You expect your team to do skills practice, your technicians to train on their technical and communication skills, and your call takers to work together to book every call. It’s understandable why you would have those expectations. It seems like common sense. We give them direction and a nudge, and they improve.
By your team making the effort to improve themselves, it helps them bring more value to our amazing customers while making them a greater asset to the company. It will eventually lead to more money and opportunity. Everyone in the company should be working on becoming better at their jobs every day.
So what about you?
You probably can still hold your own in a service truck as a really good technician. No one can sell with more passion than you, and you haven’t left a customer unhappy since you were fresh out of tech school. But these are no longer your jobs. If you are a service manager in a smaller company, the man in the mirror may do one or even two of these jobs, but your primary job today is to track, train, coach, build relationships, and most importantly, lead.
When was the last time you read a book on leadership? Have you ever been to a public speaking class? Have you ever attended a leadership workshop? Why expect something from your team that you are unwilling to do? Just as your teammates are expected to invest in themselves, you must set the example and do the same. We are not there to put our feet up and orchestrate our team from a desk or chair. We are there to lead. By leading, you will become more valuable to your team and the ownership. You might even put yourself in a position to earn a higher wage and be a better provider for your own family.
In our business, there is no staying the same. If you think that you can keep things as they are, and everything will be all right, you’re wrong. Regardless of where we are, we should always strive to move the needle forward. Don’t allow complacency to set in, because when the competition is growing their business, yours will be shrinking. That is not staying the same.
Think about this: What do your techs, CSR’s and sales team think when they see the competition grow? They have a new building, new trucks, cool uniforms and their guys are running calls when we get sent home. Most of the time, a person will leave a job because of poor leadership, not money. If you want to keep your people, not only do you need to give them an opportunity to advance, but you need to give them the support, tools, processes and training, and accountability to get there. As a manager, your team does not work for you, you work for them. Just as we ask our techs to build relationships with their customers, you must also build a relationship with your techs.
Your job as a service manager is can be summed up as this: Develop your technicians and teammates into leaders. Study leadership and invest in yourself. Read, find workshops and find a good coach or mentor. Allow them to pour into you, so you can pour yourself into your team.
Soon you will have improved your leadership capabilities and will be able to identify leaders on your own team. Never hold anything back, pass along your insight and wisdom, encourage them to invest into themselves and become the best at their position. If done properly, you will see your team be filled with leaders and they will now want to help others in your company improve themselves. When you have a company filled with self-motivated people, your company has no limits and will continue to move the needle forward.