Let’s take a look at what opportunities each of us may have in the HVAC industry and how we can produce the best possible results in our own careers.
Some of you will remember the great Jim Brown, a legendary HVAC contractor from Mountain Home, Arkansas. In a recent phone conversation, Jim and I discussed the opportunities this industry has provided both of us and how grateful we are for them.
Jim’s quote (above) helped me realize that each of us is given many opportunities by this industry. We must choose to make the most of these opportunities …or not. Each of us is a cog in a wheel and without us the wheel won’t turn.
If You’re a Contractor or Manager …
Your opportunity is to build a service organization that provides for the livelihoods of people who have chosen to spend time each day in your employ. You can buy a person’s labor with a wage, but each of them volunteers to give their heart and soul to help build your company. It is the heart that makes a service company flourish.
To sell, fix, or install a furnace alone is not what builds and allows a service company to prosper. Success comes from organizing and maintaining an environment where team members understand the individual role they play with each customer and delight in giving their personal best effort to each job.
As an owner/manager, carefully consider the advancement and satisfaction you provide to each of those under your stewardship. Contemplate where you are leading these people and how your interactions with them support the culture of service and caring for each other and your customers.
If few or no opportunities for them exist, plan how to open doors for their development. Opportunities for their advancement will create more opportunities for you. Your success will be naturally built on the success of others, as it should be.
Your interactions each day build up or tear down the shape and culture being built. The impact your company will have on thousands, who look to your company for their comfort and safety, depends on hundreds of interactions that happen each week.
If You’re a Comfort Consultant …
Each time you are invited into a customer’s home, business, or facility, your responsibility is to conceive of and offer the best options available for that job and customer.
You can be like many of your peers and just propose another piece of replacement equipment, then be on your way, or you can take the time to solve comfort, safety, and efficiency problems this customer may have endured for years. It’s up to you. Opportunity is not realized as it falls upon your head from the heavens. There are no shortcuts when it comes to educating your customer as to the options available to them.
Your creativity and insight should be original on each job, not just a cookie-cutter equipment replacement recommendation. Rarely do your customers know what they want until you help them understand it. Your role as a designer and teacher is what creates the best opportunities to produce the best possible results for your customers and yourself.
If You’re a Technician …
Your opportunities are not only to fix a problem, but to determine how your customer feels about the result when you’re gone. Your charge is to conduct yourself at each visit so your customers are delighted with you, your recommendations, and the solution you provide.
As a technician, your individual success is driven by the relationship you build with your customers. Relationships are not built with the parts you replace, but in the way you share information, provide solutions, options, and by how you conduct yourself in your customer’s home or business. Sure the service or repairs must be successful, but you will find yourself far ahead of others in the industry if you search for system solutions, rather than in-the-box solutions.
If you’re an Installer …
When it comes to a new or renovated HVAC system, you are really the only one on the front line. The work you do truly determines the comfort and efficiency of the installed system for years to come.
One little extra effort to assure airflow through a duct in a tight spot determines decades of comfort for your customers. Or, should you choose not to install that hard-to-reach metal elbow where it is needed, you sentence those in that room to a life of discomfort.
You face similar decisions a dozen times per day as you manage difficult installation conditions in the attics and basements of this world. It is your extra effort that makes the difference in your customers’ comfort, or not. Few will ever blame their discomfort on you, but you’ll know. Your opportunity is to live with a sense of satisfaction in a job well done, or settling on just having a job.
As with each of us, you decide how you feel about your day’s work as you return home at the end of the day.
Whatever Your Industry Role
Regardless of your role, whether it is customer service representative, accounting staff, marketing, dispatch, inventory, or floor sweeper you are one of the cogs in the big wheel that allows this industry turn.
Should you find yourself wanting more opportunity, manage what you have to the best of your ability until that position can no longer hold you. You will soon see new opportunities come your way which lead to job satisfaction and advancement.
Rob “Doc” Falke serves the industry as president of National Comfort Institute an HVAC based training company and membership organization. You can contact Doc at [email protected] or call him at 800-633-7058. Go to NCI’s website at nationalcomfortinstitute.com for free information, articles and downloads.