The Customer Experience is a Matter of Mindset and Process
Addressing the beginning of the service visit
When it comes to a demand repair service or maintenance experience, it is the customer’s mindset and technician’s process that determine the experience.
In this article, I will address the opening of the service visit prior to getting to work, since many technicians shortchange the customer experience by not communicating effectively.
When customers call your service company, it’s for one thing: your expertise. They don’t want a price, the problem fixed, the fast and cheap solution, etc., like many technicians think. They want good information and possibly a little guidance to make a good decision.
Technicians should communicate with customers, so they know what to expect every step of the way. This process helps to build credibility, trust, value, interest, and intrigue. Customers don’t want to chit-chat with technicians, since they feel they are paying for time. So, after exchanging pleasantries, turn the conversation toward why you are there. Clarify what the customer expects and wants you to do. Ask the customer what the problem is, how long it’s been an issue, when they first noticed the issue, and if everything functioned properly and adequately prior to now.
If it is a maintenance visit, ask the customer if they are having any problems or noticing anything different about their system. You can mention a few of the typical problems you regularly encounter to help facilitate the conversation. Ask relevant follow-up questions to gain clarity and uncover other concerns.
Questions regarding age of home, age of system, length of residence, etc., are also helpful when determining customers’ objectives, desired outcomes, and items for consideration.
As you proceed, be sure to observe, listen, take notes, and repeat what the customer tells you. Inquire as to why they picked your company and what they know about it. If their call was in response to an ad, determine what about the ad captured their interest. Provide a brief explanation about the company and your personal experience before shifting gears and getting to work.
Start by saying: “Bob/Betty (I suggest getting on a first name basis immediately), before we get started, please know that my job isn’t to sell you anything you don’t want, don’t need, can’t afford, or doesn’t make sense. My job is to find out what’s happening and give you information, so you can make an informed decision. If I find anything that will improve the safety, health, and comfort of family; prevent future breakdowns; extend the life of your system; or save you some money on your utility costs and possibly put some money back in your pocket, I’ll let you know, and you can let me know what you’d like to do. Fair enough?”
Invite the customer to watch or ask where to find them when ready.
Review your company’s pricing policy and provide the customer with a What You Can Expect document to confirm the process you’ll explain. Provide a copy of your latest company newsletter and any promotional flyers/ads your company is running.
Let them know that you’d be happy to answer any questions or tell them what’s applicable once you’ve had a chance to check things out.
Also, share a copy of your Quality Inspection Audit and Online Review/Happy Check Process to let the customer know up front that you will conduct a post-work review to ensure a thorough diagnosis, prescription, and treatment as well as to verify their satisfaction.
Lastly, inform the customer that your measure for success is their total happiness with every aspect of the experience and that if you meet or exceed their expectations, there are rewarding benefits for their referrals.
This last step sets the expectations high right before you get to work, which should create an amazing experience for both you and your customer. Good luck!
Download your free Technician Communications & Selling resource and training package complete with powerful tools, templates and educational videos, visit https://www.EGIA.org/ACHR-Techselling.
Publication date: 8/6/2018