As a field service technician, you arrive on site. You were probably given very little or no information about the task ahead of you. How do you respond? Responses aren’t always in the form of a verbal action. As a matter of fact, what you don’t do or say, resonates more with a customer. Customer service isn’t only about the technician’s point of view. If you perform your task magnificently and you solved all of the customer’s problems, the perception of providing great customer service may only exist in one party’s mind – the technician’s.
Test technicians have the stigma of being arrogant, not approachable, “my $h!t don’t stink”, “you’re beneath me” type of personality. This is the general consensus. Not all men are created equal. There are many technicians out there exemplifying customer service on another level. But our industry needs a reality check. A human trait, that we all hate to admit, is that we all have judgmental characteristics. First impressions last! If you as a technician, are giving off unfriendly vibes, that is all it takes for a customer to give their business to someone else. No one likes to feel dumb, or uninformed, or even uneducated. This is our specialty. Educate!
Educate your customer! Quite a few of the technicians I have ever met, prefer to keep their knowledge close to their hips. As individuals, we don’t want to provide any bad information. We also don’t want to feel stupid. But there are a few ways to avoid putting yourself in that situation. One thing that has always worked for me is to know the questions that will be asked. I realize some of you might say “How the hell do I know what they are going to ask?!”. But the reality is simple. How can you tell a customer that a component or device is broken, and not know how to fix it? Don’t literally think about how to fix something. For example, if a spring is broken, don’t try to figure out how to glue the spring back together. The general idea is that you need a new spring. Customers always want to know how to fix what is broken. Explain it to them and help them understand.
If you have the right attitude and educate your customers, they connect with the technician. They feel they can ask you anything and not be made to feel like an idiot. The customer will open more doors as part of a chain reaction. They will ask about every issue they are having. This may lead to more work at the facility or performing work for some of their colleagues at different facilities. These are things that are in the hands of the technician – the face of the company.
Are you already exemplifying great customer service?
There are some things that are out of a technician’s control. If you constantly provide excellent service, is your attitude starting to degrade as a result of your company policies? Does the top of your leadership recognize any factors that are contributing to the degradation? My philosophy has always been that the attitude of the company is set at the top level of the organization. It is the top level’s job, to maintain focus and steer the company in a positive direction.
As a company grows and creates more levels, these lower tier levels are responsible for maintaining the course pressed upon them by the top level. Once the top level loses sight of the path, or believes they are a well oiled machine and the business runs itself, that is when the course begins to change. It is a very subtle change that could take years to finally surface. By the time the change is noticed it may be too late. It is solely up to the top level to redirect and fix the item or items that altered the original path.