2020 was a year of uncertainties, but within the heating & air industry, there was consistent growth in revenues and technology. The impact of COVID-19 has put the Compound Average Growth Rate (CAGR) at a projected +4% mainly due to the increased installation of HVAC equipment in both residential and commercial dwellings and regular service and maintenance. There is also a high demand for green energy solutions, smart home technologies, and app-based usage monitoring.
The consumer and commercial demand continues to rise as HVAC companies are left to figure out the most effective way to capture the market in their local service areas. Here are the top 5 industry trends to assist businesses and position themselves to take advantage of this growth in 2021.
Data to drive Connectivity and Green Initiatives for Heating & Air
HVAC is steadily steering away from old fuels and equipment to embrace environmental-friendly methods. Green technology boosts efficiency, promotes sustainability, and produces cleaner energy. While these evolutionary concepts and products have their expenses, GlobalWebIndex found 46% of Baby Boomers and 61% of Millennials say they are ready to pay for more expensive, eco-friendly products. People want to help clean the environment and installing green technology is found to be cost-effective and sustainable.
Recruiting Good Help and Fast
To find potential talent, start with attending career fairs. In a recent survey of high school students, 51% said they have considered attending a trade school. Promoting your brand as an employer can spark interest in potential talent and lead to quality recruits. Word of mouth is always best when marketing your business, but it’s not always feasible for HVAC contractors since most of your time is spent completing jobs. You can fill in these gaps by using online recruit tools and creating a career page on your website.
Interviewing and hiring is time-consuming and HVAC companies must budget their time well. You want to attract potential applicants who are interested in your company and answer most preliminary questions before the interview. A way you can accomplish this is by using video. When creating recruiting-type videos about your company, think about what an applicant might ask: What’s the culture like? Is there room for career growth? How flexible are the hours? Are there educational opportunities? You can record videos talking about these subjects and tell the story about what type of company you are.
For current employees, think about offering educational opportunities to expand skillsets if you haven’t already. The HVAC industry is changing to using eco-friendly technology and smart devices, so having this knowledge would be crucial to career growth. Lastly, prioritize company culture in your 2021 business strategy. Millennials make up 88% of the total workforce and many expressed that company culture is important to them. Employees want to feel appreciated for their contributions and having a positive workplace will motivate individuals and keep talent around. You can build company culture by incentivizing performance, awarding achievements, and hosting team bonding events.
Online Reputation is not going away
Digital word of mouth is crucial in the HVAC industry and consumers are taking a business’s online reputation even more seriously. In 2020, 87% of consumers say they read online reviews for local businesses and 31% say they read more reviews because of COVID-19. Potential customers have higher expectations when looking into a business and take star ratings, reviews, and online presence into account. As an HVAC owner, there are ways to make sure you maintain your online reputation.
Many heating & air businesses pride themselves on being the best in the field, so why not show off your skills by taking photos of completed jobs to post on social media or your website? Consumers can see exactly what your skillset is and help make their decision to call. To take it a step further, ask clients for a text or video review. Out of 73% of consumers who were asked to write a review in 2020, 72% went on to do so. Consumers are willing to help out businesses they have great relationships with and their written reviews will enhance your word of mouth.
Clients are talking about your business and that’s an important step, but if people can’t find you online, you’ll lose out on potential business. The top five platforms consumers use to look up a business’s reputation are Google, Facebook, Yelp, BBB, and Tripadvisor. The first four are great platforms for HVAC companies and they should focus on optimizing these as soon as possible.
Use of HVAC Smart Systems and AI
Smartphones completely changed the way we do business and marketing by creating a mobile and connected world, but now we’re seeing another evolution of connectedness in smart homes. Today, it’s estimated more than 14 million homes in the U.S. use “smart home” or “smart technology” devices and products.
With Wi-Fi-enabled products, consumers can monitor, change settings, and analyze their appliances. This gives consumers control over their devices and allows them to track performance measurements to make sure they’re being cost-effective. Having a smart device product line will help bring in target markets looking for top-of-line household technology.
Newer HVAC technology uses automation, smart home devices, and app-based monitoring, which gives clients control over energy use. Consumers can track performance on their smart thermostats and receive data about preventative maintenance. Having this data accessible for both the consumer and contractor makes appointments more cost-effective. Investing in green, smart technology will enhance your product lines and expand your markets.
The Power of Video for Heating & Air companies
Video is an engaging tool that helps build awareness, consideration, direction, and action for your business. According to a survey conducted by Wyzowl this year, 84% of people say that they’ve been convinced to buy a product or service by watching a brand’s video. There are different types of videos you can make to help nurture leads and conversions.
Starting with brand awareness, tell your business’s story through video. This builds a relationship with current and potential customers. People want to know who they are working with and why they should choose your business. For HVAC, it is beneficial to have product explainers and service How To’s. This content will show your credibility and skillset in the industry. Consumers value trust and transparency in a business, so authenticity is key when creating videos. You can achieve this by including video reviews from clients who received products and services. All video content should be posted on your website and shared on social media to gain the most exposure. You can also send videos in bid emails.
Using video in your marketing efforts can boost SEO, increase website traffic, and generate sales. A website that includes video is 53 times more likely to reach the front page of Google.
Consumers don’t waste time when it comes to research before hiring a Heating, Ventilation, & Air Conditioning expert. Unfortunately, business owners can’t find time to focus on implementing these trends to stay up with the demand.
HVAC companies need to transition to technology-based solutions for their customers as the industry trends in that direction. Owners may also want to consider investing in marketing technologies to enhance their customer experience to attract new customers.
ReviewTube has been helping businesses across North America to build their online reputation through engaging video, management of reviews, websites, and state-of-the-art AI-based services. We take pride in telling a business’s story by knowing the industry, creating compelling video content, and offering full-service campaign management in a very competitive digital age for businesses.