One of the most important aspects of the service industry is also the one that is not given due importance-Quality Control.
One of the first remarks that a small service business entrepreneur is likely to make when questioned about Quality Control is that all the products that he offers undergo rigorous Quality Control measures and therefore, he is adhering to all stipulations.
It is exactly such an approach towards Quality Control that:
a) Stops small entrepreneurs from becoming the big players
b) Stops small entrepreneurs from becoming profitable and sustainable
Quality control in the technician business is not only about the equipment but also about the personnel. If a company with a team of 10-20 technicians is not able to effectively put in place Quality Control measures, it could lead to either poor customer relations or lower retention of employees.
So in the 21 st century when competition is on the rise and ineffective or poorly received services can take away your entire customer base in mere days, how do you address personnel related Quality Control in a business model that primarily relies on field-service?
During the induction period, it is imperative that the technician realizes that his job is much more than fixing broken appliances. The PR aspect of the job, the ability to get honest feedback and the importance of continuous learning should be made known at the very onset of his tenure.
Even though a technician is on the field, he does need to know how the office works. Managementn trainings organized at least annually achieve two important goals-
a) It gives the technician a 360 degree view of the operations and acclimatizes him towards a business-like approach to his job.
b) Retention rates increase as employees see the possibility of an upward mobility in their career graph.
Using the model of secret shoppers, it is not a bad idea to throw in a few ‘secret’ repair calls that can help you gauge the level of performance of the technicians. The objective is to understand where the technician needs more training and hand-holding and is to not a reason for punitive measures.
What is the primary purpose of Quality Control? While the essential definition might remain same across all business models, its application differs according to the context.
For a field business, Quality Control not only is a way to ensure optimal customer relations but is also about productivity. Only when you eliminate the glitches, can you establish a model that runs smoothly with very rare misfires.
This is where development of timelines to monitor technicians’ productivity is a good idea. Through timelines, you can not only see the amount of tasks finished by each technician, but also gauge high and low traffic time zones and build a delivery model accordingly.
Feedback is the most important element of Quality Control. It is always a good idea to invest some time, effort and money into the development of the best feedback model. By taking the help of experts, your feedback can be honest, authentic and lead to actual deliverables.