Tech Lead Turnover – Do You Have A Process for That?

Danielle Putnam
Contributing Writer
President, The New Flat Rate
Immediate Past President, Women in HVACR

“Hey, Johnny, thanks for fixing our sink; it’s working great. And by the way, when you get back to your shop – mind asking someone to give me a call with a price for my fireplace?  Don’t you have people that work on those? The season is changing and I was having problems with it last year – I want to make sure it’s safe so we can start using it!”

Johnny, of course, responded to his customer, Mr. Zock, with a smile, assuring him that, “Of course, absolutely, it would be my pleasure to have someone call you – we work on fireplaces all the time.”

Insert silence here.

You know, that long and uncomfortable silent period you feel when you are trying to be polite as you wait and see if Johnny remembered to turn in the lead.

That SUPER HOT EXTRA SPECIAL GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY OF A LEAD!

Insert more silence.

Fast forward six months and arrive on scene, back at the warm, cozy, and beautiful home of Mr. Zock, where the fireplace is blazing with the smell of apple cider in the air. Oh, make no mistake! Mr. Zock’s fireplace was repaired – as a matter of fact, he went ahead and upgraded to new ceramic logs, too! But it was not Johnny’s company that made the sale.

Sound familiar? It’s painful, isn’t it? How often do we train our team to hand over leads? Shoot, we even give them a form and ask them to write the leads on the form and return it with their paperwork.

Then why, oh why, are we slow in the slow seasons? If our team is turning in ALL of the opportunities they see, why are we ever slow?

Again, it’s painful – the truth hurts – we know we are losing leads, but it takes WORK to fix the problem, and sometimes we get tired of always doing hard work, don’t we?

Well, today is the day, my friend. With three months left in 2020, there is no time like the present to put a solid process in place, a solid process that the techs and office staff can follow to ensure ALL leads are captured.

And here’s how:

1. Write a process

a. A process for capturing leads in the field and returning them to the office

2. Test your process

a. Pass out a one-page process sheet of this new process to one of your technicians, one that you trust and know will follow the process

b. Inspect what you expect and receive feedback

3.Tweak your process

a. With real life learnings from the field, make changes to the process so it’s a process the techs and management can follow

4. Implement your process

a. Rollout this process to your entire team during a weekly training meeting

Processes don’t have to be boring.  You can get creative with it!  Whether text, written on the invoice, emailed, sent in a survey, linked to your customer testimonial request, etc., find a way to gather leads that works with the flow of what you are already doing.  Once you figure out what method you should require for turning in leads, find a fun way to make it easy to implement so your team sees it through.

1. Offer an incentive:  perhaps you consider giving your techs a fixed amount per lead that they turn in.  If money isn’t their love language, try what speaks to them…maybe five leads equals one hour early that they could leave one day. Maybe for every 10, they get a gift card to take their family out.  You could even have a “punch card” to keep track.

2. Make it a game: have a friendly competition between your techs.  Each month, count up the most follow-up leads or even the most booked leads from those turned in.  Whoever gets the most leads wins the prize!

3. Set a time limit:  require that all leads be turned in within 24 hours of the call so they are still “hot” leads.  If a lead isn’t communicated within a timely manner, it doesn’t count towards the contest (but don’t forget—you still want it)!

4. Simple follow-up:  Here’s an idea to get your office staff involved; when your team calls the customer after the call to make sure they are satisfied, add to their script a question about any additional needs in the home.  Book the additional lead from the happy call!

There’s still time to show 2020 who’s boss!

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