Whether you're still a novice in the trades or have decades of experience service homeowners and running your own business, you never stop learning. Being a successful tradesperson in 2018 means staying aware, informed, and always ready to sharpen your skills and anticipate emerging shifts in your injury.
Below, we've compiled a short list of proven, well-reviewed books that can help today's tradespeople and home service professionals do all these things.
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1. 42 Rules for Superior Field Service: The Keys to Profitable Field Service and Customer Loyalty
By: Rosemary Coates & Jim Reily
Published in 2013, 42 Rules for Superior Field Service has already become required reading for field service professionals in the home service industry. Coates and Reily have more than half a century of combined experience in field service and global manufacturing and focus their book on using the opportunities presented by field service to "convert customers into advocates and to generate significant business revenue."
2. Transforming Field and Service Operations: Methodologies for Successful Technology-Driven Business Transformation
Edited by: Gilbert Owusu, Paul O'Brien, John McCall, & Neil F. Doherty
The trades have changed quite a bit over the years and a lot of that change has been driven by new technologies. Transforming Field and Service Operations is a comprehensive textbook that examines “how to successfully transform field service operations with automated technologies. It is aimed at managers... and the use of advanced computing technologies in this area in particular.”
3. The Service Culture Handbook: A Step-by-Step Guide to Getting Your Employees Obsessed with Customer Service
By: Jeff Toister
There's a wealth of material out there about the importance of customer service and improve your business' interactions with homeowners. We're going to recommend The Service Culture Handbook by Jeff Toister. According to the author, exceptional customer service starts with fostering a company culture that makes exceeding homeowner expectations a priority. If you believe your home service business needs a fresh strategy for wowing customers, inspiring word-of-mouth, and fostering loyalty, The Service Culture Handbook is worth picking up.
4. The Reputation Economy: How to Optimize Your Digital Footprint in a World Where Your Reputation Is Your Most Valuable Asset
By: Michael Fertik & David C. Thompson
You already know that most new customers are looking up your business on the internet before they ever place a call to your office. The Reputation Economy is a deep dive into how the web has changed commerce for small businesses and how business owners can hone and wield a powerful online reputation to drive new revenue.
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5. HVAC Equations, Data, and Rules of Thumb
By: Arthur A. Bell & W. Larsen Angel
If you run an HVAC shop, chances are you already have a copy of HVAC Equations, Data, and Rules of Thumb. This 600+ page volume continues to be the HVAC technician and designer's go-to reference book for all things HVAC. Even if you have an older version of this essential reference, it's probably time to update to the third edition, released in 2015.
6. The Intentional Field Service Engineer
By: Bruce A. Breeden
Bruce A. Breeden has spent nearly four decades in the home service sector and has written a book for young professionals looking to enter the trades as a service technician. Business owners may also find The Intentional Field Service Engineer useful during the recruiting process so they can evaluate and zero-in on the characteristics and strengths candidates should have to best service homeowners.
7. Products and Services to Consumers in Their Home
By: Kim Booker & Chip Doyle
Not every service technician is comfortable with being a salesperson, but there are principles and strategies anyone can learn to sharpen their pitch and better connect with customers. Selling to Homeowners The Sandler Way is one of the few well-reviewed sales books that is not only approachable but focuses on selling situations that involve pitching to customers in their own homes. This volume could be required reading for techs of any skill level who want to refresh their customer service strategy and brush up on their sales chops.
8. The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement
By: Eliyahu M. Goldratt
Written like a thriller novel, The Goal has become recommended reading for managers across various industries looking to improve their organization. The story follows a factory manager as he's faced with a number of significant—and potentially dangerous—inefficiencies, offering insight on how to approach organizational issues and find more efficient, money-saving ways to get things done.
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