It may sound like an easy task to take your evaluation of a system and present your findings and recommendations to the customer, but is it that simple? Synthesizing your checklist and findings into options for the customer is one thing, but we all know that the customer is looking for the best thing to do. And we have to tell them what it is.
On a previous Windshield Time, we discussed the negatives of the simple ‘observe and report’ behaviors on the job. If you get your findings together, give the customer options and ask them what they think they want to do, you’re missing out. This is your chance to share your knowledge, professional experience and industry recommendations. You shouldn’t be deferring to the customer to decide which option is best.
Technically, you are the only one who knows what the problem is: a coil needs to be replaced, a pipe is leaking, a filter is clogged, etc. Before you go right to the customer to report the problem, you need to think about how you’re going to talk to them. Your conversation needs to flow logically for the customer. First, address what the problem is that you were called there to assess. Then connect that to the next thing you found, and the next thing. What makes sense to you as a technician isn’t what makes sense to the customer. Approach the conversation with purpose.
We know that every component in a plumbing system, electrical system or HVAC system is connected. It’s not always super clear to the customer, so you have to show them how their hot water problem led to needing a toilet replacement. You have to explain how in your evaluation of the AC unit, you found a leaking duct that needs repair. You need to address the problem you were asked to fix, but you also need to connect the dots for the customer on why other parts of their home need attention as well.
Use your observation skills to notice things ahead of time to create trust between you and your customer. If you are approaching a presentation with just technical facts in mind, you will have a more difficult time getting the customer to trust your recommendation. This comes back to being aware of things at the home, inside and outside, that you can relate to. Kids, pets, sports teams, TV shows, foods — anything can become a point of connection between you and the customer.
Your entire experience at the customer’s home is a practice in adding value. Providing great customer service, flawless technical skills and connecting with the customer all fill up that value bucket. You should be using that credit against objections during your presentation to make your recommendation clear and trustworthy. If you’re building value, but you never cash it in, how do you ever expect the customer to take your advice and professional solution?
In the end, the number one thing to remember about your presentation is it can be the determining factor of your success or failure. Every step of your process has to be completed successfully to achieve the end result. That means you can’t do poorly on the customer service side of things and really great on everything else. You can’t give great service, show high technical skills and then present a weak recommendation to the customer. You need this piece to be well thought out just like all the others if you want to succeed.
You may know all of these principles we are talking about today, but are you implementing them in your daily job? The coaches at Service Excellence can tell you what you’re doing successfully and what you could do better to make your entire presentation process easy, consistent and more successful. Give us a call if you’re interested in training with our coaches, or visit our website to sign up for an online training class!
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