The “Wild Mind” Of Service Techs

By: Joe Crisara

Band-aids Cause Callbacks

In a recent discussion on the ACCA Linkedin group, an intense discussion broke out amongst HVAC contractors about the reason some techs generate callbacks while other do not. Callbacks are caused by techs who are NOT thorough in their diagnosis. Why are some techs very thorough and others not? That is a question for the ages.

One thing I do know is that callbacks happen because techs fail to take into consideration the age, neglect, design and installation of a system and ONLY focus on the immediate problem. Fixing the immediate problem is a temporary solution sort of like a band-aid. It does not take into consideration the big picture issues that caused the problem in the first place.

I don’t think any of us know what goes through the “wild mind” of service techs and why they rush through calls. Possibly some of the following can cause this problem…

  • Making assumptions about problems based on past calls
  • Shortcutting a wider range of solutions due to time constraints (Rushed by dispatch)
  • Laziness – (Yes some people are exactly that)
  • Ignorance – They don’t know how to avoid future issues because they don’t know how
  • Fear – Being afraid to create an event out of a routine call and upsetting a client

Ultimately it really doesn’t matter why it just is. The answer is not to hide our head in the sand and hope the problem will fix itself. In my opinion, every manager or owner has to ask one of these three questions when faced with the problem of callbacks to hold themselves and their techs accountable:

1. Did the tech receive proper training or testing? Where do your service techs get training on diagnosing issues and presenting solutions? If you are trusting that techs are trained by other companies or just by their experience you may want to have them take a test to make sure they know how to do things “your way.” if not, your company will look a lot like the companies that they were originally trained at, not your company. Remember that excellence is achieved by design not chance or hope.

2. Do I require continuing education for my service techs to stay current? With all the advances in the past 4-5 years all service techs must take classes or seminars to stay current with best practices in everything from new products to computer controls to new communication methods. If not, then you will develop a team of “dinosaurs” who are stuck in the past trying to repair today’s problems with yesterday’s methodology.

3. Is this the right person for this job? If the above check out okay and the tech not only knows what he is doing AND knows the current methods to diagnose, communicate and repair then you must ask if this is the right person for your team. Personal behavior issues ranging from things like substance abuse, family turmoil, side jobs, laziness, attention deficit disorder and others too numerous to mention may be the cause.

You Can’t Fix Everybody

Remember that as a contractor owner or manager is not to “fix” every tech who has a broken personality. Your job is to hold your people accountable to the training, coaching and ongoing education they have acquired. DO YOUR JOB as a manager or owner and your employees will then be obligated to do theirs. do theirs.

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