Service Technicians typically know how to identify malfunctioning components, troubleshoot, and solve technical problems, but do they understand the public relations aspects of what they say and do? According to a taskforce of different types and sizes of service contractors throughout Wisconsin, the answer is “No, not at all!”
Three mistakes service technicians often make that can cost you money:
Mistake #1: Thinking the Company Only Advertises in Newspapers and the Yellow Pages
The Truth: From the moment your service technicians start their company assigned vehicles, they are marketing your company. In other words, your company vehicles are moving billboards. A clean truck with a driver who obeys traffic rules and speed limits, speaks volumes about your company. So does a dirty truck with your company logo on the side running a stop light. First impressions can either drive business to or away from your company. Make sure your company vehicles reflect your organization in the best way possible.
Mistake #2: Thinking Appearance Doesn’t Matter
The Truth: Here is a simple fact. Customers want professional looking technicians coming into their homes or businesses who are well groomed, with a clean uniform. Some customers, such as those in retail, actually have customers themselves. In that case, your service technician not only represents your company, but the customer’s company as well.
Most customers react negatively to dirty clothing or strong smells, such as cigarette, alcohol, or body odor. Your service technicians represent your company. Are they sending the right message when they appear on your customer’s doorstep or front office?
Mistake #3: Thinking You Can SAY Anything to the Customer
The Truth: This could not be further from the truth. Actually, what you say and how you say it is extremely important. It can mean the difference between earning repeat and new customers through word of mouth, and losing both current and potential customers forever.
Service technicians should be direct in their approach and use plain English, rather than what might be perceived as “technobabble” by the customer. It is best to stick to the problem and possible solutions.
Service Techs should not comment on expensive furnishings or collectables they might see in a house. They should not discuss favorite movies, political beliefs, or unrelated current topics. Technicians should never portray their supervisor or employer in a negative way or make comments about how high the bill is compared to what they are being paid. The big problem with any of these discussion topics is threefold:
1. The customer is listening and is forming opinions based on what the technician is saying.
2. The customer may not share the technician’s opinion.
3. The customer could easily assume the technician is speaking for the company.
In addition, service technicians are typically paid by the hour and anything that distracts a technician from the task at hand or casts a negative light on the employer can become a major point of contention when the bill is presented.
For more information:
This article was based on the Public Relations topic in SERV Tech Talks, an in-house training program for service managers and service technicians.