Managing Your Service Department: Are You Worth a Higher Wage?
Tuesday, August 2, 2016
I just completed a two-day Company Overview with a relatively small, but growing company. As we entered data into the software model it became apparent that the owner was paying above average wages to his techs. Most of the technicians were earning between $75,000 and $100,000 a year. That seemed really high for a non-union company his size. The owner later explained that he hired most of his techs away from other companies.
Over the two days, several things became very clear.
- No calls from the techs. The owner was not interrupted by a single phone call from even one of his five techs during the two days we were there. His techs knew what to do and they did it.
- They showed up for work every day with a good attitude. While looking at the techs’ payroll records I noticed something very unique. They did not miss work! They enjoyed their job and did not take time off. It's a great feeling to know your techs will show up for work every day.
- They were skilled at what they did. These were highly skilled HVAC technicians. Each installer was capable of doing an entire installation in one day … by themselves! Yes, a helper would bring equipment to the location and the two of them would physically set the equipment, but the tech did the rest on his own. The owner told me it was not unusual for his installers to install two systems in a 10-hour day, by themselves, during the busy season.
- Very few customer callbacks. They did the job correctly the first time. That means there were few callbacks.
- Paperwork was filled out correctly and turned in on time. What a joy it was NOT to hear the office staff complaining about technician paperwork issues!
After spending two days with my client, it was easily proven that these high-income techs were not costing him money … they were making him money!
Are you worth a wage of $75,000 to $100,000 per year? Would someone try to hire you away from your current employer based on your skill set? If not, why not? Career technicians, in any trade, are personally responsible for developing their technical expertise. There is currently a real shortage of technicians across the country. However, highly skilled technicians will always be in demand. If you're not making top wages in the current job environment, perhaps you should ask yourself why, and do something about it!