Tom Piscitelli's T.R.U.S.T.

Sales Byte®

Awkward Moment

I ran a Home Performance Assessment call yesterday (you may call them Energy Audits) and the technician doing the testing noted that his company had replaced the furnace within the last year with a top of the line high efficiency model. He asked me if he should check to see if it was going to be properly sized after any sealing and insulating the customer might be choosing to do.

That was an interesting question. When the homeowner replaced the furnace last season I know the sales person did a load calculation (it’s required for permits) and so I was confident it was sized correctly for the house’s heat loss then but would it be oversized after sealing and insulating? If it were, would it be oversized enough to cause problems such as short cycling on the high limit or excessively high temperature swings? If yes, how would we explain this to the customer? “Well, sir, we weren't aware that sealing and insulating was a proper thing to do last year.” Or how about, “We forgot to mention it was a good idea.” That would be an awkward moment.

Maybe this isn’t a big problem right now but it’s going to be. Homeowners are learning that sealing and insulating is the right thing to do and that it may save more money and provide more comfort than replacing the equipment can. Or they might find out after we replace equipment.

Clearly the right thing to do, the only thing to do, is to make sure we offer home performance remedies every time we replace equipment. Doesn’t that make sense?

Other stories

Sea of Paper by Mark Sims

Ever feel like your organization is drowning in a sea of paper?  Count how many times your organization has to handle a service call from the point the call is taken by phone to when payment is posted to your accounting system… and how much paperwork is generated?  It’s an interesting exercise.  Do the same thing for an installation job!

Now calculate your “administrative” costs per service call and multiply this by the 1000 or so calls per year per service tech.  The cost can be staggering.  Add to this the lack of good flow of information needed to efficiently complete your work and evaluate call and tech productivity. 

Imagine if everyone in your organization was live and instantly accessing and updating the critical data in your system.  Imagine this process flow for a service call verses how you handle a service call today (or a similar flow sales leads and installation scheduling):

  1. Service Call is taken with immediate access to client’s service history, equipment data including warranty coverage, installation history.  The call is put on a shared and real time updated calendar.
  2. Emergency calls are immediately texted to the tech to inform them of a change in schedule
  3. For normal dispatch cycle, tech opens the Dispatch Board on their tablet to obtain their next call
  4. Tech self-dispatches with a click of a button on their tablet to inform all others they are in-route and to send an email to the client letting them know they are on their way
  5. Upon arrival, tech clicks the Start button to notify all they have arrived and are with the client.  Trip Time is automatically recorded for this call and the Call Timer is started.
  6. Tech diagnoses the problem and creates an estimate for client approval (obtains signature on the tablet) based on the built-in Price Book.  Estimated Time of Completion is automatically posted for all to see based on start time and total estimated task hours generated from the estimate.
  7. Tech shows client the benefits of signing up for a Maintenance Agreement (if warranted) using the generated estimate.  If interested tech completes Maintenance Agreement on tablet and emails to client.
  8. If warranted, tech discusses replacing verses repairing with the client and produces a Repair vs. Replace Cost of Ownership Assessment with just a few clicks and reviews it with the client.  If desired emails assessment to client.
  9. Tech completes the required repairs including generating any required linked purchase orders for required parts
  10. Tech directly updates installed equipment information in system
  11. Tech updates the Estimate completed earlier with any required changes and reviews the final bill with the client
  12. Tech collects payment and posts is against the call
  13. Tech sends a Paid Invoice to the clients email
  14. Tech clicks End to notify all of status and automatically calculate the Call Time and compare that to the total Task Hours
  15. Tech completes a quick Debrief on the tablet to review their overall call performance
  16. Tech dispatches to next call and the cycle continues
  17. Service Manager reviews calls from previous day on screen, makes adjustments, reconciles payments collected. 
  18. Accounting syncs data with QuickBooks and makes deposits

Notice that all data is only entered ONCE and NO paperwork is manually filled out.  Plus all data is in the system to provide full history and required management reports. 

Would this be worth it for the initial investment of a tablet and about $1 per day per tech?  TRUST PRO® online offers these capabilities (and many more) as standard features.  For more information and to schedule a Test Drive to see these and all the other features, click here.  To schedule a test drive click on any of the “Sign up for a FREE demo” banners or contact me at or 612-284-5024 x100.

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