Your Field Service Workers Are Your Business Card
Warning: This blog is not appropriate for audiences under 17.
Kidding – it totally is. But if you know the film we’re about to reference, you’ll get the warning.
If you’ve seen “American Psycho,” there are probably a few scenes that come to mind – it has some pretty unforgettable, uh, parts (get it? like body parts?). If you haven’t seen it, it stars Christian Bale as Patrick Bateman, Wall Street investment banker by day, serial killer by night – a man obsessed with power and prestige, shielded by his wealth and privilege as he slashes his way across Manhattan. It can get pretty graphic, for sure, but there are plenty of scenes that create tension without the use of violence.
A scene in the flick features Bateman and his yuppie friends comparing business cards. Bateman brings up the topic, thinking that his offering is going to blow everyone else’s away, and then is paralyzed with envy over the other guys’ cards – although, to be honest, they kind of all look alike (much like Bateman and his cronies, come to think of it). Bateman sees a business card as a status symbol, and when his friends are more impressed with someone else’s card, he is utterly crushed.
Yes, he is a literal psycho, but ol’ Bateman does have a point: a business card serves as an important representation of an individual and a company, and if it looks shoddy or has misspellings, then it’s not making a great impression on a customer.
Savvy business people are hip to that already, but there is an added element for a fleet business. Not only do they have actual business cards, but they also have walking, talking business cards: field techs. They represent the company and its values just as much – actually, more so – than any piece of paper.
Think about it: If a field worker arrives at a home to provide a service and shows up disheveled, unshowered, yawning and generally looking like a slob, how is the customer going to feel about the business?
Everything else may have gone great for the customer experience until then – positive Yelp/Angie’s List reviews, friendly and knowledgeable dispatcher, competitive pricing, fast arrival – but when Joe Schmo shows up looking like he would rather be anywhere else on the planet (and like his hot water was recently turned off), the customer is going to be thinking, “No way will I be using this company again.”
Not only will the customer be turned off by his general attitude and poor hygiene, but he or she will may feel uncomfortable and possibly even unsafe. You can bet the company’s Yelp rating will take a dive after this customer gets done with it.
Conversely, a field worker who shows up in a clean, wrinkle-free shirt, looks alert, has a smile on his face, proactively produces a pair of blue booties to wear while he’s walking through the house, and tells the customer exactly what he plans to do and when he should be done is more likely to make a customer say, “How soon can you come again?”
Check out these three pointers service managers can use to make sure field techs speak volumes for the business in all the right ways:
Lead by example. This goes a very long way – if field techs see that a service manager is dressing sloppily or using profanity in front of customers, they’re going to think it’s OK. Hint: It’s not. So make sure you’ve got yourself in order each day.
Provide financial motivation. Give comment cards to field workers for customers to fill out, and have a contest each month – the tech with the most positive cards gets a $25 gift card. If you end up with too many shining stars (not a bad problem to have), draw a name out of a hat.
Read reviews. Keep tabs on Angie’s List and Yelp. A customer may call out a service worker in a negative review but not file a formal complaint with the business. If you can identify the field tech, you can give him a warning to head off any other issues, and then follow up with the customer via the review site (on Yelp, other customers are able to see that you apologized and offered to make it right, which can partially negate a bad review).
While there’s no need to be all psycho (heh) about it, educating workers on the importance of appearance and attitude will create happy customers and bring good reviews and repeat business – and make a service manager look pretty good in front of the boss.
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Turn off that movie and download our free eBook on how you can make the most of every customer interaction (even the bad ones).