Finding out what your HVAC construction employees are really like
Your HVAC construction technicians and installation crews are out there every day — unsupervised. You hope they’re doing the things you want them to be doing, including wearing shoe covers.
But are they, really?
The only way you can be sure is to follow up with clients. Some contractors have their technicians or installation crews give customers a survey card and have them fill it out while they are there. Do you think a client will give that crew a bad report and hand it back? Not likely.
Some HVAC market contractors have the technician leave a self-addressed, stamped comment card with clients. Many will return them. But for those clients who don’t, are they unhappy or just forgot to complete the comment card? Unless you call, you will never know.
Still other contractors have an employee who is responsible for following up with service clients by telephone. This is one of the best ways to handle follow up. Assuming that your customer service representative can get through the answering machine, he or she can sense the tone of voice and any hesitations as the person is asking questions. If he or she senses something is wrong, the person can handle the specific issue that client has.
Many contractors can justify a personal phone call or thank-you gift for larger jobs. But what about service calls? There is a very inexpensive way to follow up after service calls by email. This requires that the dispatcher or sales person gets the email addresses of your clients. With mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, this is becoming easier.
There are services that will send a follow-up email automatically for a small fee.
If the technicians aren’t, for example, wearing their shoe covers, you’ll know it because the customers will tell you. Then, you can take corrective action with your technicians.
When clients give good reviews, ask them to submit a Google review, too. This helps your search engine rankings.
To grow your business profitably, follow up after employees has been to a client’s home. Whether the follow-up is done in person, by survey cards mailed back, a telephone call, or a quick Internet survey, it is critical to know that clients are satisfied and will use your company again. This is the only way to know that your employees are representing your company properly.
Employees can be incredibly frustrating all the time. Or you can have a great team and occasional minor frustrations. Or you can do it all yourself, work 20 hours per day, pray you don’t get hurt, and never have employee frustrations. The choice is yours.
I’ve jokingly said that this business would be easy if we had robots installing and servicing equipment and didn’t have to rely on humans.
But since we do, the very first critical issue is communication. Your employees can’t read your mind. I’m sure there are times that you would like them to and other times you’re glad they can’t. If you don’t tell employees what you expect them to do, you can’t expect them to do the job the way you want it done. Once you’ve communicated how you want it done, you must ensure the employees can do the job the way you want it done. If they can’t, then it’s time for what I call “the career readjustment program.” Fire them.
The reality is that you communicate all the time. Most of it is nonverbal. You don’t have to say a word and your employees can tell when you are in a good mood, stressed out or just want to be left alone. Your body language says this.
Employees may not say anything to you. However, they know something is not normal. And if you don’t say something, your employees’ imaginations have a tendency to run wild and blow things out of proportion. Before you know it, rumors spread that the company is in trouble and people are fearful they will lose their jobs.
Communication is necessary to ensure that everyone knows what the company goals are, what their jobs are, how they will be evaluated, advertising and marketing activities and other company issues.
Copyright Ruth King. All rights reserved.
Write to Ruth King at:
Profitability Revolution LLC
1650 Oakbrook Drive, Suite 405
Norcross, GA 30093