Here are few simple questions.
- Are your technicians factory trained on the brand you own? It’s a sad fact that many technicians never receive any factory training or worse won’t go a factory training seminar when it’s offered.
- Are they trained or certified by a post–secondary school or government board? Here in Alberta we have an apprenticeship program which probably the highest standard in North America. Although mandatory, with the current shortage of trained service people, less technicians are in training or have their certificate than you might imagine. Factor in, eighty percent or more of the cost of training is born by the employer, you can appreciate why less firms are training technicians.
- How often do technicians receive training? If it was more than a year they could be seriously behind. No problem if your unit is older than that right? Maybe, but what about the latest fix for your service issue?
- How much experience does your most senior technician have? You may not need the most experienced person on staff but its sure nice know there is someone with the experience to back up the technician on site. Not only that, if your service provider can’t keep qualified professionals or attract them, the answer to the question above might give you a little heads up. If you want to follow that one up. Ask “Do you pay competitive wages to your staff?” Hard one to get an honest answer to, but if their staff is always turning over looking for greener pastures, what can you expect from the person who comes to your door?
- Is you company factory certified? If you want to get all the warranty on your product make sure you have a factory certified service provider. If you want to get full warranty on any replacement parts, make sure you have a factory certified service provider. If you think you may have to get help from the factory, you also will want a factory certified service provider.
- Does the company carry liability insurance? Does the technician? Of course, this is a worst case. Many companies hire contractors if they don’t have insurance, then are you covered? You know, in case the worse happens?
- Are your service vehicles stocked with parts for your brand? Two trips, twice the inconvenience. Many companies require two service calls for every repair and will have a fee to reflect that. The more brands they claim to service the more likely they can’t carry parts.
- Do you warranty your work? If so, how long on parts and how long on labour?
- How much? When you ask this question remember price is one thing value is another. Watch out for really low rates. While there may be a hundred good reasons for a low rate, every company has expenses either they can cover these expenses with factual rates for service, or they have to find some way to cover them that could be both surprising and disappointing.