Editors Blog


Taking Care of Business: The Short List for Preventing Callbacks

April 15, 2008

Callbacks. Just the word sends shudders up the spines of business owners who pride themselves on quality work and experienced workmanship. Yet despite all of the best training and experience, there are bound to be callbacks. Many are simply related to parts failures and cannot be traced to any incorrect installations. Those are an accepted part of the service trade. No part is designed to last forever and some can breakdown almost immediately after installation.

Then there are the callbacks that are caused by human error. Maybe a service technician failed to understand the relationship of a part that he or she installed in a system. Relationship? Sure, knowing how the defective part interacts with other components in the system is vital. Service technicians should not be merely parts changers. Almost anyone can change a part - which makes almost anyone the cause of a potential callback.

Or maybe the service technician is being pressured to complete the job in an allotted amount of time and rushes too fast, overlooking some obvious problems that might have been caught with a more thorough diagnosis and correction. Even the best contractors can be guilty of asking too much of their service technicians.

When I wrote an article on callbacks a couple of years ago, I included a teaser on how to get a free 33-point installation checklist. I got more feedback on that one article than any I had ever written before and since. I followed up with an offer for similar service inspection checklist, too. If you’d like your free copies e-mail me at johnhall@achrnews.com.

I was talking about this subject with a good friend of mine and a legend in the HVACR contracting business, Aaron York Sr. of Indianapolis. Aaron is a true giant in the trade and one of the few contractors with a direct pipeline to the CEOs of every major HVACR equipment manufacturer. When he talks, people listen.

Aaron said that while a 33-point checklist is fine, he has used the same 7-point checklist for years. He said that any tech or installer who uses this list would surely reduce callbacks substantially, to the point that maybe a part failure is the sole culprit for the callback.

With this is mind; it is time to make a new offer. Aaron would be happy to share this list with anyone who would like it. And I would be happy to be his conduit. E-mail me for this compact list. You have nothing to lose - except possibly a few more callbacks.

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