Refrigeration / Business Services

Ice Breaker: The Last Steps of a Service Call

Leave a Lasting Impression on Your Customers

Joe MarcheseHow you handle leaving a job site is as equally important as how you handle arriving and conducting the repair or installation. You should not rush this part of the process. Before leaving you must make sure the system is operating properly and that you have not forgotten or omitted any part of the job that may result in a return visit to the customer. For example:

• Make sure to check that no service ports are leaking refrigerant. It is possible these ports may be leaking a small amount of refrigerant after you have removed your hoses. It is also a very good practice to replace any caps removed or missing during a service call, including those used to cover any service valve stems or access ports.

• Verify that the temperature control is properly set and, if possible, make sure the system cycles off on temperature. This may not always be practical, but should be done when possible. It could help prevent a return service call for a defective temperature control or one that is adjusted either too cold or warm.

• If you turned off the disconnect switch on another component or system during the repair or installation, make sure it is turned back on before you leave.

• Make sure there are no issues with any drains or condensate pumps (if used) on the system. A friend of mine once had placed a rag in a drain line to prevent screws from falling into the drain, which is a great idea. However, on one job, he forgot to remove the rag and was back on the job to figure out why water was not draining from the evaporator — which he discovered quite easily and with a little embarrassment.

• Make sure to replace any access panels and all the screws removed during the repair or installation.

Clean Up

Another important part of finishing a job is making sure the work area is left clean and in the same or better condition than when you arrived. Be sure to pack up all your tools; losing a tool not only costs you money, but it means you may not have it when you need it on your next job. Remove all defective parts, empty refrigerant cylinders, and expel old filters and debris from the work area.

Leaving the work area clean is the trademark of a truly professional technician. I once saw a technician wipe down the control panel of a system and when asked what he was doing, he said he always wiped down the panels to make sure they are clean before he leaves.

Spend some time with the customer detailing the repair and explaining any additional work that is recommended. Answer any questions they may have and, most importantly, always leave with a smile. Completing these items on every service call may take a little extra time and effort, but it is definitely worth it. It helps reduce return callbacks to the same system and, equally important, promotes the professionalism of yourself and your company, thus keeping the customer happy.

Publication date: 8/5/2013

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