I read one of those online reviews that made my skin crawl. The homeowner wrote this review on Rip Off Report, an online watchdog website. The review questioned the integrity of the technician, company, and the equipment being used in the test.

Before you read this review, let me make something super clear. I am not making a claim that the homeowner’s opinion is fact. Nor, am I claiming that the homeowner is lying. I’m not taking a side for the homeowner, or the company mentioned.

I’m giving you my perspective on the matter. Practical advice that can help you build trust, and protect you.

The Damaging Review

[Name of Company Removed] used a camera with a bendable scope to look into the furnace and take a picture. They showed me a picture of a crack in “my” furnace, but the scope was not in the furnace at the time they showed me the picture. This means that the camera has a memory to store pictures. I suspect that the camera has a stored picture in it of a cracked furnace. Once in a person’s house, they display the picture from the memory card, and tell the customer the picture is from their furnace. I’ll bet this is part of their ruse to dupe customers. [Name of Tech Removed] from [[Name of Company Removed] said he sees lots of fraud in his industry. He told me he’s seen lots of fraud with [Name of Company Removed].

The homeowner gives a lot more detail in the online report. Feel free to Google it, because it’s easy to find.

But, this section stands out to me because it highlights a common problem, and it’s one that is easily fixed.

The Big Problem

The big problem is trust. Look at these words, “I suspect that the camera has a stored picture in it of a cracked furnace.”

The homeowner thinks the tech is just dialing up an image of a cracked heat exchanger as “part of their ruse to dupe customers.”

There is no trust. And, the technician didn’t prove his trustworthiness through the best method possible, EVIDENCE.

[If you need help building trust and value with your clients, then join us for our PRESS PLAY Training Series in Austin, TX.]

How To Document Your Visual Inspection

I’m going to show you a method that I perfected at my company. This prevented any false accusations of wrong doing.

You can use this method for any type of company that uses Cameras as a Visual Inspection Tool. This works for Plumbing, Air Conditioning, Roofing, Electrical and so on.

Important Equipment Note: Buy inspection equipment that can record audio and visual. This is always best.

Step 1: Start With The Invoice.

The very first image on your recording should be the invoice. With a steady hand and calm voice, read the name of the client, the date, and the reason for being there.

Step 2: Proof of the Current Location.

The next shot needs to be a pan away from the invoice, and a slow scan of the surroundings. Be sure to capture evidence that undeniably demonstrates you are at the home of the client. With permission, you can even get a picture of the homeowner.

Important Note: Never turn off the camera. You should never stop the recording. This is one continuous movie.

Step 3: Proof of the Equipment.

The next shot is a pan to the equipment you are inspecting. Document model number and serial number in all cases possible.

Step 4: Perform Inspection.

The next shot is the inspection. As you perform the inspection, discuss what you are seeing. Yet, do not make statements that you are unable to prove.

If you are not sure if you are seeing a “crack” or a “break”, then call it “an area of concern.”

Sometimes a visual test is clear and conclusive. Sometimes, it is not.

Always perform the additional tests that are needed to determine the findings.

Throughout the entire process, educate the client. Take your time to answer the client’s questions, address the client’s concerns, prove your findings, and build trust.

Step 5, 6, and 7: Reverse the Order.

After you have completed the Visual Inspection, then reverse the original order.

  • Show the equipment.
  • Show the current location.
  • Show the invoice.

This process has huge value. And, it provides you with some very powerful documentation that can do the following:

The Power of the Process

It Reduces Negative Reviews

This process creates clarity, which reduces negative reviews.

It Protects You

In the unlikely event that you are falsely accused of wrong doing, you are protected. You have the video and audio evidence to prove the case you made.

It Protects the Client

I believe there are clients that have unsafe furnaces, and unhealthy indoor environments in their home, and they are living with it. Many of these clients are living in poor conditions because they haven’t had a professional prove the real needs in a professional way.

The importance of performing a proper visual inspection goes far beyond sales. Sales should be the by-product of professional work. RELATED: The Power of Diagnostic. The importance of a proper visual inspection is that it builds trust and provides protection.

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