Office Chaos: The Enemy Within

BY: Julie Crisara

There are people in the home contracting industry who think that they thrive off of chaos and disorganization. They just naturally go against the flow of having things being neat, clean and orderly and that a haphazard work space and fly-by-the-sea-of-your-pants approach actually makes them more productive and more successful. They get an adrenalized charge off of somehow finding that customer invoice under that pile of magazines at the last second, or miraculously pulling that lost transfer valve out of someone’s work boot. Sadly, in more cases than not, these people are WRONG.

This completely non-systematic method of running a business is not responsible for their successes. The truth is that they’re just talented, hard working and lucky enough to stay in business and make a living DESPITE their chaotic, jumbled style and surroundings, NOT BECAUSE of it. Here are some powerful, incisive steps toward eliminating chaos and creating efficiency.

ORGANIZATION STARTS WITH A CHART

In a modestly sized contracting business, as is with many industries, there is not the luxury to have an incredible amount of job specialization. The person who works reception may also make the photocopies and order the parts. The bookkeeper may also work dispatch. The HR person may sweep the floors. It can get confusing. People may not even know exactly what their job responsibilities are or what exactly their co-workers do. You need to make an organizational chart.

Making a clear, concise chart that hangs on the wall, and can be distributed in copies around the office, will help to curtail the arguing and back-and-forth recriminations when a task needs to be done.

Make sure before putting a specific job title on the chart that there is actually the proper work environment in the office for said title, and that there is a sufficient quantity of work.

Continue reading “Office Chaos: The Enemy Within”

Is Winging it Killing Your Business? 7 Reasons Your CSR Needs a Script

BY: Joe & Julie Crisara

Winging It Killing Your Business

Would you like to know the real secret of how champions are made?

You’re going to see it play out right in front of your eyes during March Madness.

The coach gathers his players around him and says, “Ok guys. Here’s how we’re going to bring the trophy home. You’re all talented, and I trust your instincts. Just go out there and do whatever you want.”

That’s how all champions are made…isn’t it?

The most famous actors wing it. The best movies are improvised, right?

And every successful business franchise in the world has learned that the secret to ultimate success is to collect your franchise fee, slap the new franchisee on the backside and say, “Go get ‘em, Tiger! I know you can do it!”

Of course, all that is obviously completely backward… Continue reading “Is Winging it Killing Your Business? 7 Reasons Your CSR Needs a Script”

[BONUS VIDEO] Boost Your Booking Rate 5x with These 2 Simple Little Scripts

BY: Julie Crisara

We know, from experience, it’s easier said than done to use scripts in real life. We’ve all been there, myself included, where using a new script, especially to handle “Ball Park/ Price Shoppers”, just felt flat out uncomfortable.

So to help put you and your CSR’s at ease, here’s a quick video showing you how it’s done. By seeing and hearing an example of this script in a action, your CSR’s will get the confidence boost they need to do it themselves and be successful.

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Boost Your Booking Rate 5x with These 2 Simple Little Scripts

BY: Julie Crisara

Tired of Price Shoppers?

How many times have you heard this one?  Your Customer Service Representative (CSR) hangs up the phone without booking the call and says “he was just looking for a price.”

I bet it’s way more than you think.

Let’s face it, the dreaded “Ball Park/Price Shopper” is one of the toughest calls for your CSR’s to book.

Well the good news is if you keep reading this post you’re going to have 2 proven strategies (scripts) to handle these “Ball Park/Price Shoppers” and book the calls…

…But first, let’s clear a few things up about the Customer Service Representative role. Continue reading “Boost Your Booking Rate 5x with These 2 Simple Little Scripts”

Step 3: Addition By Subtraction

BY: Joe Crisara

Addition by Subtraction

I recently spent a rainy Saturday afternoon watching a show called “Hoarding: Buried Alive.” I really didn’t have time to sit and watch TV but I couldn’t stop watching. Once I was able to get a peak into what looked like your everyday average person’s home I found I needed to see more, like watching a train wreck.  Continue reading “Step 3: Addition By Subtraction”

Step 2: Making An Office Map

BY: Joe Crisara

Using A Map To Get Around

One of my favorite pastimes is traveling. It doesn’t matter where, I just like to get out of the house and explore new places. As a little girl, my mom would pack some snacks, gather my brother and sister and hop in the car and head off while my dad sat in the navigator seat with his oversized Rand McNally map in hand.

We took many trips over the years, exploring all corners of the country, sometimes more than once. We’ve traveled out east along the coast visiting the Nation’s Capital, the Big Apple and Niagara Falls. We’ve been out west stopping to see the Corn Palace, Wal-Drug, Mount Rushmore and Yellowstone National Park. We drove through the Redwoods (literally through a redwood tree) and down the coast to Big Sur. We saw Hoover Dam, the Grand Canyon and a re-enactment of the OK Corral in Tombstone, AZ. I’ve been to Disneyland and Disney World many times over, all along my dad carrying his trusty map. Continue reading “Step 2: Making An Office Map”

What Does Tentatively Mean To You?

BY: Joe Crisara

What Does Tentative Mean?

Once in a while there’s a subject that crosses the boundaries between sales and customer service that Joe and I fight over who actually get’s to blog about it. Today I won.

We are busy people, as I am sure the rest of you are too. We have been so busy around here lately that we decided we needed an extra set of hands to help with some of the daily chores and hired a woman from My Girl Friday. Colette. She’s awesome! Continue reading “What Does Tentatively Mean To You?”

Step 1: Creating An Organizational Chart

BY: Joe Crisara

A Business Organizational Chart

If you are tired of parts not being ordered, customers not being called, or bills not being paid on time, or the daily “finger pointing” that goes on when you address these issues with your employees, then now is the time to create an organizational chart. Whether you draw it out on paper or purchase an organizational software program to do it for you, creating a business organizational chart is the first step of seven in this eight- part series to organizing your service contracting office, once and for all. Continue reading “Step 1: Creating An Organizational Chart”

The 7 Steps to Organize Your Contracting Office

BY: Joe Crisara

7 Steps to Organizing Your Contracting Office

Whether you already have an office, are moving into a new one or are just moving into an office for the first time after working out of your home, the thought of setting up or organizing your office can be daunting.

We usually find ourselves swearing to “get things organized around here for the last time.” Let’s face it. It can be very difficult to find something we need, like customers’ paperwork, check deposits, time sheets and the many other mounds of paper our business generates. We perform this vicious cycle only to find ourselves repeating the same process the next time we cannot find something.

What is the secret to getting your office set up for the last time? The answer is all in the way you plan to organize your environment. In the following series, let’s discuss how to get your office set up and stay organized, once and for all.

Continue reading “The 7 Steps to Organize Your Contracting Office”

Make It Easy To Follow Your Service System

BY: Joe Crisara

Is Your Service System Too Hard?

Last month we had a momentous occasion in our household. Wyatt, who just turned one in February, graduated from his first ever survival training class with the Baby Seals Swim Academy.

We watched our little one transform from being unsure and uncertain of the water and of his trainer, to being confident and courageous in and under the water. He is now willing and able to jump in the water and kick himself right back up to the top where he starts to float on his back, even while being fully clothed.

What started out for us as a safety precaution due to the new pool in our backyard turned into one of the best decisions we made so far for our little guy. We want to continue to build his confidence and his skills.

Continue reading “Make It Easy To Follow Your Service System”

Give Hugs Not Handshakes

BY: Joe Crisara

Give Hugs Not Handshakes

When Joe and I first discussed the possibility of me writing a “Dear Julie” blog for our Web site, I thought, “What could I possibly have to blog about? Who would want my advice? What if no one sends in any questions for me to answer? Then what, Make up my own?” I spent many hours thinking about what I would say and how I would say it and still felt I had come up with nothing.

The only other time I felt this uncomfortable was one of our very first consulting jobs. Well I should say one we actually got paid for, which was with an East Coast plumbing and HVAC company outside of Boston, MA. Joe had already been to the company several times, going on ride-a-longs with their techs and waxing philosophically, as he often does, when he brought me in to talk about some of the other problems going on in the office. Continue reading “Give Hugs Not Handshakes”