Friday, November 5, 2010

Speed Up Your Service Calls

HVAC/R Technicians are under a lot of pressure to work quickly. The customer wants the problem fixed now. In the customer’s mind, the problem is fixed when the technician answers the door. If it were only that easy! The company also wants the technician to work quickly because time is money. The technician’s significant other wants the technician to work quickly and get home on time. Today people are so accustomed to downloading what they want, when they want it that they expect everything to come as easily and quickly. Life conspires to pressure the technician to repair HVAC/R equipment in the time it takes to download a movie. About the only way to actually accomplish this type of blitzkrieg service is to jump to conclusions and get lucky. It can you look brilliant to go right to the offending part on a hunch, replace it, and have the unit operating in minutes. But you can also look foolish if the unit quits operating before you get back to the shop. The customer now loses confidence in your ability. They can also feel cheated, suspecting that you did not check out the system thoroughly because you were there such a short time. From a practical standpoint, you have not saved any time if you have to return. In fact, your quickness has cost you time. I believe that being careful saves time in the long run and builds your reputation as well. Here are a few ideas on real time savings. Before you go to the service call, you should

Study! Your knowledge is the most powerful weapon in your troubleshooting arsenal. Read texts such as Fundamentals of HVAC/R, subscribe to service magazines such as the RSES Journal, enroll in classes at your local Technical College, join the local RSES chapter, and attend manufacturer’s service seminars. There are so many excellent educational opportunities for the HVAC/R industry that there really is no excuse to remain ignorant. Each hour you spend learning about your trade will save you many hours later on.

Build a good service library. You can’t keep an entire HVAC/R service library on your truck, but you can keep a few of your favorites. Don’t sell your HVAC/R tests – you can use them in the field. Service manuals and bulletins from equipment manufacturers are also very handy. If you can afford it, get a laptop with wifi internet. Most Companies now keep very complete service information on their web sites. 

Invest in quality tools. It always takes longer to do the job without the right tools. Don’t skimp on tools! Good quality tools that are made to perform the specific task at hand save you time. You can sometimes bang a motor shaft out of a blower wheel with a hammer and wood block, but it is so much faster and easier with a hub puller. And you will really cost yourself a lot of agravatino and time if you mushroom the shaft or warp the blower wheel.  

Next week I will discuss some tricks to speeding up the call after you arrive on the job.

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