Doug is a service technician in Atlanta. He is a single parent with three children. Doug would get all his calls in the morning and rush through them in order to be with his children when they came home from school. This is known as “run and gun.” Doug would run as fast as he could and get about 10 calls done each day, bringing in about $3,000 per week.
This pattern was duplicated with all the techs, who received their calls for the day at once and were pushed to answer them all. The idea was that to make more money, we must run more calls.
Each call is not worth much money. Right? Service is a necessary evil. Right? Sound familiar?
Doug is a novice with “The Service Call Blueprint,” however, he is growing and learning. Doug ran 3.8 calls per day the week ending on July 14. He sold $9,825.11 with 19 calls and went home on time by 4:00PM.
Expectations drive behavior. Leaders set expectations.
Dispatch now is expected to give Doug one call at a time and Doug is expected to take his time and execute The Service Call Blueprint. Dispatch is expected to ensure that Doug does not work past 4:00PM. Do you see the boundaries that we have established?
Let’s look at the math. Under Run and Gun, techs went on 40 calls per week, bringing in $2,000-$3,000 compared with The Service Call Blueprint in which there were 19 calls per week, accounting for $9,825.11.
Owning the service call.
This was a process and it took time to build trust between coworkers. Doug was angry about getting one call at a time because he lost control of “run and gun.” We asked him to trust dispatch to get him home by 4:00PM. Now dispatch owns dispatch and Doug owns the service call. Lets look at some other boundaries we set for Doug. He is expect to slow down, execute the greeting as taught, the diagnosis as taught, the presentation of the option sheet as taught and collect the money up front as taught. Doug is expected to think only about the call he is on.
This company is implementing “The Service Call Blueprint” and it is still a work in progress. Call backs are being minimized. Work load is being reduced and service revenue is tripling.
A second generation business, this company was recently purchased by the son when his father retired. The son initially told me, “Roger we have always lost money in the service department and we have to change something.”
Do you need to change too?
The Service Call Blueprint- field tested strategies for higher revenue, my latest book available on Amazon, describes a systematic process of how to execute a service call. In this article I’ll summarize the process.
Put two bookends on the service call by exiting the truck immediately on arrival and pulling away immediately when finished. You risk leaving a bad impression if you linger after finishing the call and you risk irritating the customer by hesitating before you knock on the door.
Check the customer history file before you arrive. For those of you who have access to a mobile device, go though all of the history. Familiarize yourself with the past service calls and anything else that is important to know.
For those of you who do not have mobile technology, you must call dispatch and you must take ownership of this task. You will avoid credibility-crushing questions by educating yourself beforehand. The customer will have confidence in you and you will be perceived as very prepared.
Walk up to the door with no tools in your hand. That is right! Nothing to do with tools should be in your hands. This is the most important part of the service call and it is not time to start working. We want to establish our agenda and get agreement. This is a time for listening and asking questions. The greeting should go something like this.
Tech: Hi Mrs. Jones. I’m Roger with ABC Heating & Air. Thanks for calling us out here to today. How can I help you and tell me what is going on.
This first part of the greeting does two things, it expresses gratitude and asks for their agenda. Then listen and ask more questions. We want them to talk as much as possible. If they are talking and you are listening, you are bonding and building rapport. Really listen. Listening to another person is one of the most deeply connecting things that you can do for another person. Next say this.
Tech: Is it okay if I explain my process so you can get comfortable with it? Wait for permission.
Tech: I am going to go ahead and get my tools and figure out what we need to do to get you going. Once I determine what that is, I would like to sit down with you and go over your options for repair. Then you can decide what is best for you. You are the boss. How does that sound?
Wait for agreement.
So now we have established something. We heard them and understand them. They feel affirmed. We gave them our agenda and got agreement. They now know what to expect. Our agenda is to sit down and show them options for repair and they must make their own choice. It is not our choice to make for them. Don’t violate this boundary. They own this problem, not you.
Now go get your tools and do a complete diagnosis of the problem. Take your time. Go to your van and build an option sheet after you determine what is wrong. Let us assume for this example, it is a bad capacitor. Build an option sheet by asking yourself these questions:
1.What is my main concern and what is needed?
- What could I do to take 15 or 20 more minutes to make sure that I don’t have a call back?
- How could I make this system more reliable?
- How could I make this system better than it was before I arrived?
- Could I give the system a detailed cleaning?
Answer these questions and build a top option with four or five bundled repairs in addition to what is needed.
Let’s look at my menu.
Two Year warranty
New Solid State Contactor
New Hard Start Kit
New Surge Protector
Restore System To Clean Condition $950
One Year warranty
New Solid State Contactor
New Hard Start Kit
Restore System To Clean Condition $800
120 Day Warranty
New Solid State Contactor
Restore System To Clean Condition $575
60 Day Warranty
Restore System To Clean Condition $450
30 Day Warranty
Quick Fix which risk of other things going wrong
Presenting this menu properly is extremely important and must be learned word for word. Those of you who execute this properly will have a rise rate of 70%. This means that 70% of the time a customer will pick Bronze or higher.
Tech: Mrs. Jones, Have you got a minute to sit down and go over your options?
Sit down somewhere and do not show them your menu yet. Keep it for your eyes only. We will show them the options in less than a minute but now is not the time.
Tech: I found an issue with a component called a capacitor and I can fix it.
Add this if it applies:
Your system is of the age where some folks consider replacing. Do you want to replace it or fix it?
Usually, they want to see the repair estimate first.
Tech: I am going to show you several options to take care of the problem today. The top option is my best option and you would only want to pick that option if you want your system fixed, more reliable and better than it was before I showed up.
Now read the top option to them and then say,
Tech: If you choose this option, it is $950, but I do have all these other options. Now show them the menu sheet and let them hold it.
Then ask what they would like to do.
- No more presenting allowed
- Shut your mouth and wait
- Do not rescue them from their anxiety
- Embrace your own anxiety
- They will talk to themselves
- They will ask questions of themselves and feel pressure
- This is their problem not yours
- Do not take ownership of their problem
When they ask a question about the difference between the options answer the why not the what by saying this.
Tech: Mrs. Jones, that’s a good question and I hear that a lot. The bottom option is why I am here. It takes care of my initial concern. As you go up the menu, you will gain more reliability; If you pick the top option, it is like you don’t want this thing to break again for a long time. Where do you feel like you fit most comfortably?
The Service Call Blueprint-Field Tested Strategies for Higher Revenue can be found on Amazon.com. https://www.amazon.com/Service-Call-Blueprint-Strategies-Revenue/dp/1546381937
It is a work book and has big print and is easy to read. It goes into much more detail than have space to cover in a short article.
A Day In The Life of a Technician
A 15:00 minute live recored presentation where Zeke sold a top option.
The Service Call Blueprint Webinar
If you would like a complimentary coaching session here is a link to my online calendar.