Ethical Considerations in the World of HVAC
Ethics are an important topic in any industry. As a company, behaving ethically is essential from the standpoint of continuing to stay in business. Customers, vendors, or even employees who feel the business is behaving unethically are not likely to stick around. By behaving ethically, a business ensures that they build trust and relationships with those they work with, whether they’re customers or colleagues. Unfortunately, in the world of HVAC, many companies don’t behave as ethically as they should, making customers wary of hiring such services. We’ve identified a few of the biggest ethics offenses in the HVAC industry that cause customers to lose faith in the service.
Disclosure of Pricing
Many customers like to know how much they can expect to spend on maintenance or repairs. While costs aren’t always completely foreseeable, especially in cases where the problem isn’t clear cut, it’s important to have full disclosure with customers about any increase to the quoted price. Good ethics involves giving customers the chance to decide if they want to incur greater costs. It’s also important to explain what the additional costs are for and why. Too often, services are performed without any discussion of the necessity, leaving some customers feeling like they’re in the dark about what was actually done. No customer wants to deal with bait-and-switches, over-pricing, or lack of communication. These things understandable cause a lack of trust in the company’s services and ultimately made lead to a loss of business.
HVAC Misdiagnosis or Non-Diagnosis
HVAC systems are highly technical, meaning customers depend on skilled HVAC technicians to properly diagnose any issues they’ve been experiencing. Thorough diagnostics aren’t just for the technician to determine the nature of the problem – they also allow customers to understand what’s going on with their equipment. A good diagnosis should include an easy to understand description of the problem, and the technician should be willing to spend time explaining the issue and address any concerns the customer may have. This not only allows the customer to make a more informed decision regarding their equipment, but it also builds further trust between the customer and the technician.
When dealing with older HVAC systems, it may be necessary to inform customers that the system is at risk of future failure. This can be a difficult conversation with some, as they may feel you’re trying to oversell. It’s important to explain the potential risks however, as the unit may fail in the near future, leading to an angry customer. As with any difficult conversation, clear, open communication will help customers feel more at ease with the information and allow them to make an informed decision.
Other Ethical Issues
If there’s a need to change the product specifications, this should always be discussed and agreed to by the customer – they shouldn’t have to find out after the work is done that the equipment installed isn’t product or level of quality they were expecting. Employees that are work on commission or other types of profit sharing can also cause unethical behavior, as it sends a message that the bottom line is about profit – not customer service.
We’ve identified a few areas that HVAC maintenance can present ethical issues and cause understandable suspicion about having HVAC work done. At PECO, integrity and ethics are at the cornerstone of what we do. We take every measure to make sure that we act ethically with our customers, from the moment they call us to the moment we leave their home. With our skilled and dedicated technicians, our clear cut pricing, and our priority to customer service, you can feel confident any time you give us a call!