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A Minute with McIver

Your Field Techs' Role in Business Development

I've just returned from the Mechanical Service Contractors Association (MSCA) Annual Conference this year in Colorado Springs. It's always a worthwhile event. Among its many good sessions was a presentation by Jim Baston, founder of BBA Consulting Group. His topic: "Engaging Technicians in Business Development Activities."

Your field technicians' role in your company's success can't be overstated. They're your eyes and ears in the field, your barometer of customer satisfaction, your on-the-spot troubleshooters and goodwill ambassadors. Therefore, the way they perform these various roles — while staying focused on technical issues — doesn't go unnoticed by customers.

Therefore, Baston says, it's important that your field teams act in way that can serve to indirectly generate more revenue, higher margins, and a higher level of customer service — all of which are very important in a business that's become more competitive because of improved technology, higher customer awareness of new technology, and the ability to learn about you through your level of social media interaction and reputation.

Baston says an engaged field service technician will actively build trust by the way they handle every interaction. In other words, what's their "bedside manner"? According to Baston, a survey has revealed that the doctors who are most likely to be sued for malpractice are the ones who have a lousy bedside manner.

Translated to HVAC, a technician's "field service manner" includes: appearance, honesty, dependability, discretion, knowledge, accountability, consistency, and, last but not least, their likeability and friendliness. They must show they care.

Do your field technicians know your company's mission statement? If not, have them memorize it (you do have one, right?). Repeat it as a group at every meeting. Your technicians need to be able to respond to every question with pride and knowledge that leads to customer confidence.

Baston says the key dimensions of service quality are:

reliability: providing what's promised

assurance: shown by their knowledge and courtesy and their ability to instill confidence

tangibles: the physical condition of the facility they are in charge of, and their personal appearance.

empathy: the degree of caring and individual attention they provide customers.

responsiveness: willingness to help and provide prompt service.

WHAT DO YOU THINK? Have you seen this at work in your company? Let me know when you 'have a minute'.

EXTRA, EXTRA: The first 10 contractors who respond with a meaningful comment get a prize! So make sure I can get back in touch with you.

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