"Al stresses that 'If it's not written, it's not real.' We now live by this. Without the simple business procedures Al introduced us to, I couldn't get my company to the next level or expect my company to run itself."
Matt Morse President Precision Plumbing Carol Stream, IL
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Operations Power!

7 Deadly Sins Your Techs Commit

I have work done at my own home these days because I retired my tool box years ago. The thrill of fixing stuff at my own home left a long time ago. Working for my wife seemed to always be a lose-lose deal. She had to nag me and was not often pleased with my speed or workmanship. I resented coming home from my job of fixing stuff for mostly appreciative homeowners who paid me with money and many times compliments.

Plus, it was a double standard. I could hang the curtains a 1/4” off and never hear the end of it while a contractor friend could smash a hammer in a sheetrock wall and leave it that way for two weeks without a peep from her.

Know that my wife is not that tough. But, she was particular about work done in our home.

What she wasn’t so kind about to other contractors was the way they went about their business. Some of it is because she knew that our company was always striving to deliver higher and higher levels of customer service.

So what are the 7 Deadly Sins your Techs Commit?

  1. Parking in the driveway without permission.

It’s inconsiderate. The customer needs to leave and you’re blocking them in. Plus, they probably have experienced other contractors parking in their driveway in the past and leaving debris that flattened their tires or stains from either their vehicle leaking fluid or spilling something out the back of their truck that damaged their driveway.

Yes, sometimes you must park in the driveway because there is no other practical way to do the work. But know, you must at least get permission first to do so before you assume it’s okay to park there. When you do park there, make sure you let them know it’s no problem to move the truck if they need to get out and that you’ll take extra care to make sure the driveway is spotless when you leave.

  1. Smoking.

If you want to smoke with all of what is known about the dangers of smoking be my guest.  But know that the smell lingers on your hands and clothes and it’s off putting to the customer you’re in front of. The move away from smoking is everywhere. Witness people expelled from their offices to smoke in the freezing cold or blistering hot weather. Non-smokers hate the smell of smoke. Even other Techs hate to be forced to share space with smokers. Smoking on a customer’s property just takes the hatred to a new level. And even the electronic cigarettes are off putting. Most forward thinking shops have instituted a no smoking policy during working hours.

  1. Wearing wrong or inappropriate clothing.

A neat and clean uniform does promote a sense that the person providing service is professional. Some companies still cut corners and refuse to pay for uniform services or to maintain them to the high level they should be. Some companies allow Techs to wear whatever they feel like. And that can be costing them money because grungy blue jeans, worn out tee shirts and worn out shoes is not instilling confidence in the customer that they made the right call. Sometimes it’s worse. The Tech chooses to share their religious and political opinions to the world as a walking billboard courtesy of what’s printed on their tee shirts.

  1. Not having and wearing shoe covers.

Even if you are wearing shined shoes or boots customers are sensitive to the potential of you tracking dirt, grime and mud through their castle. Whether or not that is true doesn’t matter because in the customer’s mind perception is reality.

To not take the little bit of extra effort to remove this worry is silly and short sighted.

Yes, it is a bit of a dog and pony show but it’s a show that means building confidence and trust in the customer of the Techs vs. destroying it.

They’re easy to slip on and slip off and they put the customer’s mind at ease. Get over it and put them on.

  1. Not using floor covering.

Even if you use shoe covers the customer is still worried about their floors when you begin to move stuff in and out of the home.

Ex: The old toilet that can drip and leak on their new white carpet.

No matter how much you wiped it down, stuffed in rags and such, the fear is real for the customer.

Using floor covering like red rosin paper, cardboard, sticky back plastic, clean tarps demonstrates to the customer that you’re a professional and unlike the many other contractors they encountered before because you go the extra mile.

Stop and think what using floor covering costs vs. having to potentially pay for new carpeting or a lawsuit.

  1. Asking the customer to borrow their tools or ladder.

What kind of Tech would ask to borrow a customer’s tools? Plenty! How do I know? I’ve been on plenty of ride alongs. Sometimes, they’re just too lazy to make one more trip to their truck. Sometimes, they’re working in an area where the customer’s tools are in front of them so they think, what the heck.

Even if no damage is done. Damage is done. It dilutes the message that you’re a fully trained Tech with all the tools and equipment to do a professional job.

  1. Using the customer’s bathroom even if they give permission.

Hey, we’ve all been in the field working when Mother Nature calls. The natural instinct is to use the customer’s bathroom. Don’t. If you use it without permission, you’re really ticking them off. If you ask permission, they’ll probably say yes but they don’t really mean it. They don’t want you in their highly personal space other than to do the work you must and get out. Using their most personal space for your personal reasons is highly invasive.

Think ahead before you run a call and stop at a fast food joint, convenience store, gas station or any other public facility. When you need be, tough it out.

Avoid the 7 Deadly Sins that a Tech can commit and find yourself on a much more heavenly path to happy customers and bigger profits.

Kathy Betlem of John Betlem Heating & Cooling

Kathy talks about the challenges before Al arrived of the whole management team, mostly comprised of the Betlem family members, being on the same page. Today with Al's help, the management team is both improving their individual departments and improving the company as a whole.

» Read the full testimonial

Operations Power!

What Extras Should You Have on a Service Vehicle?

I remember a Service Tech trying to explain to me why he couldn’t enter a basement that was flooded with water from a ruptured hot water heater. His explanation is he didn’t have anything to cover his shoes. I also remember another Service Tech trying to share with me why his uniform was so wrinkled […]

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Susan Miller of Allied Plumbing & Heating

Susan Miller shares what was going on at Allied before Al Levi worked with them and how things are going at Allied today thanks to the work they've done with Al.

» Read the full testimonial

Marketing Power!

7 Ways to Market at Low Cost or No Cost – Part 2

Here are the rest of the 7 ways I recommend these days to go about low cost or now cost marketing these days: Referral Marketing is one of the most powerful marketing strategies there is. It’s also a great example of low cost or no cost. Recommendations from one satisfied customer who is willing to […]

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Tim Flynn, Winters Company

Tim Flynn Having customized manuals allows me never to go over the same thing twice, I simply refer to the manual our employee has signed for and ask if there has been a misunderstanding of the procedure, once agreed there is no misunderstanding and we move on with our lives. Hopefully the discrepancy never occurs again, but [...]

» Read the full testimonial

Marketing Power!

7 Ways to Market at Low Cost or No Cost – Part 1

Here’s an understatement, “Marketing is a whole lot easier if you’ve got a lot of money to spend.” Here’s another enlightened observation, “It’s also a great way to go broke if you don’t have a plan and don’t know what you’re doing.” This was very true back in the good old days of 2005 when […]

» View the full post

If you find that you keep saying to yourself...
  • I can't seem to find and keep good people.
  • There just aren't enough hours in the day.
  • We are delivering an inconsistent level of service.
  • I feel like I'm answering the same questions over and over.
  • I spend more time as an employee than as a manager.
  • Call-backs keep me from moving on to new calls/sales.
  • We have no real system in place for training.
  • This business just isn't fun for me anymore.
then you are ready to move to the next level click here

Contact Al

Phone: (480) 205-5164
Fax: 212-202-6275
(using a coversheet)

Traditional Mail:
Appleseed Business, Inc.
c/o Al Levi
10632 N Scottsdale Road
Scottsdale, AZ 85254