5 Tips to Get the HVAC Service You Want

Written by Cherie Hudson of NICE Home Services
Updated June 15, 2021
HVAC tech and homeowners
These tips can help you get an HVAC service call when you most need it. (Photo courtesy of HomeSense Heating and Cooling)

Use these tips and tricks to get the best customer service possible when calling for help.

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Here are a few quick tips to keep in mind next time you need to talk with a customer service representative to schedule an appointment with a service provider. Whether you're talking to an HVAC contractor, a plumber or some other profession entirely, some basic etiquette always applies, especially when you're dealing with an emergency situation. It’s not all pretty, but these are easy tricks to help you get the appointment you want.

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1. Use first names

People pay more attention when you call them by name. Try to sound familiar when you start speaking with them and use their first name if they provide it. Be the best customer you can be for them; Kindness will go a long way here, and set you apart from other clients.

Ask, as if you’re talking to a friend or family member, if they could “squeeze you in” to the appointment you want. Don’t forget to use “please” and “thank you” and let them know you appreciate them meeting your needs. Most customer service reps are very happy to accommodate, and their goal is to have a pleased client on the line.

When scheduling an HVAC service or any service appointment, keeping a few ground rules in mind can get the appointment and service you want. (Photo by Rick Miller)

2. Create an opportunity

Customer service reps usually try harder if they believe there is a possibility you plan on purchasing upgrade or products, so when scheduling an appointment, ask about upgrades, or additional products and services.

If you are interested in possibly doing more business than the initial appointment you are setting, let them know. Nothing will make you a higher priority to the business than creating the sense of an opportunity.

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3. Be patient with your dispatcher

A good customer service representative or dispatcher can tell when you are getting frustrated and this may distract them. At the beginning of a phone call, the representative is usually following an established protocol to gather the information necessary to give you good service and an accurate availability schedule.

If your customer service rep feels that you are losing patience they may rush and skip important steps, which can cause delays later on or even cause them to overlook a possible schedule opening. If you do not want to be tied up on the phone, give the rep the pertinent information and your requested time and dates, and request a call back.

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4. Be specific about what you need

Let the customer service rep know what you want, but also provide some options so it seems you are being flexible even if you aren’t. Be clear about your schedule and have some options in mind when you call. If you know that you are only available in the evening ask for the appropriate time slot and be flexible on the day.

Any information about your schedule times is helpful to the person trying to create an appointment for you. If you prefer a morning appointment let the representative know you have to leave by a certain time in the morning and ask to be the technician’s first call of the day.

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5. Don't be afraid to ask for help

The customer service rep wants to solve your problem, be helpful and make you happy. Ask your customer service rep when the best time to schedule a particular appointment is. Ask for help be honest let them know your schedule and see what they can do for you. Open up a dialog about the schedule. You may get the dispatcher to look at the calendar in a new light.

RELATED: Angie's List Guide to Hiring an HVAC Service

What have you done to get the best appointment possible? Share your experiences in the comments below!

Editor's note: This is an updated version of an article originally posted March 23, 2012. 

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About this Angie’s List Expert: Cherie Hudson is the director of operations for NICE Home Services and has more than 16 years of experience in the industry, including roles as dispatcher, service manager and office administrator. Based in Springfield, Virginia, NICE offers HVAC service and installations to customers in Northern Virginia and Maryland.

As of July 28, 2015, this service provider was highly rated on Angie's List. Ratings are subject to change based on consumer feedback, so check Angie's List for the most up-to-date reviews. The views expressed by this author do not necessarily reflect those of Angie's List.

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