Techniques For More Productive Technicians
A successful business is built around the services or products that it provides. And, if you’re working in a service industry, a big portion of that success rests on the shoulders of your technicians. Therefore it’s critical that our field techs are armed with the proper resources and support to be the best. So, here are a few tips to keep in mind.
Clearly Outline Technician’s Goals
Your technicians are busy, so their goals should be unquestionably transparent. Once a transparent goal is available, make sure they are consistently challenged. Complacency can breed a jaded outlook to their duties, which can negatively impact overall customer service. More importantly, make sure that you or your managers are providing feedback and consider a new, more frequent, approach. If you even check in or provide feedback to your employees, this is generally done on an annual or bi-annual basis. But here are some other methods that you could employee. First, you could integrate a weekly or a bi-weekly check-in with your technicians. This will help you, as a manager or owner, understand what hurdles or accomplishments are taking place in the field. You’ll also get a more accurate idea of the challenges taking place on particular jobs. And, second, if you feel that your business is simply too busy to accommodate a weekly or a bi-weekly check-in, then maybe you could have a job debrief. Anytime a technician finishes a job, you will spend a bit of time discussing that particular job with them. This will also give you a clear view of the challenges and accomplishments that took place on a specific project. In either practice, you would follow-up with them on their next job or their next check-in to see if they’ve improved, overcome, or encountered a new opportunity.
Arm Your Technicians
No, not with an AR-15. But they do need to be equipped with tools that will enhance their productivity. If you aren’t sure what those tools are, find out. Check out the latest Trade Journal or attend a local Trade Show. There’s a wealth of knowledge, you just need to tap into it. Other great sources can include online service-related communities such as Service Roundtable or HVAC-Talk. Having the right tool for the job can be the difference between an hour on a job and four hours on a job. Not only is that a waste of money, it’s also incredibly frustrating for your technician. More importantly, it’s even worse for your customer. Spending a little extra now can save you a lot of money in the long run. You probably tell your customers the same thing, so why aren’t you practicing what you preach?
Provide an Organized Inventory
If you aren’t pro-actively tracking your inventory you should. Yes, this can be a huge undertaking. But if you want to take your business seriously and make sure you aren’t hemorrhaging money, then you need to do this. Once you get the initial implementation down, the rest is just basic management. You can start small. Target specific items to track, such as frequently used items or job-specific items. Then, move into larger tracking, such as a primary warehouse. Your end game will be to track everything, including your technician’s trucks. Keeping track of your inventory, warehouse and trucks, can prevent theft and increase productivity of all aspects of your business. As your inventory process grows, you can start tinkering with better ways to manage the space that your inventory occupies. And, because of how much time you’ve saved your staff because of your immaculate inventory, they will thank you – the Tetris master.
These are just a few different ideas you could implement. If you have one or more of these ideas already in place, you’re on the right path! If you know someone that has a business, that could use a gentle reminder, then pass this information along.
Written by Scott Haugsjaa
Featured in August 2015 Newsletter