Photo courtesy of Freepik.
It goes without question that, when working with technicians and hands on service workers, technical skill is essential. But it’s becoming more and more clear that having the skill to do a job isn’t the only thing that matters anymore. In a world where customers and clients are spoiled by choice, interactions with customers are sometimes the tipping point for choosing one company over another, and these interactions happen with the employees in the field.
Creating an employee that is well-rounded is a big and essential step to ensuring the success of your business, as these employees are the bread and butter you’re providing to your clients. Sure, having the technical skill to get the job done is required, but in order to leave a good impression and increase the likelihood of that customer coming back to you with their next concern, your employees need to have their soft skills up to snuff as well. Being good at their trade is step one, followed immediately by being responsive, likeable, and strong communicators, to name a few essentials.
A huge part of customer service is empathizing with the customer and listening to their concerns. Valuing what they have to say makes the interaction smoother, helps you understand their issues much faster, and reaches a solution that works for both your business and their needs in the most efficient way. When field service techs can provide this same level of concern while in the presence of the customer, they can understand the problem as it’s happening in real time and address anything that could have developed since booking the service call. Being open to the customer asking questions, offering to explain ways to improve maintenance by the customer of the unit being worked on, and giving regular communication about the state of the repair (for example) creates an environment where the customer can develop trust in the technician before them. Trust is also built when techs are able to create a sense of comfort for the customer, especially when working in residential spaces. Being friendly, empathetic, and communicative, while understanding boundaries from the customer, will ensure a comfortable space for both tech and client. An added bonus to this is that comfortable clients recommend your business to others, and call your business back when they need maintenance or another service call later.
Developing customer service skills with your technicians can seem like a big journey to embark on. With all the training technicians of all sorts undergo each year to keep technical skills relevant and sharp, there’s always something on the calendar. Make sure to prioritize this essential area of development for all the members of your team as you’re creating their development plans! Take a look at our available programs, or feel free to reach out to our team and we can create something that fits your unique organization. The perfect time to start a journey into soft skills development is right away, and we can help!
When customers interact with field technicians, that’s the face of the company they’re going to remember, to talk about to their friends, to give positive (or negative) reviews about. Soft skills like communication, empathy, and friendliness, are highly valued with clients, and can be the difference between creating a long-term client and having a one-off repair turn into a negative review. These soft skills are what sets a technician apart from a long line of interactions a customer can have during a week, month, or year. Creating a personal experience with a customer means they remember your business name, and if they’re going to remember you, the soft skills a field tech employs will make it for a good or bad reason. Make it a good one!