I want to start by saying that I am against government interference in the contracting industry as much as anyone. It is certainly hard enough to profitably operate an hvac service contracting business without another partner who is guaranteed their profit before the contractor owner has to pay all of the bills associated with each job to reveal if there even IS a profit.
However, one of the places where local government and some dishonest people in the trades makes a mockery of the statutes and laws, is in the area of licensing and permits. The reason for licensing and permits is to protect the public against unsafe work being performed. There is also an element of consumer protection. Local government has registered and tested licensed professionals to protect against unsavory characters that are posing as legitimate service contractors.
In a recent discussion on the ACCA Linkedin group, an intense discussion broke out amongst HVAC contractors about the reason some techs generate callbacks while other do not. Callbacks are caused by techs who are NOT thorough in their diagnosis. Why are some techs very thorough and others not? That is a question for the ages.
One thing I do know is that callbacks happen because techs fail to take into consideration the age, neglect, design and installation of a system and ONLY focus on the immediate problem. Fixing the immediate problem is a temporary solution sort of like a band-aid. It does not take into consideration the big picture issues that caused the problem in the first place.
We are using this as a caricature or “over-exaggeration” to point out some of the things that service techs do by accident. They may not even realize they are doing them until seeing how obvious it is in the film.
Things such as not having a solutions ready before you begin telling people the problems they have are subtle things that many may not notice even when they watch.
Other obvious things like allowing service techs to pick their own wardrobe or going out to the truck to figure things out can look like “amateur night” to the customer. You don’t think techs talk on the cell phone about personal business like “canasta night?” Go to a job with a few installers and you will be shocked at the personal business being conducted during normal working hours.
I do ride-a-longs and what I see is a fact of life and a day-to-day struggle to get techs to see how important it is to do good service. Maybe when they see what bad service looks like they will be sure not to commit these mistakes.
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The difference between a REAL professional in any occupation and those who aspire to this status is not the talent level or even any of their great achievements.
The main difference in my opinion are the times when they struggle or find themselves in a slump. The true professional does not lose their enthusiasm when faced with a setback or challenge. On days when the normal person would rather call in sick, the professional shows up and gives the same effort they would give on their best days. What then do professionals do when they go into a slump or suffer a poor performance? They always go back to the fundamentals and remember the little things that mean a lot when the pressure is on.
One of the things that has always made me crazy is the labeling of sales and customer service as a so called “soft” skill. If sales and service are soft then why is it so hard to get your team to put them into practice? I often wonder, “Who was the dunderhead, that coined this term?”
My best guess is that it is probably someone who has a very strong technical skill-set that has failed to develop equally strong customer skills. This person (Probably a guy) then trying to justify this weakness, downplays the importance of customers by labeling this uber-important skill as “soft” which implies that it is not very important.
I can tell spring is about to arrive when I listen to my favorite sports radio show and I hear the ‘Hot Stove” league heating up. The show hosts go on seemingly forever about the same players and how they fit in to this years team. This week they started to play the pre-season games in earnest as all the players try to play themselves into mid-season shape by the first week in April.
In the selling world try to think about how you can use this time of year to do the same thing. What i mean is that we have all endured a challenging economy over the recent past. Just remember that when a person who is good at selling their services goes to work that the economy is always a lot better. At least it is for those who are in great mid-season selling “shape.”