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The Power of Perspective in HVAC Independent Contracting

By Todd Liles May 1, 2012 The Power of Perspective in HVAC Independent Contracting

Learning to see a situation from another person’s perspective is important when learning how to provide the most thorough and effective service possible inside your HVAC, plumbing, or electrical independent contracting company. Training employees to see situations and scenarios from the client’s perspective is a valuable skill that can greatly work to increase sales, leads, and retention inside of an independent contracting company.  In today’s blog, we will explore the progression of a client’s perspective throughout an effective sales or service call and explore how each of these steps strengthen the KPIs (key performance indicators) inside your company:

Stage 1 of Client Perspective: “I like this person; he made a professional and personable first impression.”-

It is very important to remember that clients buy-in on a person before they buy-in on a product.  As the old saying goes: “They won’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” While you do represent your service company while on a call, it is also important to remember that the client will see you as a person before he will see you as a CSR, technician, or manager.  So it is vital that you use effective relationship skills to first prove that you’re a trustworthy and respectful person because as soon as a customer decides if he likes you as a person, his opinion of your company and services will follow close behind and this opinion will most likely be directly related to his perspective of you as an individual.

There are several great first-impression skills and practices that every independent contracting company can put into place that will help jumpstart this initial positive client perspective.   While these skills stretch through the entire service process the most important rapport-building skills come at the preliminary client-technician meeting because a client’s opinion and perspective of an individual is developed within a matter of 16 seconds.  Thus a technician’s initial attitude, demeanor, and the first few words of the conversation are vitally important to developing a positive client perspective.  Before direct contact is even made it is important for technicians to present a positive “curb appeal.”  This means that a customer may be watching a technician from the moment he arrives in the driveway so it is important that a tech respectfully park his vehicle on the street, have his materials prepared in order to exit the service vehicle quickly, and possess a positive demeanor all the way to the front door.  A technician should want their prospective clients to feel that they are opening their door to a trustworthy professional– not a stranger.  After a technician knocks 3 solid times on the client’s doorframe it is then time for him to prepare for his professional introduction as well as his opportunity to show his respect for the customer’s material possessions by asking if the vehicle is properly placed and putting on floor-saver before entering the home.  Practicing these simple yet important action-steps on a call will cause a client to be pleasantly surprised with your first-rate professionalism and it will set the stage for the next two steps in developing a positive client perspective.

Stage 2 of Client Perspective: “I trust this company’s technician; he is thorough and focused on fixing my problem.”- 

After a client decides that he likes you as a person then he must determine if he trusts you as a technician.  This is the time to let your technical and mechanical skills shine!  There are three important aspects to this second stage to building a strong client perspective: explanation of the diagnostic process, performance of a thorough diagnostic, and explanation of all diagnostic results.

The first component is to explain what will occur during the diagnostic process and explain the paperwork involved.  During this step it is important to reassure the client that everything found will be brought to his attention and no work will be done without his consent.  This pre-diagnostic step primarily works to reassure a client of your trustworthiness as well as create a plan of action for the call.  The next step is the diagnostic analysis.  A diagnostic is only complete after the entire system has been evaluated and examined.  After a thorough diagnostic has been performed, the last step in this process is to fully explain to the client the issues that have been found.  This step is most effective when a technician can visually show the client the problem first-hand by taking him to the malfunction area or by showing him a picture of the problem.  This step works most effectively when a technician uses analogies in order to create a mental picture and clearer understanding for the client.  It’s within these diagnostic steps that a client develops his trust for you as a technician.

Stage 3 of Client Perspective: “I believe in this company and their service; they value me as a client.”-

After a client has developed a positive perspective of you as a person then as a technician, it is then time for them to develop their overall opinion of your service company.  This final perspective relies heavily on the client’s first two perspectives.  Clients see that companies that “have it together,” care enough to hire great people then train and develop them into thorough and knowledgeable technicians.  This step stretches beyond just the client-technician meeting and into the client’s entire service or sales experience.  It results from the client’s conversation with a CSR, to their technician experience, to their installation experience.

When a client develops his or her overall perspective of the service company, it stems from three important areas.  The first aspect being the technician’s presentation of the company’s replacement, repair, and add-on options.  The customer may ask himself, “do these options solve my problem?”  When a company works to completely solve a client’s problem then they feel taken care of, respected, and valued.  The second aspect to this process is a timely follow through in regards to service or installation.  A client wants to be taken care of quickly and efficiently, when this occurs they get a deeper glance into the effective organization of the entire company team.  Lastly, this step depends upon the overall client-company relationship.  This occurs when a client feels that they have a valuable relationship with their service company and they choose to remain loyal clients.

It is important to consider clients’ perspectives of you as an individual, as a technician (or as a manager, CSR, dispatcher) as well as your HVAC, plumbing, or electrical company as a whole.  When an independent contracting company takes time and energy to see their company’s service process through their clients’ eyes then they will be better equipped to train, develop, and grow more specific skills inside their company. Thank you for following our weekly posts.  Here at Service Excellence Training, we turn learning into earning!

-Resource curated by Whitney Stewart of Service Excellence Training.

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