Refrigeration Talk – Customer Expectations
You wake up in the morning and the sun is shining and the birds are singing. You have no problem getting to your facility in record time because all the stop lights were green. Your favorite song was playing on the car radio which made you sing and smile. You pull into the parking lot, get out of the car and walk into your building. Then you hear the dreaded, “The air conditioner is not working”……….. You have just entered the “Ruin My Day Zone”……… Quickly, reality hits you like a ton of bricks and you know that your next step is to call your air conditioning service provider. The phone call to your service provider should be the beginning of your escape from your “Ruin My Day Zone”. Let’s follow the service call as it unfolds and discuss expectations you should have about how your service provider handles the situation.
First of all, you should expect the person who answers the service company’s phone to be pleasant, courteous and professional. You should expect to be directed to the correct department in a timely manner.
The service dispatcher will do the initial interview and take down all of the details of the problem by asking a series of questions that will set the wheels in motion. The more information shared upfront will help the service dispatcher make better informed decisions. This may seem like it takes a long time but it is essential in selecting the technician with the proper credentials. If you are a repeat customer you should expect to have the same service technician for each call, if that is possible. If the primary technician is not available you should be given the option of waiting until he/she is available or sending another technician who is available at the time. The initial interview will also help determine if there are special tools or equipment required. This could reduce the time and trips involved in performing the service. You should expect that the dispatcher will convey all of the information, correctly, to the technician.
Upon arrival, the technician should check in with you or whoever is responsible and verify the purpose of the call and verify which piece of equipment is at fault. He is expected to follow all of the facilities safety and vendor policies as he troubleshoots the problem in a professional and efficient manner. As a safety precaution, if the technician needs to go on the roof by himself, the time of his arrival should be noted and he should be checked on periodically to assure his safety. When the technician has determined what the fault is, he will brief you on his/her findings and ask for your approval to proceed.
Once approval has been given, the technician will repair the system using the proper tools and the knowledge he/she has gained from formal training and experience in the field. The technician always has support from his mentors and the inside technical support people available at the office. When the technician is finished working he/she will clean up the work area and remove any old parts and dispose of them. The technician will provide a thorough written, legible service report that you will be required to sign to show that the work was completed in an acceptable manner and that you accept the terms and conditions of the transaction.
The technician will then turn in his thoroughly completed paperwork into the office to be processed. The accounting department will check all of the paperwork associated with the job for accuracy and check the office business system for special billing instruction that may have been agreed to ahead of time. You should expect to receive an invoice in a timely manner, ideally in a week or two. A follow-up call to get your input for the quality of service performed should also be expected. It is vital to keep the lines of communication open. The service provider will use your input as a guide to determine the level of service they are providing and what, if anything needs to be addressed to make improvements to their business.
As a customer you should expect to have your expectations met or exceeded by all of the service provider’s employees. From the dispatcher to the accounting department, meeting or exceeding expectations will build a strong relationship and trust which will help you escape from your “Ruin My Day Zone” and back into your “Comfort Zone”.
If you have any questions or comments about your particular refrigerant system’s situation I would be glad to assist you in any way that I can. Please contact me at Email.
Senior Project Manager
Ruyle Mechanical Services.