The old saying is true: Customers will remember not what you said or what you did, but how you made them feel. This begins with empathy. Before you can apply empathy to your practice, it is important to understand how it differs from sympathy. These two words are often used interchangeably; however, they actually represent separate concepts.
What is a sense of urgency? A true sense of urgency is when people think that actions on critical issues are needed now. A sense of urgency is not, “I must have an operations meeting today,” but it is, “We must have an operations meeting today, and the meeting must accomplish something important.” The first example would be like having a morning huddle with everyone reporting, but no action plan to make today successful. Before you can truly create a sense of urgency, you must first understand the opposite of urgency.
The concept of time windows is a slippery slope for most home service companies. Other industries have figured out how to fit their work into nice, neat little boxes of time, so why can’t we? The problem stems from the number of variables we deal with on our individual calls.
How do we get new products or services to take root? The key is to find a champion. By having at least one tech who is excited about the potential of the offering, you can get a lot of traction. This technician will set the bar high by offering the item consistently and sharing their happy customer stories. This enthusiasm is contagious and will spread throughout the team. That champion also becomes the resident subject matter expert and supports the rest of the team, so they become more comfortable.
An increasing portion of the population becoming smartphone owners, coupled with nearly every home equipped with an email account, is causing a shift in the way we communicate with our customers daily. Throwing a stamp on an envelope and sending communication is simply not going to make the cut with our customers these days.
I am going to put $86,400 into your bank account every day for you to spend any way you wish. However, it will carry no balance over from day to day. Every day, the bank will delete whatever part you failed to use. What would you do? Withdraw every cent? See, each of us has a bank account just like this. It’s the bank of time, because every morning, we are credited with 86,400 seconds. Every night, the bank of time writes off, as a loss, whatever amount of this time we failed to use. It will not carry over any balance, and it will not allow any overdrafts.
I want you to think about the state of customer service in the HVACR industry, particularly in residential home service. We often pay, train, and respect those people who are answering customer calls the least out of everyone at our company. Then, we ask ourselves why they’re not doing a stellar job.
Communicating in rhythm means we have a consistent and organized approach for connecting with our employees. To get better at this, the first thing you need to do is identify what you need to communicate to the company in daily goals, processes, and expectations. I put an emphasis on a communication process, because this can become crippling as your company continues to grow.
Are you happy with the culture at your company? In March, I laid out two of the qualities that make up a great work culture. This month, I’ll cover the last three qualities: training, recognition, and communication.
Service managers are some of the busiest people that I encounter as I visit companies, and sometimes, despite their best intentions, all the time and effort they put in every week doesn’t translate to the results they’re looking for. Does that sound familiar to you? If so, let’s explore how this situation may have been created and what you can do to refocus your manager’s efforts.