Business Tips • Management • Operations • 58 minutes

The Words We Use: How Language Affects Your Bottom Line

October 26, 2020

Episode Overview

Angie Snow promotes open communication, family themes, and female empowerment in the workplace. She’s the co-owner/vice president of Western Heating & Air in Utah, where her 35-person company is doing $5.5 million in annual sales. Snow is also a business coach at Go Time Success Group, with an expertise in training CSRs and dispatchers.

Here are Angie Snow’s top tips for managing a home services business while also maintaining a family environment:

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Be open when defining your roles.

Angie’s husband, Ryan, initially asked her to come into the business to run the numbers. “I started doing that,” she says. “He did the marketing. But I realized I wasn’t great with numbers and had a more creative side. He missed doing the numbers. So, we switched. We redefined our roles and that’s what worked.”

Don’t be afraid of management coaching.

Accountability coaches have helped keep the business on track and moving forward toward goals. 

“We don’t want to harp and nag each other, and bringing in a third party has made sense,” Angie says. “Bringing in someone else who we are accountable to helps and guides us and has been powerful for our business, and our marriage, and kept us on track.” 

Service Roundtable is a great resource.

“I love Service Roundtable,” Snow says. “They’re a great contractor group with a lot of best practices and a lot of great coaches.” 

She believes surrounding yourself with successful people helps you learn lessons from people who have similar experiences and workplace solutions. 

Communication is key. Repeat: Communication is key.

“Communication is a basic tool that can’t be overstated,” Snow says. “I'm learning that there’s no such thing as over-communicating,” she says. “You cannot over-communicate. 

“It’s so important to communicate things over and over again, if necessary, to the point where everybody knows what's going on. People don't like to feel left in the dark. It's important to keep everyone in the loop.”

The team at Western Heating & Air.

Yes, you can treat your company like a family. 

Snow says they treat their employees (and customers) like family, but she’s heard the other side of the debate that argues you shouldn’t do that. 

“Other contractors will say, ‘You can’t treat them like family—you have to be able to fire them,’” she says. “It’s true—you do have to discipline and sometimes fire people. But you can still show care and empathy. Family is a basic foundation and we’re here to support families.”

Women have power in this male-dominated industry. 

Snow has been a member of Women in HVACR for eight years. 

“Women in HVACR is not just contractors—it’s women from all facets of the industry,” she says. “Wholesalers, distributors, manufacturers, service providers, and technicians. We’re not alone. There are a lot of us. We have power.” 

Along with networking opportunities, Snow also likes that the group has mentoring and ambassador programs set up to help support and pull in more women.

Angie and her husband / co-owner Ryan.

Create a woman-friendly environment within your business. 

When she hired a female tech nine years ago, Snow admits she didn’t have a woman-friendly office. 

“I had some techs who weren’t open to having a female tech,” she says. “They gave her a bad time and were hard on her.” 

Since then, Snow has made sure the employee mindset is welcoming to everybody. She says you obviously have to have separate bathrooms for men and women, but also be mindful of décor and other office facilities that are gender welcoming. She also cautions business owners not to pre-judge female candidates who come in for interviews. 

“Just because a woman comes in looking like a girly-girl doesn’t mean they can’t get in there and fix furnaces,” she says.

Train your CSRs to be seven-star performers. 

"Seven stars" equates to seven steps that CSRs need to take, Snow says. They are: 

  1. Build a relationship of trust. 

  2. Gather information. 

  3. Use positive word choices. 

  4. Add sugar. “That is, add value and make the call a pleasurable, delightful experience,” she says. 

  5. Be a problem solver. 

  6. After the call, nurture the relationship. 

  7. Continue to nurture the relationship.

“Luckily, with ServiceTitan, every single call is recorded,” Snow says. “Either way, listen to the calls and give your CSRs feedback.” 

If you have the resources, you might hire a coach. If not, take the time as a business owner to train your CSRs, she says. 

“Give them coaching and don’t just focus on the negatives,” she says. “Make sure you tell them what they’re doing right, too.”

Recommend research and reading

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Toolbox for the Trades is a podcast where top service professionals share the tips, tricks, and tactics they use to succeed in their industry. Hosted by Jackie Aubel, this podcast is brought to you by ServiceTitan—the leading home and commercial field service software.

Episodes will feature stories and strategies to help contractors grow and scale their service business.

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