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HVAC Office Manager Job Description: How to Recruit and Retain the Best

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Table of Contents
  1. Define your HVAC Office Manager Job Description

  2. Identify Key Traits

  3. Focus on Recruitment

  4. Provide Incentives

  5. Maximize the Interview

  6. Optimize CSR Training

  7. Enhance Customer Experience

  8. Measure Company Success

Your HVAC office manager acts as the hub of your team for your residential and commercial HVAC company, scheduling jobs and dispatching technicians for greatest efficiency and profit.

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As the national trade labor shortage continues to affect the HVAC industry, recruiting and retaining quality employees—especially office managers—should be top priority. Hiring the right HVAC office manager ensures your customers remain satisfied and your team works together effectively. 

HVAC office managers represent your company to customers and play a key role in customer satisfaction. One study shows 90% of people use customer service as a factor when deciding whether to do business with a company. Conversely, 58% of consumers switch companies because of poor customer service.

Follow these best practices to ensure top-quality HVAC office manager hires, so your HVAC service company can boost efficiency and grow:

  • Identify Key Traits

  • Focus on Recruitment

  • Provide Incentives 

  • Maximize the Interview

  • Optimize CSR Training

  • Enhance Customer Experience

  • Measure Company Success    

Define your HVAC Office Manager Job Description

Before you begin searching for a full-time HVAC office manager, determine key skill sets for your dispatcher and customer service representative positions.

HVAC office managers and dispatchers typically earn $15 to $30 an hour, depending on the company's size and geographic location.

An office administrator or office management job entails multitasking, advanced communication skills, excellent customer service skills, and efficient time management. Applicants must display the ability to work as a team player in coordinating service calls, as they communicate with customers, HVAC service managers, and technicians.

Minimum office manager or administrative assistant qualifications typically include a high school diploma or equivalent, and two years of experience in dispatch or customer service. Depending on the company, some require a bachelor's degree or more years of experience. 

Many HVAC companies require applicants to be proficient in computer skills, such as Microsoft Office and Excel, QuickBooks, and cloud-based call booking software, so they can efficiently manage critical data.

Identify Key Traits

  • Establish behaviors for role

  • Keep focus during interview and hiring

Before your company starts the hiring process, decide what behaviors you need for the job.

That's the advice of Kathy Nielsen, business development consultant and operations expert at Operations Excellence LLC. In a recent ServiceTitan "Toolbox for the Trades" podcast, she explained the importance of employee assessments and CSR training.

“That’s a big mistake companies make—they don’t first determine what behaviors they want in a role," says Nielsen, who has worked as a CSR/dispatcher, bookkeeper, office manager, and general manager.  

For the dispatcher role, Nielsen says you should seek good rule followers who can be taught to dispatch for profit, not just to get someone out to a job as soon as possible. 

“I look for dispatchers who are very people-oriented, but don’t overshare,” she says. “I don’t want them on the phone for 20 minutes trying to book a call.”

Decide which traits are the most important for your HVAC office manager, then use that information to help frame your job postings and decision-making during the interviewing and hiring process. 

“There is so much more to it than just reading a script,” says Angie Snow, CSR Coach with Go Time Success Group and Vice President of Western Heating and Air Conditioning in Utah.

“As business owners, we invest so much money in marketing to get the phone to ring, but if your CSRs are not capturing those calls and seizing those opportunities, you’re wasting your money,” she says.

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Focus on Recruitment

  • Keep an "always hiring" mindset

  • Reward employees for referrals

To stay on top, HVAC companies should stay on the lookout for quality employees.

Tommy Mello, host of the "Home Service Expert" podcast, says business owners in the trades should make recruiting top talent a core business function.

“Some people say, ‘always be closing.’ I say, ‘always be recruiting,’” explains Mello, who gives employees $1,500 for a new hire referral.

While many companies focus on online job postings for HVAC office jobs, word-of-mouth through service technicians and other employees is one of the best ways for HVAC recruitment.

“We always tell our employees to be talking to the waitress when they have good service at Chili's, or wherever you take your car and get excellent service,” says Brad Pesek, CFO of McWilliams & Son in Texas. “Even though we may not have a position now, we're always hiring. We teach our employees to always be recruiting for team members.”

His company pays employees up to $1,000 for referrals who get hired, and team members get an annual $2,000 bonus for every anniversary of their referral’s hire date. 

“It definitely creates connections and mentorships,” Pesek relates. “Employees want to make sure they keep getting that bonus, so they check in with that person and make sure they’re doing all right. We’ve seen a lot of success with this.”

Provide Incentives

  • Motivate employees and attract recruits

  • Create a positive company culture

Developing a positive work environment and incentivizing team goals motivates employees and attracts potential recruits.

“I think attracting and keeping employees is just like attracting new customers and keeping existing ones,” says Tom Howard, ServiceTitan Vice President of Customer Experience and co-founder of the consulting group Blue Collar Profits.

Employees thrive with instant positive feedback, so his company used ServiceTitan’s automated text messages to alert the entire sales staff every time someone on the team made a sale. In another case, the company instituted a yearlong competition where employees were entered in a drawing and awarded prizes.

A positive company culture interests top-tier talent, as employees want to be valued and rewarded for their work. Find creative ways to motivate and reward employees, and drive success for your entire company.

Maximize the Interview

  • Ask the best questions to spotlight skills

  • Determine the best fit for your company

Office managers play a crucial role in the efficiency of your HVAC office operations. Use the interview process to find out whether your applicant is the best fit for your HVAC company's office staff.

Ask the right questions. Open-ended and situational questions give applicants opportunities to showcase their problem-solving abilities and attitudes about customer satisfaction. 

While it might be helpful for your CSRs to possess HVAC knowledge, they don't need advanced knowledge of heating or refrigeration—that's where your HVAC installer or HVAC technician comes in. They do need to know how to turn customer calls into new jobs, and coordinate jobs with project managers and service technicians.

Gauge an applicant's proficiency with ServiceTitan's cloud-based HVAC service software, which enables streamlined communication with technicians in the field.

Optimize CSR Training

  • Set a training budget and schedule

  • Improve communication as a team

For residential and commercial HVAC companies, employees are their greatest assets. Invest in your employees by budgeting and scheduling an intentional training schedule.

Contracting experts suggest companies budget 1%-2% of total revenue or 3%-5% of an individual's compensation package toward training.

For HVAC office managers, team training meetings improve customer communication.

For instance, at The Happy Outlet in Nevada, customer service representatives meet weekly to review numbers and booking rates. Since the company uses ServiceTitan's call booking software, they listen to two recorded calls at the meeting to determine how CSRs could have better managed the calls.

"The recorded calls are so beneficial to everybody in the office, especially customer service," says Rebecca Tenorio, dispatcher and CSR. "If somebody isn't happy—which rarely happens—we're able to go back and listen to all of those phone calls we've had with that client to see where the miscommunication occurred, or what we can do to improve."

Consider industry sources to enhance training in diverse areas, so your employees improve, grow, and succeed.

Enhance Customer Experience

  • Personalize a customer's experience

  • Streamline communication and reviews

Quality HVAC office managers enhance the customer's experience with your company. Increase personalization, and customer satisfaction, by capturing key information and sharing it with technicians or others who make contact with the customer.

With ServiceTitan's customer experience software, CSRs can see if the customer is a homeowner or landlord, and make individual notes about the property. A  technician can even bring treats for a homeowner's dog or coloring books for their children.

“The CSR collects the info and then it can be shared with the entire company,” says Vanessa Gonzales, co-founder and co-owner of Albuquerque Plumbing, Heating & Cooling, in a recent ServiceTitan webinar on boosting profit. “The investment that we made in getting a better software that can elevate our customer experience paid off ten-fold."

In addition, CSRs can text customers a bio of the technician coming to their home, complete with a photo, and exactly when the technician will arrive. Once a job is complete, send customers a link to your company’s preferred review site to generate more five-star reviews.

Measure Company Success

  • Streamline tasks from office to field

  • Track KPIs to evaluate growth

Give your HVAC office manager the tools they need to increase efficiency from the office to the field.

Use payroll and timesheet software synced with the dispatch board, so office managers know when techs sign off for the day. Simplify payroll tasks, such as tailored pay structures, and automate performance pay or bonuses.

Service agreement software enables technicians to customize customer service agreements and upgrade preventive maintenance memberships, streamlining communication between techs and office staff.

Track return on investment from every marketing campaign with ServiceTitan's home services marketing software, so you can focus your marketing dollars on those that yield the highest revenue.

Use ServiceTitan to monitor key performance indicators, enabling your HVAC company to make data-driven decisions to drive team success and generate growth.

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