Do you feel like you’re running a daycare more than a home service company at times? Well, before you start blaming your team for any headaches, it might be time to take a moment to evaluate the “why.” The answer may be staring you right in the face every morning.
Disaster plans are one of those things we all know we need, but never get around to creating. That tends to bite our business right in the rear when trouble comes. The weather events of the last few months have brought this topic to the top of everyone’s minds, and I want you to think about acting while the memories are still fresh.
You may have read my colleague Gresham Ard’s blog post, “Training: Where to Start?” If you haven’t, start there, like the title says! Once you’re familiar with the foundations of great training, here are three more things to do that will help boost the effectiveness of your training sessions.
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.