Every business has a corporate culture – whether intentionally set or not. In the heating and cooling industry, the HVAC terminology you use matters — a lot. How you talk about your customers, your coworkers and your business sets a tone. Below, you’ll find the preferred terms that I use and recommend to create a culture of success:

  • Use “service agreement” instead of “service contract.” The latter can lead HVAC customers to feel locked into something, when what you want to do is give them the sense that you and they have a business relationship that serves their needs. 
  • Give preference to your coworkers’ job titles, using the specific HVAC terminology for the jobs they do. Instead of “helper,” use “technician” or “installer”. Instead of “call taker” use “customer service representative.”
  • Do the same for your tune-up service providers, and label these coworkers “precision tune-up specialists” — instead of “maintenance guys,” a fairly general term that could apply to almost any industry. Using these terms will not only boost your coworkers’ self-confidence, but also give your customers the sense that your coworkers have the expertise and training needed to handle heating and cooling work. 
  • Use appropriate terms for the services you provide, as well. Instead of “clean and check,” which is an old worn out passive phrase, use “precision tune-up,” an active term for the service.
  • Pay attention to even the smallest of policies your business has. If your coworkers wear shoe covers to protect homeowners’ floors, don’t call them “booties.” The term “floor savers” denotes the protective action that benefits homeowners, and it shows that you care even about the small details.
  • When it comes to the financials and running numbers with customers, use the term “invest”,  “investment” or monthly investment , and prefer it over terms like “buy,” “total price” or “monthly payment.” Using the former terms in all possible scenarios will give customers a sense of ownership. And because investment implies getting a return — a motivating factor — customers won’t look at it as simply buying something. They’ll look at it as a valuable improvement to their home comfort and energy efficiency.

What HVAC terminology does your business use? Once you begin to implement the preferred terms, mind-sets will begin to change, and you’ll intentionally set a strategically defined plan for your business culture — and resulting growth and success. If you would like more advice about the right kind of talk in your business, just contact me today or visit my website: Ron Smith HVAC Spells Wealth.


By Ron Smith