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There are four main areas of importance to every service technician and sales technician working in the independent contracting industries of HVAC, plumbing, and electrical.  Each of these skill sets holds great success for the tech that explores, learns, and trains in these areas.  But an important aspect to keep in mind when tackling these skills is to break them down; this way achieving them is more feasible, easier to track, and less daunting.  The great American writer, Mark Twain, had practical advice on breaking down goals; “The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret to getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks and then starting on the first one.” Here are the four important areas to technician success and the ways that they can be broken down and achieved:

-Technical Skills– The most obvious skill that a technician must focus on is technical skills.  When a customer calls with a need, they want to know that their technician is capable and trained to discover and fix their problem.  When focusing on improving and growing technical skills, it is important to first know the company’s diagnostic sheet inside and out.  While also remembering that a diagnostic is only thorough and complete after a technician has explored the entire system.  Improving technicians’ diagnostic skills requires that techs slow down and take time to discover any and all hazards.  Along with growing a technician’s diagnostic skills, it is important that a tech knows how to effectively compare a customer’s problem to a more relatable topic or compare the issue using an analogy.  By doing this, a technician is proving his technical expertise as well as his ability to make a customer comfortable in technical situations where they may not be familiar with all the parts and their functions.

-Customer Service Skills– Skills related to customer service can be both direct and indirect.  Direct customer service skills include being friendly, respectful, and professional.  Proving these direct customer service skills could be parking the service vehicle on the street, being sure to use floor protection before entering the house, greeting the customer with a smile, or bringing tools to the initial meeting at the front door so a customer knows the tech is ready to work. Indirect service excellence skills are normally skills that require the technician to nonverbally read the customer and the situation.  This may include being able to quickly determine the best way to respond to a customer’s personality type, gauge a customer’s interest during the presentation; as well as, how and when to move forward with the close.  Both types of customer service skills (direct or indirect) require training and regular practice in order for them to be mastered and used consistently.

-Verbal Skills– Verbal skills go hand-in-hand with a technician’s customer service skills; but along with having great verbal abilities comes the need for strong nonverbal proficiency. Possessing and practicing positive body language is just as important as knowing the next statement to make during a close.  When a tech’s body language and spoken word are coherent and positive it builds their rapport and trust with the customer.  Technicians must also have a keen insight on the words that they use during their presentation.  Utilizing “power words” such as “investment” rather than “cost” should be practiced during a presentation.  These words reflect a positive connotation in the customer’s mind as well as work to move the sale along.  When a technician combines “power words,” positive body language, and good communication skills it makes the sale call or service call comfortable and productive for both the client and the technician.

-Written Skills– Written skills are important throughout the entire process of the call: from the initial office paperwork and the diagnostic sheet to the client’s paperwork and the finalized paperwork filed in the office records.  Having a standard for paperwork completion is important for the entire company team to maintain organization and a clear flow of information and communication.  Written skills are also important when presenting the options during a presentation.  They are especially important when using a computation called the “True Cost Calculation;” which works to compare the cost of repairs versus replacement.  When a technician is capable of clearly communicating these options then the customer is better informed on all alternatives so they can make the best and most educated decision.

Great technicians learn and train on these four important topics. Mastering these skills is best achieved by breaking down each major skill into manageable components.  To learn more about training on any of these topics or skills contact Service Excellence Training today.  We have great materials and resources on all of these vital technician skills.  We look forward to helping you increase your company’s sales, leads, and retention. Thank you for following our weekly posts.  Here at Service Excellence Training, we strive to turn your learning into earning!

-Resource curated by Whitney Stewart of Service Excellence Training.

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