HVACR Business

AUG 2017

Help hvacr contractors master the critical components of business management.

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15 HVACR BUSINESS AUGUST 2017 www. hvacrbusiness .com If your people are subpar, then you should look at how you hire. Start by checking some of the job boards to find out what the position pays in your market. e number you will find should be an av- erage. If you want to deliver an average ex- perience, then that's what you should pay. Greatness costs money. You're willing to pay a productive technician more mon- ey, especially if you're lucky enough to lure them away from a competitor. You need that same mentality when it comes to cus- tomer care. If that best-in-class number scares you, think back to the cost of the call. You spend tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of dollars to make the phone ring, and it's answered by someone making a dollar more than minimum wage. Don't get too proud of yourself if your number is well above that but still average or below for your market. Good people cost money, and you need good people in these positions. Hire the Best Don't waste your time with face-to-face interviews. Your first exposure to a poten- tial candidate should be over the phone. ese are people you want to be the poten- tial voice of your company, so they need to impress you on the telephone before you ever bring them in for a sit-down meeting. If they have a great application or re- sume, but don't wow you on the phone, then keep looking. Above all, you need to hire attitude first — you can teach every- thing else, but a good attitude is difficult to train. You should also demand excel- lence from the interview. Set the stage for appearance, attendance and whatever else you currently struggle with before some- one is ever hired. Once you find a candidate you want to join your team, look at the second interview as a sale. Have this person's po- tential workspace prepared and even dec- orated. Make sure you aren't walking the candidate through the office only to point out a desk covered in everything that no one else wants and say something like, "We will get that cleaned up before you start." If this person really is best in class, and you've decided to hire great people, then your decision to show them that dirty work- space might just cost you that employee. Your New CSR Team Member You should have a complete training plan ready before your new CSR shows up for the first day of work. If you've made the decision to hire the best, then poorly planned onboarding and training could cost you that individual. e best plans are laid out by the hour and include company introduction, building tours, what they're training on and with whom. e more work you put in on the front end, the more likely you are to have success later. You might also want to consider devel- oping a career path for these professionals. Answering phones or dispatching techni- cians are not typical dream jobs. For most people, these are placeholder positions un- til they can get to the job they really want. Why not build a career path for your people and give them some pride in a job that most people cannot do with consis- tent success? Stop treating customer service as a way- point on a path to a better job, and turn it into that better opportunity. u Tom Merriott, a business coach at Nexstar who focuses on call-center, dispatch and contractor communication process excellence, brings years of call center and management experience from independent HVAC, plumbing and electrical contractors. For additional information, visit nexstarnetwork.com. Don't waste your time with face-to-face interviews. Your first exposure to a potential CSR candidate should be over the phone.

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