Delivering a superior level of service starts with technicians performing a complete inspection on every single call then drawing up a comprehensive list of every single deficiency they saw in order of priority and going over it with their customers Photo courtesy North American Technician Excellence

Delivering a superior level of service starts with technicians performing a complete inspection on every single call, then drawing up a comprehensive list of every single deficiency they saw, in order of priority, and going over it with their customers. Photo courtesy North American Technician Excellence.

A Superior Level of Service

These days, delivering a superior level of HVAC service goes well beyond the use of shoe covers, wearing uniforms, driving marked vehicles, being on flat-rate (standardized) pricing, honoring your warranties, and offering service agreements.

According to Matt Michel, CEO of Service Roundtable, “It’s natural for technicians to value technical skills above everything else.  Technical ability is a given.  It is necessary, but insufficient.  As a technician, you are the public face of your company.  You are the primary point of customer contact.  You will succeed or fail, based more on your ability to relate to people than your ability to turn a wrench.”  Read the full article here: Being a Better Tech.

Regardless of your position in the company, salesmanship is a requirement to fully maximize your earning potential.

I’m going to spend this year focusing on making the concept of delivering a superior level of service your entire company’s goal and entire sales approach.
— Charlie Greer

 

Due to the actions of many salespeople, there are plenty of people with a negative attitude toward sales and salesmanship.  There is nothing inherently wrong with sales or salesmanship.

What does service salesmanship entail?  Is it a bunch of word games, manipulation, and high-pressure tactics that alienate your customers?  No!  That stuff don't work!  Never did ...  and never will!

There is no “razzle dazzle” in service sales.  Be thorough, be honest, project confidence, and look people in the eye, and your sales will go up.

 

My associate, Dale Mincks, and I, teach technicians to be more profitable by delivering what we term a “Superior Level of Service.”

There is no “razzle dazzle” in service sales. Be thorough, be honest, project confidence, and look people in the eye, and your sales will go up.

Being a service technician who delivers a superior level of service is not just about salesmanship.  Being a service technician who delivers a superior level of service is a lifestyle, a way of thinking, and a way of being.

When you do actually deliver a superior level of service, your workmanship and conscientious approach sells itself. You do more for each customer, which almost requires you to charge more than run-of-the-mill technicians working for run-of-the-mill companies, and that’s acceptable because you’re worth more, and your boss and your customers will see that.

What is a “Superior Level of Service?”
In order to have more-than-satisfied customers, you must make a difference in their lives. That goes way beyond replacing a bad contactor or relay and moving on to the next call as quickly as possible. You’re going to replace a certain number of parts and systems per year, and that’s all run-of-mill companies and service techs do.

Most of the equipment in this country is in need of a thorough cleaning and duct modifications. The air inside our buildings is more polluted than the air outside. People are wasting energy left and right. Resolving these conditions is where all the extra money in this business is hidden, and it’s what companies and service technicians delivering a superior level of service do.

Delivering a superior level of service starts with technicians performing a complete inspection on every single call, then drawing up a comprehensive list of every single deficiency they saw, in order of priority, and going over it with their customers.

 

The more thorough the inspection, the more needs are uncovered, and the more things are quoted.  The more legitimate recommendations you make, the more sales you make.  When you sell more, you're doing more for your customers, so you’re making a difference.  The result is happier customers.  (Aren't the ones who spend the least amount of money the ones who call in and complain after the fact?)

Delivering a superior level of service starts with technicians performing a complete inspection on every single call, then drawing up a comprehensive list of every single deficiency they saw, in order of priority, and going over it with their customers.

Do that on every single call (whether it’s a tune-up, a warranty call, or a billable service call), with every single customer, regardless of whether they look like they've got money or not or how they are acting, the neighborhood (upscale or “the hood”), the type of structure (be it a single-family home, condo, or mobile home), and you'll make more sales (and profits) while still running the same number of calls (or possibly even fewer).  Imagine making more money without spending an extra dime on marketing or running a single extra call!

Too simple?
The definition of a superior level of service is such a simple concept that it’s almost anti-climactic, yet customers can't get that just anywhere. 

Most every company will tell you they deliver a superior level of service, but how are they defining it?  Is it truly a superior level of service, or is it just lip-service? 

People say this business hasn’t evolved much.  I disagree.  These days delivering a superior level of service goes well beyond the use of shoe covers, wearing uniforms, driving marked vehicles, being on flat-rate (standardized) pricing, honoring your warranties, and offering service agreements.

Most service companies rush their technicians, even during the slow seasons.

Very few companies require their techs to do a full inspection on every call.  (Actually, I only know of one company with a strict policy on this, and it was sold after only being in business for five years, and made its owner, who is under 30 years of age, a couple million dollars.)

Even in companies where it is policy, the reality is that very few service technicians do it.

It's human nature for technicians to be more willing to communicate and point out necessities and deficiencies to customers they're getting along with than they are customers who are giving them a hard time, don't seem particularly interested, or aren't overly receptive to their suggestions. We encourage techs to follow the procedure, regardless of all those factors.

Topics For 2015
I just spent the past year updating my training for today’s economy, business and work environment, and customers’ new buying habits. I’m going to spend this year focusing on making the concept of delivering a superior level of service your entire company’s goal and entire sales approach.

I encourage you to print these columns out, distribute them to your techs, and hold discussion groups on them.

I’ll not only teach your techs how to sell more work, I’ll teach them how to keep it sold once they’re done with the call and people start telling them they made the wrong decision, or use the Internet to compare prices or hold you hostage.

I’ll cover:

  • How to handle Internet shoppers
  • How to handle one-half of a married couple
  • What to say or do when they want to think it over or get other bids
  • How to handle price-shoppers, or what to say when they say your price is too high

I’ll help you (or your techs):

  • Increase your closing ratio
  • Increase your average sale
  • Increase your personal income
  • Give you more job satisfaction
  • Use your time more efficiently
  • Make you fearless

The final results will be to inspire your techs to:

  • Commit to sticking with the career
  • Commit to excelling at the career
  • Commit to excelling at your current job
  • Quit living one call at a time
  • Take charge of your career
  • Set career goals.

Moving forward into 2015, the purpose of this column will be to provide success training for today’s service technician.  Since success is a result of your thinking, I’ll cover the attitudes and thought processes used by technicians who deliver a superior level of service.

When your techs start truly delivering a superior level of service that is not available elsewhere, they make more money, and will be more likely to stay with the company.  That helps them, their families, the company, and even your customers.

 

CHARLIE GREER has seen that technicians and salespeople who keep their own sales log tend to have higher sales, and that those sales tend to increase over time.  For that reason, he has developed a weekly planner specifically for HVAC salespeople and service technicians, with weekly sales tips and space to track sales.  For more information call 1-800-963-HVAC (4822) or visit him on the web at www.hvacprofitboosters.com.  Email Charlie at [email protected].

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