Remember last month we talked about you becoming the ‘go-to” guy? That generated quite a bit on interest in my e-mail box with questions of how. Well it really is not that difficult, if you try. We talked about the articles that are available to you and how they can assist you. Hopefully, you went to one of the various trade shows in the past few months, I hope. So now you have some of the newest ideas out there to give the correct answers, correct?
Being technicians, it seems that we have an amazing drive to help people. Did you ever notice how many technicians volunteer their time at hospitals, for ambulance work and firefighting? Look around. You’ll see what I mean.
We have an overwhelming desire to help others, and it actually may have influenced us with our choice of career. Can you think of any other reason we would give up the winter time holidays? Do you think it’s because we like being called out of bed, at an ungodly hour of the night, to fix someone’s heating system. We do it so they will be comfortable and to make them happy. It is not for the money as some think because I can certainly think of a lot of ways to make more money, or at least the same, and have a ‘normal” lifestyle. No, I think we do it simply because it needs to be done and we want to help.
That being said, have you ever noticed that when a customer asks you a question, you have an almost uncontrollable urge to give an answer, even if we are unsure the answer we are giving is correct? Go ahead, think about it. Does it ever happen to you, to your helper or the person who answers the phone back at the office? We need to give an answer; hopefully it is the correct answer.
If you don’t know the right answer, why not tell the customer that there is more than one answer to their question and you want to make sure you give them the best possible solution. Ask them if it’s OK for you to get back to them. I have never had a customer say no. This will give you an opportunity to find out the right answer. In our ever changing industry it is impossible to know all the answers. Don’t Assume you have all the answers, Search out the correct answer and that will lead to Knowledge. If you noticed, that last sentence means ASK.
Ask someone who has the answer! Be it the service manager, the manufacturer’s representative, the technical people you saw at the trade show or the tech support person at the factory. For you younger technicians just starting, it might even be that old grey haired (if he has any hair left) technician that has nothing in common with you. Talk to him, you might gain a lot of knowledge. The trick is to know the correct person to ask, and that person will be quite willing to give you the answer. Once you know the answer, your job now is to remember it. As Ralph Waldo Emerson 1803 – 1882 in one of his essays says, ‘Make the most of yourself, for that is all there is of you.” In making the most of ourselves, we need to keep up on the ever changing industry that is ours. Simply ASK.
Another old timer was a man by the name of John Locke. No, I don’t mean the actor on the TV show ‘LOST,” but John Locke, an English pholosopher, who lived from 1632-1704. That was well before even I started in the oil business. His thinking that relates to us is summarized in his words ‘The improvement of understanding is for two ends; first, our own increase for knowledge; secondly, to enable us to deliver that knowledge to others.” You see, this idea of gaining knowledge and using it to share with others is nothing new. We simply are doing what scholars have been doing ‘ for a long time.
Once you get to the point where you are sharing your knowledge with your fellow workers, you are well on your way to being that ‘go-to” guy. Once your customers realize that you are sharing with them the correct information, you will become a very wanted technician and that leads to more satisfaction. Also, you become more valuable to the company.
As usual, keep the e-mails coming; I truly enjoy hearing your stories, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Until next month, see ya.