Be the Pro Your Clients Expect You to BeBy Mike Treas
We have all taken a vehicle to a full-service repair shop sometime in our lives. Let’s say you know you need brake pads, so you walk in and tell them that. They say, “we will take it back, put it on the lift and check it out.” Not that they won’t take your word for it, but they need to see what it is going to take to get the job done.
So will they just take the wheel and tire off and measure the depth of the old pad? No. Their technician will look at the pad, the rotor, the brake lines, the brake fluid and the master cylinder. But it doesn’t stop there. They will hook the vehicle up to the computer and check for any indicators that there are or have been other problems. They will lower the vehicle and go through the engine to look for visual signs that you might be having issues. They will run the engine and look and listen for potential issues that might need to be addressed. They may even take it out on the road and listen and feel for anything that could cause problems down the road. These guys are usually pretty thorough.
They will then put together a list of things that need to be addressed and sometimes even prioritize that list for you. It is extremely rare that they come back and say “yep, we just need to replace those old pads.” There is almost always a list of items that need to be done. It is their responsibility to let you know all the issues that can or should be addressed. They must look at your car and assess it as if you were going to take it on a drive across the country. It becomes their responsibility to make sure that your family will be safe at 70 miles per hour on the freeway; that your car won’t break down halfway to Tucumcari. It is up to you to decide whether to get the work done or not. So they compile that list and present it to you, not leaving anything to chance.
Do you do this for your client? When you are called out for a no-cool or low-cool, do you just find and make the repair, or do you go through the system methodically looking for any signs of trouble? Do you check every electronic item for viability? Look at the underside of the evaporator coil to check for airflow issues, check the balance of the blower wheel, capacitor, refrigerant levels, cleanliness of the outdoor coil … and this list goes on and on. You must realize that they may not have an HVAC pro like you in their home or business for several more years. What is going to go wrong with their furnace the next time they need to use it? Look. Listen. Assess. Help.
Isn’t it our job to help clients with their comfort needs? Can we even imagine a repair shop ignoring the old, cracked brake hoses and just replacing the pads and sending you on your way with your kids in the car? In my opinion, that would be criminal, but I see it in our industry every day. Isn’t it your responsibility to do a thorough assessment of the entire system looking for anything and everything that might fail in the future, giving the client the responsibility of deciding what to fix and what to leave to chance? When you make those decisions for your client by not bringing up potential repairs you are potentially putting them at risk of future breakdowns that might leave them in uncomfortable or even dangerous situations.
Your client is paying for a professional to assess their entire system to let them know what they could face down the road. Leave no stone unturned and look for anything and everything they should know about. Be the pro they need you to be and give good advice on what you see as potential issues that need to be addressed.
How would you feel if someone came to your mother’s home and just replaced a capacitor but didn’t tell her that the evaporator coil is packed? Or that the noise coming from the furnace is the blower wheel that is out of balance and will someday cause a major repair. Maybe the system is so old that it might not last another season and looking at a replacement would be a good idea. Should they even spend the money on this system or maybe put that money toward a new one? Be thorough. Help people. Be the pro. Let them make that decision for their family. Who knows, they might just do the right thing. Then you won’t be the bad guy the next time it breaks down.