4 Ways to Strengthen Your Service And Make Your Team Superior

by

Dave Thiemecke
VP of Learning & Development
April 29, 2018
/
minutes to read

Get to the Point

  1. Be On Time - Punctuality is one of the first impressions your customer has of you and your company. Make sure to respect their time by being on time.
  2. Be Prepared - Keeping a well-stocked truck, and loading what you need for the day’s installs will help you look professional to your customers, and save you time.
  3. Attitude - Attitude is contagious. Stay positive and engaged with what you’re doing, and your customer will notice. Don’t be afraid to go the extra mile for your customer.

Time to strengthen your service.

There was a trend on social media where people would post a collection of 10 things that require zero talent that can make you better. You may have seen these lists before; the message behind these lists is that anyone can make a tremendous difference in the success of their life and their profession. This has led me to reflect back to when I was a HVAC service technician. I believe for a service technician to be superior in their career they must follow four things from this list:

Be On Time

Companies that provide both superior service and customer service understand that their customer's time matters. Successful companies create strong rapport with their customers, and a very powerful way to create a strong bond is by being on time.  As a service technician, you should try to be on time for your customer and your boss.  Being on time shows that your work matters to you.  If you have trouble managing your schedule, I recommend having mobile technology that syncs with phone or tablet to make sure you are always on time. Trust me, it helped me when I was in the field.

Be Prepared

Before your service technicians steps on site how prepared are they?  I know the more I knew about the customer, the job, and that my truck was fully packed with my tools, the more confident I was. When I was prepared, my body language showed it and the customer could easily tell.  Being prepared will help the customer be more comfortable with you.  I had a daily checklist to make sure I had the right equipment and tools in my truck, as well as made sure my dispatcher provided me specific information, allowing me to be always prepared.  

Attitude

A positive attitude is a great starting point for developing that like and trust factor with a customer. When I kept my attitude positive I had an easier time understanding the customer and fixing the issue. Dealing with difficult customers can test your patience, but remember the best way to deal with a customer's bad attitude is to listen and kill them with kindness. When you bring a positive attitude to the job site with you, the customer will reflect it.

Do Extra

It’s never crowded on the extra mile. When you go the extra mile for your customers and yourself you will receive a greater reward. Doing extra takes effort but it’s well worth it.  For example, taking the time to explain what you are fixing to the customer helps build trust and a long-lasting relationship and only takes a few extra minutes.  I could never understand techs who didn't take the time to put shoe covers on or take the time to clean their shoes.  I would always remind myself that I go the extra mile to keep my house clean, so I should do the same for my customers.

In your next service meeting, I highly recommend that you share the photo of 10 things that require zero talent with your service team, as well as take the time to emphasize about being on time, going the extra mile, having a positive attitude, and being prepared.  It will help make your service team superior.

Look at Pricing

The start of the year is a great time to look at pricing. Usually, you have an idea of how your company fared the year prior, and you want to ensure you will continue to grow in the months to come. Many of us make New Year’s resolutions with respect to spending or saving in our personal lives, and it’s no different for business owners. Making sure your pricing is in line with where it should be is one of the strongest ways to start the year the right way.

Part of looking at your price book is finding where the issues are, and that can take time. An HVAC company in January is going to be very busy, so it’s a difficult time for a close look. However, a plumbing company might not be as busy. Whenever you tackle this job, your best bet is to look at what your labor rates are. Start there, and let it trickle down across the board. Ask yourself, “Are my labor rates helping my business stay profitable?”

Remember, there are many different services out there and many different groups or communities that you can engage. Never hesitate to say, “Hey, I’m a business owner in Florida. What should my labor rates be?” You can build your price from there. There are also some great billable hour calculators available.

Set Goals

There is no better time of year for looking inward than January. Set your personal goals and company goals for the following 12 months. If you can break those down into departmental goals, even better! Perhaps that means a CSR booking closing rates a little better, or a truck doing 250,000 a year rather than 200,000.

Many companies have found that using an Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) goal-setting system pays off. Looking for a guidebook when it comes to OKRs? Check out Measure What Matters: How Google, Bono, and the Gates Foundation Rock the World with OKRs by John Doerr. 

One key question is the best way to handle setting goals: Is it smarter for business owners to handle this solo, together with staff, or to delegate completely? 

The best approach is to set goals at the department level. As an owner, you need to take the time to understand what the goals are in each department, and make sure they are in line with your goals for the company. No one likes to set unattainable goals for themselves, so make sure you push your departments to set goals that are lofty, rather than simple ones to feel good about hitting. Entrust your staff to aim higher, and watch how they respond.

Pass Along these Points

There's more where that came from.