–Read Time: 4 min–
With the hot summer months approaching and customers beginning to start up their HVAC equipment, Service Companies everywhere are gearing up for an increase in calls. And while it is the job of a sales team to develop relationships that lead to new service requests and contracts, it is in fact the service technicians who are responsible for driving commercial outcomes with customers. Not surprisingly, most commercial opportunities for Service Companies present themselves on-site, when the tech who has been dispatched is face-to-face with the customer and the customer’s equipment. These “pull-through” opportunities are high-margin, high impact sales opportunities that can happen in the blink of an eye.
Empowering field service techs on the front lines to actively search for pull-through opportunities helps not only increase sales, but also strengthens customer relationships. Diagnostic inspections performed by techs onsite can provide customers with new mechanical insights that can be meaningful to their operations. Customers typically reward their service providers for these insights by providing them with deeper customer loyalty and ultimately, increased work.
In this post, we’ll look at four ways you can empower your technicians to create an environment that harvests an increase in pull-through revenue for your mechanical service company.
It’s important for technicians to keep their day-to-day focus on addressing mechanical issues. But equipping them with the ability to look for additional opportunities doesn’t have to get in the way.
The key is to drive the right mindset: don’t just fix the problem, dig deep to understand when it’s time to replace the product or offer an extended service agreement. Gathering machine diagnostics can go a long way in providing a holistic approach towards servicing your customer’s facility.
Techs should be encouraged to build relationships, ask the customer questions, and facilitate a conversation that leads to a better understanding of their customer’s machine history and future maintenance goals. Rather than an “in and out in as little time as possible” attitude, allow for proper time with the customer for that comfort level to grow. Time spent talking technician-to-customer can often shed light on a new angle of maintenance that a sales rep wouldn’t have been able to facilitate, strictly because of their role and focus.
With advancements in technology today, tools that assist in gathering machine data and shedding light on equipment conditions have become quick and easy to use. Infrared guns and vibration analysis devices, for example, can be utilized efficiently as easy ways to field test additional equipment.
Easy to deploy, easy to train, and quick to use tools such as a smart-phone-enabled PdM vibration analysis portable diagnostic tool provides the ability for technicians to record and discover machine issues that would have otherwise gone unnoticed. What began as a simple service call for one machine can easily turn into diagnostics on all sorts of other equipment the customer has on hand — and more often than not, that means more things to fix.
In fact, we’ve found that statistically, up to 33% of machines that are diagnosed via vibration analysis suffer from mechanical disrepair. A little bit of additional effort by your techs during each service call could go a long way towards harvesting previously unknown streams of revenue.
It’s one thing to have your technicians detect an issue that needs fixing, but another thing altogether to get the green light to service it. Closing these pull-through deals requires the ability to accurately provide the data from collection point to headquarters and on through to the sales team.
Simply put, knowledge is power and providing an environment where this knowledge can easily transfer from a technician to salesthrough technology provides details in real time, allowing for quick proposals and faster sales cycles.
The same tools used to empower the technicians to uncover pull-through work could be used to transfer, store, and communicate opportunities between the technicians and sales team. Using a cloud-based machine health management platform allows customer data to be stored and accessed on the spot (including all assets -> machines on site). Tools that help aggregate and share this data along with real-time machine diagnostics enable your entire service team to collaborate on the best sales approach. In the end, technology like this provides your technicians with the means necessary to approach your customers with fully vetted, sales-department-approved proposals for additional work while still on site.
As we’ve seen, field service can be a key revenue generator for any mechanical organization. And yet, it can often be overlooked as a simple call-to-deploy team reacting to the sales division and inbound leads.
By creating a specific division within the company, you can begin to empower this independent department by investing in it directly and holding the team financially accountable. When framing their role in this manner, technicians are prompted to look at their hard costs, revenue generators, and time spent in a new light. This proven structure encourages and motivates the service team to create more business and aligns them to the overall company growth goals.
Following these steps to create an autonomous service organization that is supplied with the proper tools and technology can help your technicians to sell in the field. The sooner you set it up, the sooner they will be able to generate pull-through revenue. Your technicians may be the best salespeople you have. It’s time to put them to the test.
Find out how Augury can enable your techs to sell in the field. Get a demo!
Mike Patton - Senior Partnership Sales Manager at Augury. From politics to machines, Mike has been working to fix broken systems for over a decade. He has lead sales teams in the mechanical industry and managed multi-million dollar partner engagements.