Residential service businesses tend to think they’ll be more profitable if they focus on getting in and out of a customer home quickly. I actually used to think the same way.

However, after years of practice and training, I’ve learned another way.

As Sales Trainer for Nexstar® Network, I’m here to tell you that from a business standpoint, the old model is inefficient because it eats away and productivity and profit. It also leaves customers with a sense that they didn’t really get what they wanted. Someone blew in and out of their house and left a bill in their hands. They’re wondering what the heck they just paid for.

The most successful business process actually teaches technicians to maximize every service call. In fact, a technician should never be dispatched to more that three calls per day because you want them in this frame of mind: This is my call and this is my focus.

The calls should be scheduled for 60-90 minutes inside the home and technicians should be trained to take as much time as they need to make the customer happy. This training will build consistency in the field and will assure that your customers will have the same positive experience, no matter what technician shows up.

I could give you countless examples of how the practices within the Nexstar Service System have lead to increased revenues and employee retention for Nexstar members. I could also tell you about countless times technicians arrived at our 3-day training with an in and out attitude and left with a system to increase sales and make them feel more valued as an employee. They also left knowing they can provide better service to their customers. When the techs re-wire their thinking, they begin to feel an obligation to educate and do the best work for their customers.

There are six steps within the Service System:

1) Mental preparation

2) Meet and greet

3) Explore

4) Present

5) Execute

6) Wrap

Explore is the most important step. It focuses on the time you spend between walking in the door and presenting options to the customer. It allows the technician to get to know the customer and if they get to know their customer, they will build rapport and develop an understanding through education. Train your technicians to ask good questions; not just about how the equipment works, but on how the equipment is or isn’t making their family comfortable. A genuine concern for comfort sparks emotion, which leads to trust.

It’s unethical to sell a customer a service they don’t need, but it’s good business to make sure the customer is educated and has options.

Lastly, make sure that when you change your service system, you also make the necessary operational changes to accommodate it from the call center to the trucks. You definitely must have what you need on your truck so that you can deliver what customers want when they want it. After all, isn’t it a perfect call?!

To learn more about the Nexstar Service System, call Lisa Schardt or Bryan Martin at 888.240.STAR.

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Keith is director of training for Nexstar. He and his team of trainers develop and deliver live and online training content year-round to thousands of home service contractors and their employees.