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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Kelly's Korner - 10 Questions that are Needed for a Service Call

Hey, All,

So, I was thinking of 10 questions that need to be asked and answered when you take a service call.  Whether it is the tech taking the call or office personnel, these are things that the office and tech need to know before going out on a call.  And I'll put my reasons for these on it also.

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1.  Contact info:  Name, Address, BEST phone number, opt – email.
     The more information you have on your customers, the more they feel like they matter to you and your business.  Having a file on customers ultimately helps you with return calls, warranty and with them recommending you to friends and family.  Having an email address makes it easy for you to contact them for follow-up, sales, specials, reviews, etc.

2.  What kind of appliance:  Manufacturer, model, serial and/or “P”   number.
     This is so needed in so many ways - the first questions we ask you to look up the parts you need is who made it and what is the model number.  Very, very rarely are we able to find parts without it and this is the information our research programs run on.  Also, some manufacturer's made design changes within a model and the changes are marked by the serial number and/or manufacturer's number (mostly  Amana models and we refer to them as "P" numbers as they always start with a "P").  Also, if the part we supply you with fails, we need to have the model and serial numbers to file warranty claims.  Without it, we cannot file a claim.

3.  Description of issue:  What is it doing or not doing?
     This information will give you a chance to pre-diagnose what is wrong with the appliance and to get the parts to take with you so you can fix it on your first visit.  Have the customer be as specific as possible - the more information you have the better and faster you can get them helped.  "It won't work" is not enough.  With each different appliance there should be specific questions asked to help diagnose.

4.   Ask if they have checked plug and breaker box.
      Believe me - your customer is not going to be happy if you come out and charge them a service call fee just to plug in the refrigerator.  Sometimes the fix is as easy as that.

5.  Date and time needed for technician.
     People have their own schedules, too, with work, family and other issues.  And if they need to take time off work to be there when you come to fix their appliance, the technician being on time is very important.

6.  Who is going to be there at time of appointment? Person calling/spouse/babysitter/adult child.
     If the person who is calling to schedule the repair is not the one going to be there, you need to know who is and if that person can make any decisions needed - like to fix or not, secondary appointment, or if anything else comes up.

7.  Any pets or other issues need to know about getting to residence?  Construction, detours, cross streets, landmarks, gates, security, etc.
     If you have dogs, especially running loose, most technicians will not get out of their vehicle until it is restrained.  You know your dog - they do not and they will not take a chance on getting bit.  The more information that the tech has for finding your house the better.  GPS is great up to a certain extent but can't provide for everything.  Also, if you live in a gated community or have a security gate into your property, your security people need to know a tech is coming and the tech needs to know how to get in there.

8.  Secondary contact people and will this person be able to make decisions.
     If the person scheduling the appointment is not going to be there when the tech is or is going to be unavailable for contact, having a secondary contact person - landlord, spouse, live-in partner, roommate, etc. - will avoid hassles about whether the repair needs to be done or the machine replaced.

9.  Payment method
     Make sure you are up front about your fees.  Is your customer paying cash, check, debit or credit card?  What if they only have American Express and you don't take that?  Best to get that sticky situation taken care of up front to avoid any miscommunications.

10.  Communication
       Is the tech that is going out for the repair able to communicate with the person that's going to be there?  If the customer doesn't speak the same language as your tech, it can be very frustrating trying to get questions asked and answered.  If there is going to be a language difference, either schedule a tech that can speak the same language or arrange with the customer to have someone available that can translate.

I believe that having all these questions asked and answered will make all service calls a lot less hassles for everyone involved. 

Have a great week all!

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