This article has been reviewed by Billy Stevens for accuracy.
Like other field service businesses, the HVAC industry faces challenges with employee turnover. Residential HVAC contractors want to increase employee retention to experience more growth and profitability, as well as develop a good reputation among talented technicians in the area as the place to work.
If HVAC contractors wish to increase employee retention, they must deliver a better employee experience. Business owners will discover many solutions for boosting job satisfaction among their teams, but investing in field service management software (FSM software) is one of the most effective for HVAC companies. Learn more about HVAC field service software and its benefits for employee retention.
What is employee experience?
Employee experience considers the perception a worker has about their interactions and experiences while employed with the organization. It begins with hiring and onboarding and continues to resignation or retirement. Aspects that may inform employee experience include:
- Coworker and manager relationships
- Company culture
- Operations and processes
- Promotions and career development opportunities
- Access to technology and equipment
- Involvement in decision-making
What are the top reasons techs and staff employees quit?
If an HVAC contractor wants to reverse a high turnover rate, they need to understand why employees are leaving. Some motivations for quitting are universal, but others are specific to the industry. The following are several reasons why someonean employee might leave an HVAC business:
Too Much or Too Little Work
The amount of work HVAC businesses maintain isn’t always consistent throughout the year. For instance, contractors likely get many service requests for air conditioning and refrigeration issues during the summer that taper off as the weather cools. This means that at certain times of the year, HVAC companies experience much higher volumes of calls.
Overbooking places stress on service technicians and office staff. Field technicians may feel stretched thin, handling too many requests each day and possibly needing to work overtime regularly. Customer service reps may spend their whole day during these periods responding to service calls, increasing instances of burnout.
Although overbooking seems like a more common occurrence, underbooking is also a challenge. Technicians getting too few jobs may look for employment with contractors able to provide more consistent work throughout the year.
Lack of Communication
With technicians in the field, and dispatchers and other admin staff at the office, strong communication is essential for HVAC businesses. This means implementing an effective project management system where office staff and field technicians inform each other of new developments. For instance, an emergency service request comes in, and a dispatcher promptly alerts the right technician for the job of a schedule change.
When communication isn’t clear, inefficiencies and errors result in diminished customer satisfaction. Technicians may be unsure of job details or accurate quotes, and dispatchers may not know what went wrong if a tech doesn’t arrive on time. These issues contribute to reduced morale.
Technicians want to spend most of their time serving customers, not driving from home to home. If a tech’s route features more driving than working, they may be inclined to leave. It also prevents a single tech from completing as many jobs in one day, possibly inhibiting growth.
What is the key to employee retention?
Professional development opportunities, increased flexibility with schedules, and competitive benefits packages — all these strategies help boost employee retention. However, HVAC contractors can also enhance the employee experience by strengthening operational efficiency. This is where FSM software comes into play.
HVAC software streamlines many aspects of job management, from scheduling to estimating, to make field service operations more efficient. Employee experience improves, bolstering retention and often allowing contractors to seize more profitability. Discover how the following features of HVAC field service software support better employee retention:
Scheduling and Dispatching Automation
HVAC software simplifies time-consuming manual scheduling and dispatching by assigning techs to jobs based on availability, skill level, and like factors. Tracking functions reveal a tech’s progress with their daily tasks, enabling dispatchers to pinpoint a tech’s location and delegate new service requests accordingly. This also helps save time that techs spend driving to the next job.
Estimating and Invoicing Capabilities
HVAC software prevents a common problem for service businesses — technicians on-site must contact the office staff for accurate estimates. Estimating software gives techs the information necessary to create quotes in minutes. Additionally, most HVAC software integrates with accounting software like QuickBooks for smoother payment processing.
Some software providers allow techs to generate multiple quotes to highlight the difference between member and non-member pricing, potentially increasing memberships to maintain year-round work. This can prevent the lulls in work that drive some techs to quit.
Customer Relationship Management
HVAC software also improves the customer experience with online appointment booking and real-time updates about techs’ arrival times. Customer portals allow homeowners to review service history, estimates, and invoices.
These portals also help augment customer relationship management (CRM). They provide contractors with the customer information they need to deliver personalized service. When homeowners are satisfied, it makes for a more rewarding employee experience.
A mobile workforce requires a mobile solution to HVAC software. This cloud-based software solution is designed for compatibility with mobile devices like smartphones. Techs use a mobile app for quote building, invoicing, and similar tasks, and to maintain frequent communication with office staff.
Enhance Augment the Employee Experience with HVAC Software
With HVAC field service software, contractors can combat many of the problems that lead to employee turnover and realize higher retention. For HVAC software with the needs of small businesses like residential HVAC contractors in mind, turn to Sera.
Our FSM software is built on four principles for achieving efficiency at small or medium-sized field service businesses — time management, margin management, cash flow, and member management. What’s more, we offer a straightforward pricing model based on the number of techs you employ.
Contact us to learn how our FSM software can help you experience more efficiency and boost your bottom line. Schedule a 15-minute discovery call or 45-minute demo today.