There is no doubt that the culture you create at your organization is what drives your employees to excellence, particularly when it comes to delivering the best customer service. But creating a powerful, effective culture starts with the hiring process. And hiring the right field technicians to be the heart of your organization is essential to your success.
Let’s start by examining the role of a field technician.
According to CareerBuilder “field technicians work in industries with products that cannot be easily transported because of their size or link to other systems. Many field service technicians service home-based equipment, such as security systems, appliances, computer equipment, televisions, stereos, and heating and ventilation units. Field service technicians are also employed by large industry to work on heavy equipment, including farm or factory machinery, diesel engines, or computer networks.”
Hiring a field technician requires a large amount of trust. These unique roles ask for an individual to represent your organization, out and about in town, where you have little visibility and control (although hopefully you have an excellent mobile solution that increases your visibility). Being a field technician means having a lot of freedom, which comes with a lot of responsibility. That’s why hiring the right people for the job is mandatory to ensuring your success and peace of mind. So what should you look for in a winning field technician? These four things may or may not come across on a resume (you may need to glean them from face to face interviews or asking the right questions) but they will help you get the most out of your resource:
What is it that they say about first impressions? “You’ll never have a second chance to create a good first impression.” A large part of a field tech’s job involves first impressions with customers. Where do you think the stereotype “plumber’s crack” comes from? There is something ve
ry private about inviting a stranger into your home to install or fix something. It is an intimate experience that requires sensitivity and politeness. Customers feel far more comfortable inviting someone in that looks professional and well represented. This first impression also reflects on your organization; a disheveled, sweaty, dirty looking employee will not come across as someone from a well-respected organization. Take care during interviews to observe this aspect of your prospective employee, as it will matter once you send him/her out into the field.
Working on the road can be stressful, because the outside environment is far less predictable than that inside a cozy cubical. Traffic jams, vehicle failures, unexpected issues with machinery or services, and other problems are bound to occur on the job. Even with the most optimized scheduling on the planet, these events are sometimes unavoidable. How your field technician deals with them is what matters. Is he willing to get his hands dirty and change a flat tire? Can she stay calm in an intense situation? One of the best ways to see if your prospective employee can handle pressure is to watch how they react to answering difficult questions. Or try asking them to describe a time in their career where there was a problem and how they went about fixing it.
Imagine how booming your organization would be if every field technician you employed took every opportunity to both please and upsell your customers, took the initiative to take regular training classes to advance their skills, and provided support to their colleagues. This can be a reality. The key is to find employees that truly enjoy what they do as well as delighting their customers. You want to find go-getters that will change broken policies, speak up, and do more than what is expected of them. Ask prospective employees to describe their biggest accomplishments. Listen closely to references. See how they engage with others in your workplace. All these things can give you indications of who is going to be a hard worker, and who isn’t going to be. Gone are the days where being a 9 to 5’er fits the bill. Your organization and the culture you create needs more.
How well does your job candidate express him/herself? Are they articulate? Can they answer questions quickly and in a way that you understand? The world of the field tech relies heavily on communication, between the tech and dispatch, the tech and the customer, the tech and his colleagues, etc. Being able to communicate location, explain issues to customers, and update dispatch are all things that help with field service processes and overall efficiency standards. Above all else, your field technician needs to be able to relay information in an easy to understand way.
These traits are obviously in addition to the technical skills and experience a field technician must bring with them to work at your organization. But as we have said before, field techs are truly your front line, the heart and soul of your organization. It is best that you put your best foot forward by putting the best employees out there, and hopefully these tips can help you identify the right people for your company.
Did you know that ServicePower runs its own network of highly vetted servicers? We have picked up a few tips about hiring the right kinds of people from our experience. Get more tips of the trade by subscribing to our blog below.