Heating engineers have been identified as key workers by the government meaning you can still provide breakdown and replacement boiler work, but how do you protect yourself and reassure your customers?
To help, here are 5 simple tips to help keep you working over the next few weeks.
Tip 1 – Your customers are worried so take some time to reassure them.
Communication is vital right now so call them the day before your visit and (you can also mention these when you book a visit) –
- Ask if anyone in the property is self-isolating. If they say yes, rebook the visit for a date after the isolation ends. Get a date in the calendar, don’t leave it as a vague “I will call you”, you can always reschedule.
- Explain to them that you have a hygiene kit in your van (tip 2) and that you wash your hands before and after every visit and wear disposable gloves. They will not know this so by explaining this process, you are demonstrating that you have their safety in mind.
- You could also mention some of the changes you might implement from tip 4 below.
Tip 2 – Get your van hygiene kit sorted.
- Have a large bottle of water, a clean towel, some soap and disposable gloves in your van.
- Wash your hands before and after every visit and wear a new set of gloves for every job.
Tip 3 – Once you arrive at your customer’s home.
- Stand back from the door and politely remind them that once you start they can stay in another room and leave you to it.
- If you normally check every radiator, on this visit, don’t wander around their home. Ask them if there are any problems with a specific radiator and only check that one.
- If you use a mobile or device to record your work, don’t ask them to sign it, add a note stating no customer signature and record their name. If you use paper, don’t give them your pen to sign the paperwork.
Tip 4 – Your workload will be reduced over the next few weeks (or even a couple of months), so treat now as if Summer has started early.
Boilers will still break down, they still need servicing (to keep the warranties) and they still need to be replaced.
So if that work is not carried out now, it will happen as the restrictions start to relax.
All the jobs that would have been booked will need to be completed at some time. And, as the next few weeks pass, most customers will get bored with the restrictions and want to get on with stuff.
BUT, don’t rely on customers calling you.
Go through your previous work and customer list and see if there are any customers who need a service, then give them a call to remind them.
Also, take advantage of these quiet times and get your accounts up to date, create a list of your existing customers, be proactive, tidy the van, anything to keep you from sitting indoors and getting into the habit of watching Jeremy Kyle.
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Tip 5 – Don’t Panic!
You are in the enviable position of providing a service that cannot be ignored, everybody needs heat and hot water and boilers will still break down.
Work with your existing customers, call, email or text them to let them know you are still working and available to help.
And if you have a website make it clear on the site (on every page with a pop-up or section near the top) that you are open for business and don’t forget your social accounts (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter etc.),
In times like these, as I said at the beginning, COMMUNICATION IS VITAL!