My fellow CB staffers would be happy to tell you that I’m the grouch of the CB staff. I’m the cynic, the pessimist, the hell-in-a-handbasket guy. The only good news is that things are so bad they can’t get much worse.
However, I learned something recently that made me think that maybe, like Dr. Seuss’ famous Grinch, I’m not too far gone.
On a dreary, rainy morning I was leaving a hotel. As I stood waiting for a cab, a young doorman was greeting each and every person who was entering and exiting the hotel. He would hold the door open, and had a smile and a kind word for everyone.
His smile and pleasant comments started to warm the heart of even an old curmudgeon like me. He had a favorite saying he would use when his positive manner and upbeat attitude would draw a smile or pleasant comment from someone: “As it should be.”
For several minutes I watched the brief brightness this doorman brought into so many people’s lives. Then my cab arrived, and I thanked and tipped him. “Enjoy the day,” I said. “As it should be,” he said with a salute.
Techs Can Be Bright Spot in a Gloomy World
Above all, the HVAC business is a people business. In the cab on my way to the airport that day, I thought about how many lives the people at HVAC companies touch every day. I wondered how many HVAC field personnel go out on calls grumpily mired in the day-to-day problems of their lives, and how many pick their heads up and make their customers’ lives a little brighter with positive comments and a ready smile.
I wondered how many technicians are aware of the power of a smile or a kind word, especially when dealing with customers who probably don’t understand why their heating or cooling system isn’t working, and are frightened about the possible cost of a repair or replacement. I saw the difference a positive attitude made to dozens of strangers who were simply passing through a hotel doorway. Imagine what it could do for customers with whom you’re trying to build relationships.
How does it work at your company? Do you emphasize the importance of soft skills? Do you train your employees on the importance of a professional appearance and attitude?
Hotel guests met this doorman for a few seconds. Imagine the difference a positive attitude among your field personnel can make when they may be in a with a customer for several hours on a service call, or several days on an installation.
It’s often said that, in your customers’ eyes, your technicians are your company. Treat them with respect as professionals, and let them know you expect the same from them to your customers.
People are bombarded every day with negative images from television, newspapers, and the radio. The world seems like a pretty scary place at times.
Think about a technician who can bring a little joy into your customers’ hearts, who for the brief time he plays a role in their lives can make them say, “Gee, it’s nice to know there are still good people out there.”
That’s your company — as it should be.
You can reach Ron Rajecki, senior editor, at [email protected] or 216/931-9298.