Ice Breaker: Customer Service is Imperative
Soft Skills Aptitude Needed to be a Better Technician
Is having excellent customer service skills important for a refrigeration technician? The only answer to this question is yes. Having excellent customer service skills not only makes you a better technician — it makes you a better employee. If you are an owner/operator of your own service company, these skills help to retain the valuable customers you worked so hard to get.
So, how do you improve your customer service skills? First, you need to become an effective communicator. When speaking with customers, clearly explain the required repairs in terms they will understand. Avoid using complicated industry terms such as superheat and subcooling when discussing a problem as these phrases may only confuse them. Answer any and all questions they have in terms they will understand. When the job is complete, be sure to go over the repairs with them, explaining any warranties offered or any further maintenance you recommend.
Superior customer service skills also means treating customers fairly and honestly. Dishonesty never works out in the end. Customers will quickly pick up on a dishonest technician. They may not understand how the system operates or how to repair the problem, but they can tell when a technician is not being totally honest. Just relate this to when you deal with a technician for a home or car repair. You can tell when another technician is not being completely honest with you, and so can your customers.
Appearance also counts in refining your customer service skills. Always keep your appearance neat and clean. Wear clean company-issued clothing, if provided, each day. It is a good idea to keep an extra set of work clothes in your service truck just in case you run into a dirty job during the day (or spill your lunch on yourself). This way, you can change into clean clothes before meeting the next customer, if necessary.
Another extremely important aspect of customer service is how you treat their property. You should always treat a customer’s property as if it were your own. In fact, you should treat it better than your own property. If you dirty it, clean it. If you take it off, put it back on. If you replace it, take it away. If you move it, put it back. If you break it, fix it.
Refining your customer service skills is all about building trust with a customer. You definitely want to be the technician that a customer requests by name. It’s a great compliment when a customer calls for a repair and says, “I want Pete to come and repair my system.” However, the opposite is something you definitely want to avoid: A customer calling for a repair and saying, “I need my system repaired, but please do not send Pete.” This is not good for your career.
Trust is most definitely earned, not given. You earn trust by treating a customer the way you yourself would want to be treated. You earn trust by listening to the customer, going the extra mile for them, showing up on time, and having the proper attitude. A bad attitude will cause you and your company to lose customers, and it could also cost you your job.
So, remember, the next time you are in front of a customer, think about your customer service skills. Be the technician that customers want on their properties repairing their systems. It will go a long way in helping you advance in the industry.
Publication date: 10/6/2014