Best Practices in the Field

Just as the CSR is the first voice the customer hears from the company, the technician is the first face the customer sees — often on one of their worst days. That customer-technician interaction should build trust, and create the opportunity for a mutually beneficial solution.


Successful Service Calls

10 Steps to a Successful, 5 Star Service Call

How important are online reviews to your home services business? 

Extremely important, Travis Ringe says. Your online reputation depends on them, especially in today’s digital world. In fact, one survey found that 82% of customers say they read online reviews for local companies.

Ringe, co-owner of ProSkill Services in the North Valley area near Phoenix, knows quite a bit about reviews and building a good business reputation. He started a one-truck plumbing company with his brother 10 years ago. 

They’ve since grown it into a $14 million operation that offers full-service air conditioning, electrical, plumbing, water heater and water treatment home services. 

With more than 50 trucks, ProSkill Services boasts more than 3,000 Google reviews with a 5-star rating, and nearly 800 Facebook recommendations.

What’s the company’s secret formula? There’s more to it than simply asking customers for a review, Ringe says. You have to think about what you’re asking of them. 

They have already paid for your services, and now you’re asking for something else—their time and effort to tell others about your company. 

“If you want to drive reviews,” Ringe says, “you have to deliver a full experience worthy of writing a review.”

In the past 12 months, 2,300 ProSkill Services customers left 5-star Google reviews for the company. Here’s how the Arizona brothers and their home services team deliver the goods to get the best customer reviews.

To assure the stage is set, Ringe suggests these steps before the tech is ever dispatched. 

Make it easy to book your services. Can customers schedule through Facebook, Instagram, Google messaging, text, web chats or email? 

Make it easy to communicate. ProSkill uses Podium Webchat software to transfer a customer’s online chat directly to text messaging, so they can keep the conversation going without requiring the customer to stay on the website.

Be ready to go. In today’s Amazon-obsessed culture, customers almost expect same-day service. If it’s an emergency, they want you there within the hour. “If you can get there within an hour and answer their emergency call, that’s almost a guaranteed 5-star review,” Ringe says. 

Shorten your arrival window. Don’t follow the cable guy’s lead by making a homeowner wait expectantly (and probably unhappily) for your arrival all day. ProSkill’s arrival windows are two hours. 

Send automated reminders. “ServiceTitan automatically sends an appointment reminder, so make sure you're using that,” Ringe says. “Customers thrive on communication, so we try to communicate the best we can.”

Turn on tracking technology. Be proactive in your approach to customer service by letting customers track your technicians in real time, so they know exactly when their plumber or electrician will arrive. One word of caution: The tracking of your technicians begins as soon as the call is dispatched, so train them to drive straight to the appointment, instead of stopping for lunch or picking up a part.

And once your company has done all that and the technician is on the way … 

10 steps to a successful service call

Technicians should be trained on the process your company wants them to do consistently. Some contractors have new technicians fill out this form for habit reinforcement.  

Have technicians review these steps on every call for the first couple of weeks, to build good habits. 

As a follow up, these steps should regularly be reviewed in service meetings to ensure the right steps are still being followed.   

If performance starts to slip with a technician, schedule a ride along to see if this process is being followed.   

Step 1: Be prepared  

  • Look up the job details.

  • Search the past history and forms.

  • Check appearance, look professional.

  • “Dispatch” in ServiceTitan.

Step 2: Arrival

  • Arrive in the arrival window.  If running behind, coordinate with dispatch to update the customer.

  • Park in the correct spot.  If parking on the street, be sure to be parked in the direction of traffic flow.

  • “Arrive” in ServiceTitan or verify that auto arrive is on.

  • Knock on the door, take 2 steps back. 

Step 3: Introduce yourself

  • “I’m (first and last name) with (your company name).

  • Show the customer your badge or hand them a business card so they can remember your name.

  • Put shoe covers on.

Step 4: Confirm the Purpose of the Call

  • Ask the customer to state the main concern the technician should address during the call.  Even though it is on the dispatch notes, this is for clarification.

  • Ask if there are any other concerns.

    • If HVAC, which room gets the warmest and coolest?

    • Who in the home has the worst allergies?

    • What is the highest electric bill?

Step 5: Plan of Action

  • Explain the plan of action and reassure them they are in good hands.

  • “I’m here to serve you well and do a great job.  I’m going to do a complete inspection and look for ways to save you money and keep you comfortable”

Step 6:  The Diagnostic

  • Perform a complete inspection using the form in ServiceTitan to systematically uncover ways to help the customer.

  • Star the items needing attention.

  • Capture photos.

  • Even if the initial problem is found quickly, continue on with the complete inspection to build value and not miss anything. Remember, time=value.

Step 7: The Presentation

  • Use estimate templates to present options.

  • Add findings from forms to the estimates to show the problems addressed.

  • Educate and show the photos

  • Always give upfront pricing.

Step 8: Perform the work

  • Perform agreed upon repairs after the customer signs off on the estimate.

  • Show the customer the work and reinforce the value of the service.

  • Show before and after photos.

  • Put equipment stickers on and show the customer where to find them.

  • Collect for services and finalize items in ServiceTitan (complete the invoice, take payment, add materials, etc.).

Step 9: The Extra Mile

  • Look for something to go above and beyond.  Change a light bulb, replace batteries in smoke detectors, offer to carry something up to the attic if working up there, etc.

Step 10: Thank You, Referral and Review

  • Thank the customer for choosing your company.

  • Ask if there is any reason that a 5-star review would not be given.

  • Send a review request and let them know how important it is.

  • Ask if they would give a shout out on social media. 

  • Ask to put a Yard Sign.

  • Complete job in ServiceTitan and clean up.

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