A Quick-Start Guide to an Onsite Service Call
This morning I posted my latest SOP Video.
There are three pieces to every service call: Before, during, and after.
Preparation for the call involves getting ready to give the client the best service. That sounds obvious, but many people skip some very basic steps. For example, you should print out all the service tickets for that client and make sure that you know everything that needs to be done there - even if you can't do it today. You don't want to be blind-sided by a question and not even know there's a problem.
Side note: This is a great example of why every service provider needs a ticketing system (service board / PSA)!
Of course you also need to gather the parts and tools needed for a successful visit. And you need to dress professionally.
Onsite, you need to follow just a few rules. Like - Don't take the best parking spot. Go ahead and park at the far side of the lot and leave convenient spaces for the client and their visitors.
Also onsite, make sure you say hello and goodbye to the receptionist and your primary contact. Keep them informed about what you're up to and give them the chance to give you additional information. Clients should never feel that you sneek out or disappeared on them. Most of the time they won't have anything important to tell you. But if you always give them the opportunity, then they'll feel that good communication is part of your brand.
One important element mentioned here is the TSR or Troubleshooting and Repair log. See my blog post at http://blog.smallbizthoughts.com/2011/07/sop-friday-troubleshooting-and-repair.html for more details. You should never spin your wheels on a problem for more than about 30 minutes. In other words, if you or your tech are not making progress toward a solution, start the TSR Log. It will help you solve the problem faster, escalate more quickly, and document your work.
After the service call, make sure the onsite checklist is executed. That includes putting time entries in the PSA, including notes about what was done and not done. If new issues come up, new tickets should be entered. If the service manager needs to know something, that should also be noted in the PSA. Appropriate tickets should be closed - onsite, before you leave!
It's very important that you do these things "in real time." This is especially true when you're working as a team. If a tech leaves the client office and all the notes are in the system, this gives great power to the service manager. If the client has to call and ask something about the visit, the service manager will be able to look in the PSA and answer all the client's questions. If the ticket is still open, and there are no notes and no time entries, then the service manager is going to have a bad conversation with the client. In addition to messing up the "real time" goals for your company, it also makes you company look disorganized.
Bottom Line: Create a simple checklist for every onsite visit. Before, during, and after. This is key to your brand.
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View all my SOP videos at www.YouTube.com/smallbizthoughts.
For information on the Managed Services Operations Manual, see www.sop4smb.com.
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