Contrary to some common beliefs, the best service technicians are not necessarily the ones with the most knowledge or skills. Standout technicians have two distinguishing traits: A strong desire to serve people, and a natural curiosity and drive to constantly learn.

The best service technicians may also have great skills, which does help, but that isn’t necessarily the secret sauce that makes someone a top technician. Oftentimes caring about their customers and their natural curiosity will trump knowledge and skills.

Knowing how to fix a system is only half the equation. The other half is fixing the customer. Now I don’t mean that literally. It’s not the tech’s job to literally “fix” the customer, but it is their responsibility to help them feel well taken care of.

A key trait is listening to the customer and truly hearing what their issues are. Too many techs think the right approach is to walk in confidently and tell the customer they’ll figure it all out and let them know when they’re done, often without even listening to their needs or wants.

The Service Technician is the answer

As both an HVAC industry veteran, and a homeowner, here’s how I would like to be dealt with on a maintenance or service call:

First, I would expect the service technician to show up on time and look professional. They don’t have to be clean shaven with no visible tattoos (I think that is generally accepted today). They just need to be well groomed, friendly, and helpful. A nice touch would be a business card with their photo.

Before they start addressing the issue, I expect them to first ask questions. This is an opportunity to truly listen to the customer. Not only is it a good idea to ask the customer to walk through exactly what is going on, it’s a great time to ask if they would like you to look into other potential issues related to their comfort system.

When trust is built up front, it’s amazing how often a homeowner will talk about other, even long-standing problems. Who else would they tell about that bedroom that is too hot or too cold, or that they have to turn up the TV when the blower kicks on, or humidity issues, or dust problems?

While your service technician doesn’t need to be a salesperson, they should listen intently and take notes to add to the customer record. You can always follow up later to offer further investigation. When done right, this is an amazing lead source!

Once they have good information from the homeowner about the issue at hand, your tech can start the diagnostics. If the blower is functional, this is a perfect time to install four test ports to measure the blood pressure of the system (static pressures).

This information will not only be useful as they troubleshoot the problem, it can be rechecked after the issue is solved. The data can then be shared with the customer, whether your service technician’s readings are good or not so good. What a great way to score points going above and beyond!

A word of caution: Always explain to the customer why you need to install test ports, and ask for permission.