In last week’s Nexstar News, we shared that all Nexstar staff will be participating in “a day in the life” of a Nexstar member. Over the past week, many of us have spent a day riding along with technicians. We’re doing this so that we have a better understanding of your experiences, insights into the effectiveness of our training, and to gauge opportunities for improvement. The knowledge gained over the last few days has been eye-opening and we’d like to share our observations with you.
- Service System training is more apparent in technicians who have recently attended a Service System Retreat. We found that technicians who have not attended in over two years are missing some basic steps in their calls, such as:
- Offering a business card
- Asking permission to enter the home
- Asking if their truck is parked in an acceptable spot
- “Selling” the fact that they are putting on shoe covers before entering the home
- Setting the agenda for the call
- Technicians should be focusing more on the benefits and features of products and services before alluding to the price. We’ve witnessed technicians bonding with their customers, and we’ve been impressed with the fact that the technicians really have a healthy respect for their customers. However, many are bypassing the “Explore” step. They are not asking open-ended questions to better understand the underlying needs and wants of the homeowners, and they are missing sales because of it. Often, when asked about a product or service that was not immediately related to the call, the tech would offer to write up an estimate rather than exploring the situation and offering a solution.
- Your technicians are an extension of your marketing department. They should be reinforcing your brand excellence on every call. This can be done with little things that will strengthen customers’ loyalty to your company.
- Cross market your services. Sometimes, there is not a great opportunity to make a sale. However, this can be the right situation to promote your other services. In example, if your technician is repairing a boiler, and the customer has decided that they do not want to replace it, you might want to place a sticker on the water heater and promote your plumbing and other services.
- Have your technicians use business cards and put their photo on them. Train them to hand a business card to customers, and tape a second card next to your stickers.
- Don’t prejudge a customer and assume that they will never spend money. Even if you know your technician cannot sell equipment on every call, they should still be working hard to develop and strengthen loyalty to your company.
- Work with technicians and train them to use very non-technical language. It takes practice to do this, but your customer will trust you more if they understand the services you are providing.
- Ongoing training is key. It should not be optional. Without ongoing training, how will techs retain the information and keep their skills sharp? Nexstar marketing strategist, Ed Cerier, observed, “One thing I’ve noticed in my lifetime is that virtually every hall of fame athlete has one thing in common: they work harder than anyone else. Pro baseball players, for example, spend time in the batting cage every day, and the best ones log as much time as possible. Why? Even though it’s a repetitive action, and these athletes are the best of the best, it takes constant practice to maintain skills and improve.”
These are our observations and they will help us as we work with you to create even more robust services and training opportunities. We’d love to know what you think, so make sure to comment and join in the conversation. If you’d like to explore future training opportunities, visit the events page of the members’ side of www.nexstarnetwork.com.