9 Steps to Make Waves in the Skilled Trades

9 Steps to a Residential Customer's Front Door 

There’s a lot more to running a service call than simply showing up at your customer’s front door. Even if you've heard these tips before, it never hurts to be reminded.

1. Be prepared.

Customers are anxiously awaiting your technician’s arrival. The problem that prompted them to call you is an inconvenience in their lives. It’s unexpected and as Murphy’s Law would have it, often comes at the worst possible time. Communication is key. Is your office letting your customer know if the tech is on time, or delayed? If your tech is behind schedule, it’s much better to call the customer and explain the situation before they call you. Pre-arrival calls to let your customer know their tech is enroute, and to ensure that nothing unexpected has come up to keep your customer from being home when the tech arrives. Has your tech been trained to observe the customer's home? Is there a beautiful front lawn? How old is the home? These are just a few things techs can take mental notes on to compliment, and engage your customer in conversation that can lead to loyalty and increased service calls for you.
 

2. Take care where the tech parks.

Showing respect for your customer's property is important too. It’s best to park on the street in front of the customer’s home if it can be done safely. This way, your tech is not blocking any other vehicles in the driveway if someone needs to leave. Park out front and your tech's truck will never leave oil spots on the driveway either, and never park on the grass.


3. Have the tech give himself a once over before exiting the truck.

Is your tech hot, sweaty, caked with dirt? Has he/she been wiggling through crawl spaces or up in a hot attic on a prior call? Do your techs smoke? Appearances matter. Train your techs to clean up, change to a fresh shirt, and use some spare deodorant before starting another job, Febreze or breathe mints can help too.


4. Be disciplined in approaching customers.

It is human nature for the homeowner to be checking your tech out as soon as the truck drives up. Train your techs to be courteous – no walking across the grass or throwing a cigarette out onto the sidewalk. Walk up the driveway or use a walkway. Keep ithe entry simple, bring a small bag with what’s immediately needed, such as a flashlight, pricing guide, and paperwork. Techs can always go back to the truck if more equipment is needed.


5. Put the homeowner at ease.

Now, your tech has finally reached the front door. Some people work odd shifts or there may be a small child napping in the house, so it’s better to knock on the door instead of ringing the doorbell. Remember, strangers ring door bells, friends knock. You want your technicians to be thought of as friends.
 

6. Fix the customer first.

Your company’s number one priority should be to make customers feel at ease... immediately. Do your techs carry easy-to-read ID badges? Do they wear uniforms with their names printed on the shirt? Has your tech been drug tested and criminally background checked? When your customer answers the door, techs should offer a friendly greeting and reassurance. Acknowledge the problem to be addressed in the home and ask permission to come inside.


7. Relate to customers.

Remember earlier when your tech made mental notes of things about the home, like that nice lawn? Now is the time to compliment your customers on those things. Are there pictures of kids playing baseball? Is someone in the home a NASCAR fan? Find something to talk about to establish a common bond.


8. Mention your background and set expectations.

After the common bond has been established, now it’s time to go to work. Check out the reported problem,  diagnose it and explain to customers what the options are to get the problem fixed.


9. Ask for customer approval to proceed.

You may think that some of these things are going overboard. They’re not. Your techs are making a positive first impression, letting the customer know that your company cares about them, and showing respect.
You never get a second chance to create a “WOW factor.” The most important steps are the first ones your technician takes.