Parallels Between Technicians and Doctors

By Thomas Parallels Between Technicians and Doctors
service technician replacing air filter

Do you ever stop to think, “How can this client not want what I’m recommending?” It’s an interesting question, isn’t it? Sometimes the best-looking solutions have little to no value for your client because they aren’t attached to their wants or needs.

If you’re offering solutions without evaluating and diagnosing a problem, that’s called misdiagnosis. No wonder it makes your clients frustrated, angry or distrusting when you provide solutions that haven’t been evaluated and diagnosed! Is there value in your solutions without want or need?

Just as a doctor has to run tests to evaluate your health before presenting a diagnosis, a home service technician has to uncover a client’s needs before offering a service. Read on to learn more about uncovering your client’s needs.

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Uncovering Needs In 3 Easy Steps

At first glance, revealing a client’s needs seems like a daunting task. By breaking down the process into smaller, actionable pieces, you can perfect this skill. Let’s get started.

1. Evaluation

You can utilize different types of questions to uncover your client’s needs, such as:

  • Open Ended – “Could you describe to me in as much detail as possible what’s been going on with your unit?”
  • Close Ended – “Have you had this issue with your unit looked at before?”
  • Technical – “What is the approximate age of the unit?”
  • Emotional/Lifestyle – “It must be frustrating to continue to have these problems with your unit.”

It’s important that we focus on the power of great questions. Successful technicians use tools and questions to pinpoint the problems in clients’ homes. These might include meters, questionnaires and other measuring tools. 

Think of how doctors also ask questions and take tests to locate the source of your pain or discomfort. In both cases, maintaining a professional manner shapes the experience as a whole. Practice asking questions and use active listening skills to uncover wants and needs.

2. Diagnosis And Design

During this process, take the time to explain issues that have come up during your evaluation. It’s likely you’ve seen the issue that the client has already told you about. You may also uncover items that haven’t been brought up that need to be. But don’t just tell them what you found – show them.

It’s not always possible for the client to go with you to the location of the problem. When it is, there’s nothing more powerful than having the client see the problem for themselves. If they aren’t able to go with you, take a video or pictures. Seeing is believing for most.

Let’s not ask the client to just take our word for it. Let’s prove it! It’s important to use third-party articles or information to support our diagnosis or design criteria. Use articles from the Department of Energy, the EPA, the manufacturer, etc. 

After you’ve created your report, you can move on to diagnosing the issue in the client’s home. It’s only through detailed inspection that you find all sources of malfunction — just as doctors analyze their tests before they give you the answer about what’s wrong with you.

3. Idea Ownership

Whose idea is best in the eyes of your client? Yours or theirs? Theirs of course! You want the client to take your idea and make it their own. There’s great power in the client owning your diagnosis, design, solution and investment.

The key to your client owning your idea is to get them to verbalize their wants or needs. Questions are powerful tools to uncover these driving forces. Try asking your client to rank their problem, “On a scale of 1-10, how important is it to you that we address and resolve this issue?” When your solutions fulfill the wants and needs of your client, they take ownership of the idea.

Set Yourself Up For Success

Technicians provide solutions to make sure a problem is fixed and won’t happen again. They order parts and schedule services to ensure the job gets done. In a similar way, doctors write prescriptions, perform surgeries and tell their patients what the process will be for healing their ailments.

When it comes to your field of work, don’t play the part of the expert, be the expert. Thoroughly evaluate and diagnose before giving any suggestions. Would you pay more for something you didn’t want or need? You have great solutions to offer your clients, but they don’t have value if they aren’t attached to wants or needs.

That’s why it’s up to you to evaluate, diagnose and design solutions. Guide your client towards an informed decision to buy and allow them to own the idea. Remember, success is not an accident. It’s a result!

How Service Excellence Can Help You

It’s easy to draw parallels between certain skill sets of doctors and home service techs. To succeed in either field, you need to know what people need and how to provide that service for them. 

Explore our online resources or sign up for a PRESS PLAY class to get more real-world advice about your career growth. At Service Excellence, WE IGNITE THE POWER WITHIN!

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