dealer’s perspective, offering financing to the consumer leads to a 65% increase in ticket size.

From maximizing your sales to increasing your close rate, offering consumer financing has incredible benefits for dealers and consumers alike. For more information on U.S. and Canadian consumer financing programs, visit DaveNet.com, and click Financial Tools under Partner Resources.

Follow me on Twitter for daily tips on how to improve your HVAC business at @HVACLearning.

October 22, 2014

Is it the AC or is it the house?

Once the whole system checks out, where do you look next? Jose De La Portilla, Senior Technical Training Consultant of HVAC Learning Solutions tells you what to look for, beyond the usual, to answer this common complaint from customers.

October 16, 2014

How to handle new management

shutterstock_145613917From time to time, a company will experience a shift in management or leadership. Whether that be due to growth,retirement, or — in many cases in the HVAC industry — the succession of leadership from one family member to the other, taking on a new leader can lend itself to challenges for both employees and senior management alike.

Here are three basic, but sometimes overlooked, tips for handling a new manager.

  1. Give them the opportunity to learn. A leader still needs the chance to learn the ropes, even if they are promoted internally. By giving them the chance to learn the new position and helping them along the way, it sets the example of cohesive synergy across the company.
  2. Give them feedback. New leaders are going to make mistakes, so it’s important that you be there to give them constructive and helpful feedback to help them succeed. Just stick to the golden rule — treat others the way you’d like to be treated.
  3. Set them up for success. New leaders may not have worked all the jobs that they will be overseeing, so take time to schedule a one-on-one with the new leader and give them a basic overview of what you do, what your job entails, the schedule you work, how you learn, and how you best communicate.

I give daily advice for HVAC dealers, technicians and comfort advisors on my Facebook, Twitter, and Google + channels. Join the conversation today!

October 14, 2014

Do you know the history of the industry?

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In order to know where you’re going, it’s important to know where you came from.

From the first use of the phrase “air conditioner” to the creation of the modern technical terms we use daily, the history of HVAC is beyond interesting, and vital to the future of the industry.

Here are a few key HVAC terms and the fascinating history behind their name.

  • Amp – An amp, or ampere, is a reference to electron flow or measurement of electric current. It is named after Frenchman André-Marie Ampère who discovered the amp, or the relationship between voltage and how many electrons would flow past a given point at a given time.  Fun fact: 1 amp of current is equal to 16.2 quintillion electrons in a second.
  • Hermetic compressor – Abbreviated as “HERM” in the HVAC industry, the phrase “hermetic” actually refers to Homer’s The Odyssey. In the story, Odysseus is traveling to get home to his family and the Greek gods send Hermes to protect him. Hermes then encapsulated Odysseus in a special incantation to prevent weapons from the outside world of hitting him. With the hermetic compressor, we are paying tribute to Homer’s The Odyssey because the units are hermetically sealed, meaning nothing can get in them.
  • Volt – The volt, which refers to the electrical flow of energy (or EMF, electro motive force), was named out of respect for the creator of the battery, Alessandro Volta.
  • Air conditioning – The original patent for what we now know as an air conditioner was originally called “an apparatus for the conditioning and treatment of air.” Then a cotton farmer by the name of Stuart W. Cramer, while at a big agricultural convention, stood up and said, “If only there was a way to air condition our warehouses, our cotton would last longer.” This was the first reference to the phrase “air conditioning.”
  • Ohm – The word ohm is named after German scientist Georg Simon Ohm, who discovered the relationship of different materials and their ability to resist electron flow. Fun fact: Without Ohm, we wouldn’t have been able to create electronics, since we wouldn’t know whether an element was an insulator or conductor of energy. 

D.W. Norris, who purchased Lennox Industries from Dave Lennox in 1904, once said, “Build the best product to get me the best salesmen. The best salesmen will get me the best dealer. And the best dealer will give me the most business.”

Keep the history of the industry alive in your dealership and educate your comfort advisors and technicians on stories behind the products, technical terms, and industry we love so dearly.

For more lessons on the HVAC industry and technical training, check out my videos on YouTube at www.youtube.com/HVACLearning.

  • Meet Mike Moore

    Mike Moore isn't just an HVAC expert;
    he also knows a thing or two about
    HVAC employee training. As one of
    HVAC Learning Solutions founders
    and Director of Training, his biggest
    goal is to help HVAC leaders and
    technicians grow their business
    and build lasting skills. This
    University of Kansas grad has
    a contagious personality, a lot
    of knowledge, and a knack for
    providing HVAC training
    and development.