I am surprised at some of the things I have learned along the way. Many things have been easier than I thought, and a few harder.
Here are a few things I have observed so far:
- Overall I have surprised myself at how well I have been able to perform at the customer’s home. The first few calls were absolutely nerve-wracking, but I still got a very good response and compliments from those customers when finished. They really had no idea that I was brand new at this.
- I can raise my rates. I started out with the thought of keeping my rates a bit lower than my competition to attract new customers. I found out that people don’t comparison shop the service. They certainly want to know what you will charge them, but as long as you are you aren’t well above all the others, it works.
- Calls are very diverse. I originally thought that there would be a pattern of typical repairs and failures peppered with the occasional esoteric problem. Nope, things are all across the board and that forces me to learn as much as I can about everything.
- I hit the flashpoint. This is when I started to see the commonality between all appliances. This was a helpful turning point because when I first started out I was daunted by the diversity of makes and models. It felt like it was going to take forever to learn all the quirks and features of all this stuff. Soon, though, the commonality of things became more apparent.
- Other technicians aren’t supermen. Because I was so new, I entered this business with some insecurity about my abilities. I imagined all other service technicians were fast, single-visit repairmen that never made an incorrect diagnosis. Turns out that’s not entirely accurate.
- Customers love communication! I tell people as much as I can about what I am doing and what to expect from the process. I tell them as much as I can about my diagnostic approach and how I got there. I think people are a bit suspicious of the tight-lipped technician, and that sets them up for unfavorable scrutiny.
- This is an efficient, low cost, high paying career choice. I can’t believe I was able to start running service calls after 40 days of initial studying. I still study, and I’m still learning (and always will be), but most of my experience is out in the field now. I just needed that startup level of training to get me out into the real world.