More Money and Fewer Calls

Doug, a service technician in Atlanta, is a single parent with three children. He would get all his calls in the morning and rush through them in order to be with his children after school. Known in the company culture as ‘‘run and gun’’, Doug would run as fast as he could and complete 10 calls each day, bringing in about $3,000 per week.

Does this sound familiar to you?

At Doug’s company a similar pattern was duplicated with all the techs, who received all their calls for the day at once and were pushed to run them all. The logic behind it: more calls means more money.

We tend to believe each individual call is not worth much money and service is a necessary evil. That’s logical, right?

Let’s look what happened when Doug took fewer calls…

Dispatch is now expected to give Doug one call at a time, and Doug is expected to take his time and execute The Service Call Blueprint. Dispatch also now ensures that Doug does not work past 4:00 PM.

Take note of the boundaries that we have established.

Although Doug is a novice with The Service Call Blueprint, he is growing and learning. In the week ending July 14, Doug ran 3.8 calls per day and sold $9,825.11 with just 19 calls and went home on time by 4:00 PM.

Expectations drive behavior. Leaders set expectations.

Let’s look closer at the math. Under “Run and Gun,” techs went on about 40 calls per week, bringing in $2,000-$3,000. Compare this with The Service Call Blueprint, in which there were 19 calls per week, accounting for almost $10,000 in revenue!

Ask yourself, “are we in business to make profit or run more calls?” 

Owning the service call.

Owning the call is a process, and it took time to build trust between coworkers. At first, Doug was frustrated about getting one call at a time, as he moved away from the “run and gun” model. We asked him to trust dispatch to get him home by 4:00 PM. Now dispatch owns dispatch and Doug owns the service call.

Let’s look at some other boundaries we set for Doug. He is expected to slow down, execute the greeting, the diagnosis, the presentation of the option sheet and collect the money up front, all as taught in The Service Call Blueprint. Doug is expected to think only about the call he is on.

This company where Doug works is a second generation business, recently purchased by the son from his retired father. The son initially told me, “ Roger we have always lost money in the service department and we have to change something.” This company is implementing The Service Call Blueprint, true, it’s still a work in progress, however, callbacks are minimized, the workload is reduced and service revenue is tripling.

Do you need to change too?

In his book Boundaries For Leaders, Dr. Henry Cloud writes about how humans learn and execute a task at a high level of performance. He says that we need to always keep three points in mind:

Focus on what works.

Keep it current.

Keep out the noise.

The noise can be many things: excuses, learned helplessness, touches of sarcasm, blaming anything outside of yourself, snarky attitudes and general negativity.

At Roger Daviston, we offer this change online and weekly where possible.

  • We focus on what works by listening to success stories.
  • We keep it current by posting results of each service call in a group text platform like GroupMe.
  • We also keep it current by coming together each week and letting the techs talk. When the technician is talking about his success, the others are learning and hearing what really works.

The Service Call Blueprint: Field-Tested Strategies for Higher Revenue, my latest book, describes a systematic process for how to execute a service call.

Order a copy here from Amazon.

Real behavioral change is not going to happen instantly; an ongoing process is needed to create real change. A technician can’t be taught to change out a compressor at a seminar, so you can’t expect them to execute The Service Call Blueprint by simply reading the book or just learning in class. There has to be coaching.

Further resources

Live Ride Along

Click on the link above for a free 15-minute video, where this need is illustrated in a recording of a live service call. Notice how much mentoring Zeke needed to actually execute what he had been learning in class.

Below is another case study that shows how behaviors slip if you don’t have the meetings and a system in place, which ensures these behaviors happen. Too many of us repeat this mistake, again and again. This is why the numbers fall and it becomes the fault of the owner or manager.

HVAC Service Call Revenue Case Study

Reach out

If you are frustrated with the revenue your technicians currently bring in, I can help you. Click here to see my calendar.

About the author, Roger Daviston

Roger Daviston is a personal growth consultant who gets measurable results. He facilitates and encourages individuals to change behavior and make different choices to achieve better outcomes.

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