Fail to prepare and you’re preparing to fail. It’s a common phrase we’ve all heard and frequently comes to mind when I think of hiring a new employee. All too often in our industry we give new technicians what amounts to a crash course in training before sending them on their way and expecting them to learn the rest on their own.
Often times when I ask the question about a clear call board, people think I am trying to trick them somehow. The idea behind that question is not meant to be a trick; it is simply attempting to find out if you are preparing to grow.
Have you ever been “in the zone”? It’s that state of mind where you’re firing on all cylinders. Ideas and answers are coming to you rapidly — and they’re good ones. Professional athletes have games like this, in which they break records and carry their teams to the top. It would be nice to be able to create this state of mind every day.
When it comes to the customer service area of our business, we tend to make a rough guess at performance. You need to stop guessing at your customer service team’s performance and know how they are doing.
We’ve all seen it before: We send one of our employees to an offsite training event and they return all fired up with new ideas. The first week performance is up. Then, a few weeks pass and the excitement begins to fade. Old habits begin snuffing out the newly learned behaviors.
If that title sounds like a challenge, it is. I want everyone who reads this to think about all of the things that went wrong last year and write them down. Now that we know what gave us trouble in the past, let’s put some thought into what we can do about it.
How many of us have been in a situation where we are so utterly frustrated with an employee’s performance or behavior that we end up attacking the employee instead of the issue at hand? In this type of scenario, nothing gets resolved, and the emotional intensity puts the employee on guard.
I love technology and automation; I am a fan of things that help streamline our work lives and processes. I admire the concept of a paperless office. I like all of these things until they lead to poor customer service.
One of the things I often hear from managers as they grow their departments is that they don’t have time to do ride-alongs as frequently as needed. An excellent solution exists: Hire a dedicated person to perform ride-alongs and training for your technicians.
After all of these years in this industry, I am still more than a little impressed that consumers pay to be a part of our service company clubs. But I have a question: Can you say with all certainty that your club customers are treated across-the-board better than everyone else who uses your company?