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The Fears of Residential Service Contractors: Air Conditioning, Electrical, and Plumbing

By Todd Liles January 24, 2013 The Fears of Residential Service Contractors: Air Conditioning, Electrical, and Plumbing

Residential Contractors face a lot of fears.  And, they are not cowards.  Air Conditioning, Electrical and Plumbing services providers are in a very hard business.  They are in the business of:

  • solving problems
  • managing and motivating employees
  • building their business
  • avoiding costly mistakes
  • managing their fears of running a small business

Having ran a small air conditioning and plumbing company myself, I have faced many of these fears.

FIRE!  My biggest fear came true

The fear of running a small service company came to a quick reality when I got this call:

Hello, hello!  Is this Drain and Air Rescue?  This is Mrs. SMxxx.  Can you hear me?  The fire department is here.  My home has burned down.  You burned down my home!

My heart instantly sunk.  You do not want that phone call.  Her voice, the sound of the sirens, will forever be burned in my memory.  I can still feel the anxiety and the fear as I type these words.  I can still remember the day and time:  Sunday, at 1:13 PM.  I was at my mother-in-law’s house.

I took the on-call phone that week to give our on-call CSR a break.  Since I had the on-call phone, I also had the on-call service computer.

I logged in, checked the notes.

Notes:  Mrs. SMxxx has an unsafe disconnect.  It is overheating.  I believe this to be a potential fire hazard.  I have informed Mrs. Smxxx of the unsafe condition.  She does not want to replace the disconnect.  She has agreed to not hold us liable, and has signed off on a liability waiver.

An Ounce of Prevention is worth a pound of . . .

What a relief!  I’m truly sorry that Mrs. Smxxx suffered damage from a fire. But, I’m very happy we were not to blame.  Our service technician took the proper and necessary steps to offer protection to the home owner.  She said, “No.”  He then protected the company.

There was no other phone call from Mrs. Smxxx claiming we burned down her house.

Are you Protected?

If your fear came true, would you be protected?  Would you be able to weather the storm?

I asked the members of Service Roundtable to let me know what their biggest fears are as the owner of an air conditioning, electrical or plumbing company.  Over 1,400 companies received the survey.

Here are the submitted results.

Residential Service Contractors Biggest Fears*

#1 Silent Phones:  26%
#2 Poorly Performing Employees:  22%
#2 Crushing Debt:  22%
#3 Disgruntled Clients:  12%
#4 Not Being Able to Sell the Business 9%
#5 Government Regulations 6%
#6 Finding Management Personnel 3%

*Per submitted results

Overcoming the Fears of Residential Service Contractors

The honesty of those who submitted their results was awesome.

Your answers are going to craft a series of future blog posts, as well as my presentation at the Service Roundtable International Event on Feb 12th at 2:00 PM.

If you would like to submit your input on the biggest fears, then you can complete SURVEY BY CLICKING HERE. 

Question:  Have you ever taken the “my house has burned down” call?

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