It’s pretty common for professions like the home trades to be viewed as less important than other professions, like in the medical field. Contrary to popular belief, the mindset of being a technician is very similar to that of a doctor, people just don’t see them the same way. When it comes down to it, technicians perform a very important job for the community — just like doctors do — they just don’t get the credit.
It may seem like these two careers couldn’t possibly have similarities, but let’s break down the essence of both jobs and see where the common ground lies. The area where these two careers intersect is interacting with the customer (or patient).
Technicians use tools and questions to pinpoint the problem in your home. These might include meters, questionnaires, and other measuring tools that will let the expert know where the problem is. Doctors also ask questions and take tests to locate the source of your pain or discomfort. Their bedside manner means something to your experience as a whole.
Using their reports, technicians diagnose what the issue is in your home. It’s only through detailed inspection that they find all sources of malfunction. Doctors analyze their tests and decide where the wound or pain is coming from. They give you the answer about what’s wrong with you.
Technicians then provide the solution that will make sure this problem is fixed and won’t happen again. They order parts and schedule service to ensure the job gets done. Doctors write prescriptions, do surgeries and tell their patients what the process will be for healing their ailments.
If doctors and technicians use the same mindest, why do many people see technicians as lesser than other professions? This is where every other part of our service call differs from a doctor’s office.
Appearance matters. It’s widely accepted for an HVAC technician to show up to a home in a t-shirt and jeans with a ball cap on. However, if a doctor walked into your exam room without a white coat, button-down shirt and slacks, you’d doubt their skill and professionalism. Why is it that we expect certain appearances from the different professions?
Most of our society associates good grooming and nicer clothes with more knowledge or better service. People generally don’t view technicians as needing that higher knowledge since they’re “just fixing the AC”. Because few people expect anything more than the traditional idea of a technician, we let ourselves enter people’s homes looking more casual or dirty. In this way, we keep ourselves in this cycle of misconceptions.
If you think about it, the majority of your visit to a doctor’s office isn’t actually with the doctor. You speak with reception, nurses and other members of the team before getting your time with the actual doctor. For doctor visits, your perception and experience are limited to your interaction with that doctor, regardless of how the other members of the team behave.
Technicians have to provide a comprehensive experience, or else customer perception is thrown off. From the vehicles they drive to how they’re dressed to how they introduce themselves, everything is scrutinized and influenced from the second they arrive at the home. Without attempting to build a relationship with our customers, our process fails.
When you walk into a doctors’ office, you’re asked for your birthday, name and insurance — sometimes even your payment before you’ve seen the doctor! Can you imagine that working for technicians? If we arrive and immediately ask for a payment, we’ll get nowhere.
Perhaps the most important difference between a doctor and a technician is their concern with money — and this could be a page we take out of the doctors’ books. Doctors prescribe the same medicines and surgeries regardless of how much they will cost their patients. There’s no upselling or distrust about the solution to their diagnosis. In fact, doctors only ever have to address financial concerns if the patient asks about it.
This is how your performance as a technician can improve. You shouldn’t worry about the money until the customer is worried about it.
Technicians may have similarities and differences with doctors, but we can all learn a little something about our technical and customer service skills. If you want to succeed, you need to know what people think about you and how to use that knowledge to your advantage. Explore our online resources or sign up for a PRESS PLAY class to get some real advice on your career growth!
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