When it comes to a demand repair service or maintenance experience, it is the customer’s mindset and technician’s process that determine the customer's experience.
In this article, we will address the opening of the service visit prior to getting to work with the tools since many technicians shortchange the customer experience by not communicating effectively.
When a customer calls a service company, it’s for ONE thing – your expertise. They don’t want a price, the problem fixed, the fast and cheap solution, etc. like many technicians think. They want good information and possibly a little guidance, to make a good decision. With good information, most people feel very capable of making a better decision for themselves than any technician will make for them.
Based on the customer’s mindset, a technician’s process should be to simply have a conversation with a customer, so the customer knows what to expect every step of the way. This process helps to build credibility, trust, value, interest and intrigue.
Customers don’t want to chit-chat with technicians since they feel they are paying for your time, so after exchanging pleasantries, turn the conversation towards why you are there: “So what prompted you to invite us to your home today?” Verify why you are there. Clarify what it is the customer expects and wants you to do. Ask the customer to explain the problem they are experiencing to identify their pain, how long it’s been an issue, when they first noticed the issue, and if everything functioned properly and adequately prior to now.
If it is a maintenance visit, ask the customer if they are having any problems or noticing anything different about their system. You can mention a few of the typical problems you regularly encounter to help facilitate the conversation. Ask relevant follow-up questions to gain clarity and uncover other concerns. Questions regarding age of home, age of system, length of residence to date and going forward, etc. are also helpful when determining customer’s objectives, desired outcomes, and items for consideration.
As you proceed, be sure to observe, listen actively, take notes, and repeat what the customer tells you.
Inquire as to why they picked your company and what they know about it. If their call was in response to an ad, determine what about the ad captured their interest. Ask who they know that your company has done work for (always assume they know someone since you have a good name and reputation). Provide a brief explanation about the company and your personal experience before shifting gears and getting to work.
Start by saying: “Bob/Betty (I suggest getting on a first name basis from the time you enter a home), before we get started please know that my job isn’t to sell you anything you don’t want, don’t need, can’t afford, or doesn’t make sense. My job is to find out what’s happening and give you information, so you can make an informed decision. If I find anything that will improve the safety, health, and comfort of your home and family, prevent future breakdowns, extend the life of your system, or better yet, save you some money on your utility costs and possibly put some money back in your pocket, I’ll let you know, and you can let me know what you’d like to do. Fair enough?”
Invite the customer to watch or ask where you can find them when ready.
Review your company’s pricing policy and provide the customer with What You Can Expect document to confirm the process you’ll explain. Provide a copy of your latest company newsletter, and any promotional flyers/ads your company is running and state that you’d be happy to answer any questions or tell them what’s applicable once you’ve had a chance to check things out. Also, share a copy of your Quality Inspection Audit and Online Review/Happy Check Process to let the customer know upfront that you will conduct a post-work review to ensure a thorough diagnosis, prescription and treatment as well as to verify their happiness.
Lastly, inform the customer your measure for success is their total happiness with every aspect of the experience, since a large percentage of your customers come from happy customers like them referring you to others that could benefit from your services. Respectfully request that if you meet or exceed their expectations, that you hope they can share the name of someone like most of your other customers, and that there are rewarding benefits for them and their referrals that you will explain later.
This last step sets the expectations high right before you get to work, which should create an amazing experience for your customer. Good luck!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Drew Cameron, America’s Most Sought After Sales & Marketing Strategy Adviser to Home Services Contractors, is president of HVAC Sellutions & Energy Design Systems, Inc.; the premier alliance providing industry-leading marketing planning, budgeting, content and support; sales recruiting, education, coaching, consulting and performance enhancement for Home Services Contractors; and design and economic analysis sales software for HVAC and Home Performance companies. Drew’s 40 years of experience in all facets of running a residential contracting business helps contractors implement effective lead development strategies and build multi-million-dollar profit-generating home services companies. Drew is a renowned author, educator, coach, consultant, inspirational/educational/”irritational” speaker, software developer, industry philanthropist, and a Tom McCart International Consultant Award Winner as well as a Board member, a Foundation Board Trustee, and a Contractor University Founder & Faculty member for Electric & Gas industries Association (EGIA); a Service Roundtable Consult & Coach Partner & Preferred Vendor; and an Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) member.