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Elevating HVAC Excellence: A Proactive Approach to Customer Relationships

HVAC Company Owner shares insights from new HomePulse Program

By: David Quam*, Connected Solutions Leader, Resideo

Dave Quam During my career, I’ve found that when faced with challenges, the only way through the fog – through the analysis paralysis – is by using real data to solve your problem. For example, I’ve had great conversations with HVAC professionals about the smart home opportunity, but just as important was riding along with them on jobs. It helped me realize it's not just the power of a product's features that’s important; it’s also the simplicity of selling it and installing it. If a product isn’t universal, it caused hesitancy... there could be concern it might not work in a particular home. If the product's installation required four hours to complete, it meant less opportunity for sales that day. Combining product features with universality and simplicity was key, and that is just as important today as smart home services become more popular.

HVAC professionals face many challenges, from managing customer relationships to navigating the inherent seasonality and reactivity of the industry. The foundation of success for HVAC pros lies in establishing client relationships, recognizing that being the initial point of contact during times of need is paramount. By embracing solutions that deliver data that identify potential HVAC equipment issues in customers’ homes before they occur, owners can transition their businesses from a reactive stance to a proactive and forward-thinking approach.

Proactiveness can take various forms, from recognizing problems and scheduling home service visits to advanced methods like remote issue diagnosis and dispatching the right technician with the right parts before a failure occurs. This approach is a win-win, strengthening customer relationships, providing insights into home conditions, and evolving HVAC businesses into proactive, tech-savvy operations that anticipate and prevent issues. It also lays the foundation for the industry’s readiness to embrace the evolving landscape of smart home services.

The Evolution of Smart Home Services

The smart home market has evolved from manual controls to smartphones/apps to voice and now to displays for managing and monitoring smart home systems. In line with this evolution, consumers today are increasingly inclined to establish closer and more seamless relationships with contractors and home services. A recent Frontdoor survey highlights this trend, with almost two-thirds of homeowners (63%) affirming the potential of technology to enhance connections with contractors, thereby streamlining the process of household repairs and maintenance.

A Deloitte report revealed that 41% of consumers dislike managing their devices (for example, updating software, handling security, or fixing problems). This creates a significant opportunity to deliver services that take device management out of the equation.

Additionally, according to Hippo insurance, the average homeowner spent $6,000 on repairs and maintenance in 2022, and 65% said these costs could have been prevented with proactive maintenance and/or regular inspections.

As consumers prioritize cost-effective solutions and effortless experiences, the HVAC industry finds itself at an important juncture. Integrating predictive tools and adopting a recurring monthly revenue (RMR) model enables contractors to forge lasting customer relationships beyond the conventional install/repair cycle. Resideo’s Pro-IQ™ Services exemplifies this shift, engineered to preemptively identify HVAC issues, presenting a versatile suite of tools for marketing, retention, and predictive software tailored to the evolving digital home landscape.

Testing the Service Against Objectives

Jon RyanTesting the efficacy of Pro-IQ Services as a proactive customer engagement tool was a crucial step in validating its success. Resideo partnered with Jon Ryan, president of Genz-Ryan Heating, Cooling, Plumbing & Electrical in the Twin Cities to conduct a full-scale beta test of the system. During the year-long evaluation, Genz-Ryan installed the technology in about 350 homes, aiming to identify heating or cooling problems before they became critical.

“As we embarked on the Pro-IQ Services journey, we meticulously defined our pre-deployment objectives in collaboration with Resideo,” said Ryan. “These objectives were crucial benchmarks for assessing the program’s potential success in the market.” 

The program objectives encompassed:

  • Ensuring the system identified at least 95% of total failures and reported them in a timely manner.
  • Confirming the platform was user-friendly for technicians and provided accurate information in a simple format.
  • Surveying customers to gauge their interest in the system and to measure adoption rates in the market.
  • Factoring all costs and fees associated with the program, such as start-up fees and anticipated failure rates, to meet or exceed company net profit goals.

Beta Test Breakthrough: A Pioneering Success

The beta test demonstrated that Pro-IQ Services works as promised and is a profitable addition to HVAC businesses. The results were notable, with the system exceeding the objective of identifying at least 95% of total failures and reporting them in a timely manner. Homeowners experienced no downtime, thanks to continuous proactive warnings from the Pro-IQ Services platform and preventative measures by Genz-Ryan.

“Pro-IQ Services has been instrumental in transforming how we approach customer engagement and service,” said Ryan. “The results of the beta test were impressive, aligning with our objectives and significantly enhancing our ability to address issues proactively.”

For its market launch, Genz-Ryan branded the service as HomePulse – a fitting name for a system that serves as a heart monitor for homes, catching problems before they occur. Genz-Ryan is backing HomePulse with a comprehensive marketing campaign, believing it will be a game-changer for HVAC contractors, customers and the entire market.

 Genz-Ryan began offering HomePulse in the fall of 2023 to its Minnesota customers.

In a follow-up survey, Genz-Ryan’s testers ranked 24-hour response, peace of mind, and a two-hour arrival window as the most important benefits of HomePulse. The insights gained during the process highlighted the importance of regular customer communication, to confirm if their system is operating correctly – in some cases, there could be issues, but their home’s comfort hasn’t been impacted.

“As a result of the beta test we learned that Pro-IQ Services offers more touchpoints with customers, new revenue streams and highly engaged employees,” said Ryan. “Our entire company is excited about this program. Even initially skeptical employees are now fully on board, recognizing the value and cultural shift brought about by Pro-IQ Services.”

The comprehensive beta test for Pro-IQ Services provides invaluable insights into its proactive capabilities within HVAC businesses. The successful outcomes and lessons learned underscore the potential transformation of the industry towards a more predictive and efficient future, as HVAC professionals continue to embrace innovative solutions for enhanced customer service and operational excellence.


Originally published in ACHR The News and re-posted with permission.

*About the Author

David Quam is the Connected Solutions Leader at Resideo and plays a pivotal role in shaping and advancing Resideo’s suite of connected solutions and other HVAC innovations. His commitment to empowering contractors and enhancing customer experiences underscores his dedication to Resideo’s mission of creating smart home technology solutions that make homes safer, more comfortable and efficient.