By Paul Mac Donald, USA Executive Director
On a recent Air Canada flight from Toronto to Vancouver, I had an interesting exchange with the In-Charge Flight Attendant, a young man named Kirk Horsman. I was complimenting him on the excellent service he and his team were providing. Kirk was exceptionally friendly and outgoing and really wanted his passengers to be comfortable on his flight. He had a great attitude and it showed. Somehow our conversation turned to laughter over the Louie CK skit on air travel and how funny it is that passengers can get upset at the smallest transgression in flight all while failing to appreciate the miracle of modern day flight. Kirk mentioned that too often we reward customers for bad behavior, and I asked, “How so?”
He replied, “Well, the squeaky wheel gets the oil, doesn’t it?”
We had been discussing the difference between good and bad customer service. I said that in my experience on some flights the crew seems to have a bad attitude, and how it shows in the service they provide. I generally will overlook poor manners from a customer service representative, but I struggle when I come up against a CSR with a bad attitude. Personally, as a consumer, I just don’t have time for that. I usually end up feeling sorry for them as they are likely in the wrong career. Kirk may be right in his comment about rewarding bad customer behavior, but I believe that when a customer complains it’s often because we haven’t met or exceeded his or her expectations. When this happens, our customers have the right to complain, and service providers should have an opportunity to recover and fix the issue.
During the fall Regional Service Training Program (RSTI) hosted by your local parts distributor and United Servicers Association, we are going to teach you everything there is to know about the appliance service industry, but there isn’t much we can do to help you fix chronic bad attitudes. You either have a good one or you don’t. When you find yourself being grumpy and inhospitable to customers on a regular basis, it might be an indication that it’s time to look for a new line of work, as harsh as that may sound.
This fall the USA facilitators and OEM trainers in the RSTI program will be coming to 22 locations across North America. Check the USA website at www.unitedservicers.com for locations and registration information. Register early as space is limited at each event. Starting in September we’ll be holding two-day training sessions that are full of basic technical and business management skills. We have private trainers that will review the fundamentals of basic electricity, dual-evaporator refrigeration and convection cooking issues. We’ll cover the hows and whys, but also how to properly diagnose failures in these systems and what to look for. There will be training on Samsung refrigeration and Whirlpool dishwashers.
The RSTI program will also help technicians with soft skills, to not only repair appliances but to engage positively with customers too. Sorry, no attitude adjustments unfortunately! We will, however, reveal proven strategies to sell more repairs and book more service calls. There will be discussion on current service marketing and help discover where to spend marketing dollars for the greatest return. New for the 2015 program will be unique techniques on time management and inventory control.
The Regional Service Training Institute is an extension of our larger training convention, the Annual Service Training Institute (ASTI 2016 is in Miami). We deliver our coveted and desperately needed training to servicers around the country to those who can’t afford the time or expense of ASTI. The RSTI program is made possible by the generosity of our sponsors and the committee members who donate hundreds of hours to make this training meaningful and relevant. Your local parts distributor invests in the program to ensure that both technical and management training is available in their marketplace. They invest in you, the independent service provider, to help build stronger partnerships that last. National Sponsors of the RSTI program, Rossware computing, Fred’s Academy, Whirlpool and Samsung, Bosch and Electrolux all invest for the betterment of the industry and in strengthening the independent networks across America. To those sponsors we say thank you—thank you for your dedication to ensuring that training for the future continues. USA could not do it without your help.
Don’t miss out on this incredible training opportunity for your technicians, CSRs, managers and owners alike. Register early as space is limited and events are coming soon. Visit www.unitedservicers.com for all the program details and to register. The cost of the full two-day program, including five hot meals, is only $199. Attend RSTI, you’ll be glad you did—we guarantee it or your money back.
How’s that for a good attitude?