Monday, October 5, 2009

Less Calls = More Revenue Part 1

We recently completed 7 weeks of technician customer service training. It consisted of 6 two hour classroom sessions with homework each week and a video taping of the technicians practicing their interaction with a customer. The customer in this case was another technician. As I reviewed the results of the class evaluation from each of the technicians and the owners, who were required to attend the training, the comments varied widely. Some really enjoyed the training and videotaping and others did not like the classroom sessions at all. This is where it gets interesting.
When I met with the company owners two weeks after the sessions ended, and ask if there is any change in the performance of their technicians, I got some interesting answers. Those that did not like the training were performing about the same as they had done prior to the training. Those that liked the training were selling more on fewer calls! It seems that there was a direct correlation between the attitude of the technician and the change in their performance.
Should this surprise us? I don’t think so. With today’s customer, the old attitude of you should just be happy I showed up to fix your plumbing (furnace or electrical issue) just does not work. The importance of exceed the customer’s expectations is what is necessary to develop the long term “love affair” with your company and therefore spend more with your company.
The long held thought in our industries was that we hire a new technician on his or her technical abilities alone. We need to get the job done therefore hire someone who has at least xx number of years experience, and worked for another company we respect. Today we might even do a drug test, a physical and a criminal background check. But we ignore the personality and attitude of the potential new hire. I’m not saying these things are not important, but we need to look further. We need to be testing for attitude and personality prior to hiring. An individual with an open mind to change and growth, and reasonable technical skills is much more of an asset to your company than the super technical technician without the ability to grow and change. Rethink your hiring and advancement criteria and look at adding personality and attitude testing before you hire another mediocre technician and hire a potential asset. Less calls can equal more revenue.