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Don’t Forget About Your Office Staff

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Doesn’t it seem like contractors are all too concerned with their technicians, and seem to overlook their office personnel? The office personnel is just as important as the technicians, if not, more so. The technicians may be the face of the company, but your office staff is the voice and personality of your company. They are the ones that keep the business rolling smoothly behind the scenes and keep everything in order. The office personnel may consist of dispatchers, secretaries, office managers, sales personnel and service managers. Depending on the size of your company, you may have 10 office employees or just one employee doing it all. Regardless of how much office staff you have, this is the first point of contact for your customers. Your customer’s first impression about your company lies in the hands of your office personnel!

When most people think of office staff, they usually envision someone who answers the phone, makes appointments, files away paperwork, etc. While all that is true, there is so much more that goes into running an office smoothly and effectively, such as dealing with an unsatisfied customer, technicians, and demanding bosses. This is why it is just an important to make sure you have quality employees inside your office, as well as outside in the field.

As a contractor, you should want to employ people who will have your business’ best interest in mind. It’s always great to have an organized person on staff, who will make sure everything is always filed away and well organized, but what good will that do if they are not able to handle the stresses that come with the job. A great office personality for a contracting company is someone who can both keep the office organized and interact with your customers in a respectful manner. I know, it can be tough when you have to deal with irate customers, but this is an issue that comes up in every type of business. It’s always great when you get those customers calling in about how great their experience was with your company. We all enjoy those phone calls, but every now and then you can expect to receive a phone call from an unhappy customer. This can be for any reason, ranging from pricing to the technician, but it should be handled professionally and respectfully. Just remember that the customer is not upset at you, but at the situation. It isn’t personal.

It’s also important to have an office employee who can communicate efficiently and effectively with the technicians. They are responsible for dispatching them to their service calls and job sites, and making sure that they arrive on time. Sometimes technicians can be a little difficult to deal with, because they are out in the field and it’s hot (or cold)! I usually have to remind myself of this. I’ve learned that the best thing to do is to always communicate with them and to check up on how they are doing. Just being a little courteous to your technicians can go a long way! They will be more open to let you know where their time frame stands so that you can relay any delays to your customers. This is a win-win situation, because everyone is informed.

The office staff is a key part of your business and very important to the success of the company as a whole. When looking to fill office positions, always look for the candidates that possess the traits that best reflect what your company stands for and expresses your mission in the HVAC industry. It’s also a great idea to show your current staff how much they are appreciated for the role that they play in the company. It can be easy to overlook just how hard they work because they are sitting inside in front of computers and aren’t doing any physical labor. The mental stress is just as exhausting. When the office personnel feels appreciated, it creates a great environment to work in and will extend out to the technicians in the field. The happier everyone is, results in better customer service and happier customers. At the end of the day, it’s the customers we need to keep our business’ functioning and growing.

Maggie Rodriguez
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Posted In: ACCA Now, Management, Opinion

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