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Thursday, February 6, 2014

Are you a Gold Medal Servicer? Part 2

Being the best can be more than just a dream
In anticipation of this winters Olympic Games, yesterday we challenged you to prove to yourself that you are gold medal service company. If you haven't read that post, you might want to review it before reading today's post. In it, we discussed how the medallists answer a call, and how they show up to a clients home. Today we talk about the actual repair and follow through. Is your company "going for the gold" or are you more likely to experience "the agony of defeat"?

Performing The Repair:
 A tidy tool kit makes a good impression

Gold Medal:
The servicer sets up his work by opening up a briefcase filled with several appliance maintenance products attractively laid out. His tools are well organized and in order. Laying out a drop cloth to catch any spills, he gets to work. He recognizes the problem with the machine and has a factory OEM part to complete the job. He does his work quickly and thoroughly. When the client asks about the maintenance items in the briefcase he points out a few items that could be used on the clients appliances. The client is grateful to have those items readily available and purchases a few items from the briefcase, not all of which apply to the machine that caused the complaint in the first place.

Silver Medal:
The servicer lays down a drop cloth and opens his clean and organized tool box. He recognizes the problem with the appliance and does a quick thorough repair ising the OEM parts that he brought with him. He notices that the appliance he working on would benefit from some regular maintenance and he suggests a few maintenance items that he has in his service vehicle. The client is grateful for the suggestion and purchases the maintenance items mentioned.

Bronze Medal:
The servicer lays down a drop cloth. Opening his clean, but well worn, tool case. He looks at the problem. Recognizing that the part needed was not an inexpensive one he tells the customer that he will have to order the part and come back to finish the call in two days, after the part comes in from his order. He does arrive back as promised and completes the job. The client asks about cleaning products for his appliance and the servicer says he would be happy to order that for them. He does so and a few days later delivers the accessory to the client as promised.

The servicer opens his toolbox. it is a chaotic mess in there. After poking around in it he finds the tools he needs and gets to work. At first he is stumped by the problem but after making a few calls he seems to have figured it out. He then informs the client that the repair will be expensive, but he can order the parts in if the client really likes the machine and wants him to fix it. The client approves of the service work and the servicer says he will be out in a couple of days to finish the job. After about a week the client calls the servicer, who says that the part should be in tommorow and he will come out to put it in as soon as it comes in. After hanging up with the client, the servicer quickly calls in the part order he forgot to place last week. When the part comes in he quickly gets out to the clients home and completes the work. The client then asks about appliance cleaning products. The servicer suggests that the client can get most of those products from Home Depot or Walmart, if they really need them.

Didn't Make the Team:
The "servicer" opens his toolbox. It is a chaotic mess so he starts pulling out greasy tools and lays them on the clients counter top while he keeps digging until he finds what he is looking for in his toolbox. He opens up the appliance and bangs around inside for few minutes. Eventually he tells the client that he has figured out the problem and it would cost too much to do the repair IF he could even find the parts. He suggests the client just replace the appliance. When asked about accessory items, like cleaning products, he states that you could probably get those kinds of things from the big box stores. He also says that he doesn't use that stuff. He tells the client that he is a repairman and not a janitor. His closing shot is "those things are a rip off anyway". The client goes shopping for a new appliance. The used appliance store is happy because they got a machine that came in that looked great. Only thing wrong was needed a twenty dollar part replaced and then it was good as new.

Wrapping Up and Follow Through:
Payment by credit card offers convenience to your clients

Gold Medal:
After performing the repair the customer is presented with a printed out, orderly invoice that explains all the charges involved. The servicer gives the client a refrigerator magnet with his contact information on it. The servicer also takes the time answer the clients questions. The customer is given an option of payment types and pays by credit card. In a few days the client receives an email to follow up and make sure that the problem was resolved to the clients satisfaction.  He also welcomes the client to place a review of his service online. When that happens, the client is sent a thank you note for the positive review.

Silver Medal:
After completing the repair, the servicer explains the charges and presents the client with a readable hand written invoice on a printed invoice form. The servicer leaves behind a refrigerator magnet with contact information and encourages the client to call him if their are any problems with the repair. The client pays with a credit card. The servicer welcomes the client to rate his service work online.

Bronze Medal:
After completing the repair, the servicer presents his handwritten invoice on a printed invoice form. He hands the client his business card. When client asks to pay by credit card, the servicer relectuctantly does so after suggested to the customer that he generally prefers payment by check. No mention is made of a review.

After finally completing the repair. A hand written invoice on a blank sheet of paper is given to the client. When the client offers their credit card to pay they are informed that only checks or cash will be accepted. The client then posts an online review mentioning the slow service time. The servicer replies to the review with an attack on the customer and their "unrealistic expectations".

Didn't Make the Team:
After persuading the client to replace the appliance, the "servicer" collects for his "diagnosis". He will only accept cash and provides no receipt. The client replaces their appliance and goes online to write a review about how badly appliances are made these days and how expensive it is to have a repairman come out just to look at the machine and to suggest replacement. The client never hires a repair person again, having been convinced that all appliances being made "these days" are "junk that aren't worth repairing."

As you can see from our examples, it isn't easy to "go for the gold". The companies that do are the companies that grow, hire new workers, and leave a steady stream of satisfied customers in their wake. If your company is going for the gold, you can prove it. At the ASTI (Appliance Service Technical Institute) in San Diego at the end of the month, they will be holding "The Most Professional Servicer" contest. Register for the contest before February 15 and you could win One Thousand dollars. We know that you will be at the ASTI because you recognize the importance of preparation and training. We look forward to seeing you there. In the meantime, enjoy the games and keep on going for the gold!

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