Monday, April 2, 2012

Spring Training


This last week our Grandsons were off for spring break, they live in the Orlando area. In order to give our Daughter a break from the boys, I took them to a Spring Training game. I didn’t want to travel all the way to Lakeland to see “My” Tigers so we went to Kissimmee to see the Houston Astros play the Florida Marlins. They had a special for 2 tickets, two hot dogs and two soft drinks for $28.00. The weather was great and the seats were pretty good. The boys brought their mitts just in case a ball came close. As we watched the game it hit me over the head like a rock! Most HVAC, plumbing, and electrical service companies are perpetually in Spring Training mode.
So you ask what do you mean, Dan? Let me recap a couple of events at the game. To start the game, a young lady sang the National Anthem. She was unaccompanied but should have been. One of the Astro’s star players did not hustle from 1st and was thrown out at home plate on an extra bases hit to center field. The Astro’s center fielder and left fielder did not coordinate a call for a fly ball and it was dropped for a hit and a run for Miami. A Houston runner was picked off second base because he was not as alert as he should have been. A lot of minor league players were in the game and the regulars did not play up to regular season caliber. I see the same thing in many service businesses but it’s year around! Let me put it into the genre of your service business.
Just as the lady that sang the National Anthem, you have not provided accompaniment for your office staff. They have poor equipment to work on, need more training and practice; they were put into their positions without being evaluated for the quality of their performance. They are there as the lead-in the start of the game of providing world class service to your customers.
Just as the star player did not hustle and score a run for the home team, your star players are not hustling around the bases. They are not completing all six steps of a service call and even worse, they are not providing the customer with options for upgrades and add-ons.
Just as the two outfielders did not call for the ball, your team is not making the calls that will provide the customer with the best possible service. Wrong Tech to the wrong job, poor routing, lack of communication of key information between the office and the field just to name a few of the call for the ball errors in your service company.
Just as the runner was picked off because he was inattentive, you and your team members are letting others pick off your customers because you have been inattentive. In fact you are so inattentive your customers don’t remember the company that serviced them and they don’t have an easy way to find you. You haven’t kept in touch with them, you don’t have regular newsletters for them, no postcards, no stickers on equipment, no outbound calls to them, no referral program. Perhaps you online presence is so weak, they can’t find you on the internet either.
As the team owner, general manager, and coach, it’s your responsibility to get your team into regular season mode each and every day. You need to get out of spring training mode and get your head into regular season play. Time to move forward to prepare for each day as at least a regular big league season game if not a game seven of the World Series.

Dan has been involved in the service business for over 50 years operating a successful plumbing heating and air conditioning business and consulting service businesses. He can be contacted at Dan@SayYesToSuccess.com.