May 06, 2024

The Golden Rule for Operational Excellence with a Service-Technician Business

From my early days working with service technicians (and what it takes to be effective working out of a service truck) to eventually scaling service-technician organizations to national prominence, I have learned a lot about what it takes to maintain operational excellence across different markets. Growth is never easy, but it’s especially difficult when you have a standard of excellence in place. Let us think about it for a moment. Say you run a top-notch Commercial HVAC business in Dallas, TX. Your local team is exceptional, but the challenge comes when you want to bring that same level of service to new markets like Oklahoma City, Little Rock, or Houston. How do you do it without dropping the ball on quality?

Early in my career, I was having dinner with a good friend that had started a business doing facility maintenance, living out of a work truck. He eventually built his business into a nationwide service powerhouse with millions in sales. I asked him for his advice on scaling a service-technician business. His answer was simple, yet profound, and it has become my Golden Rule to every Founder I speak with: "Do what you say you're going to do, when you say you're going to do it.”

This golden rule has become the cornerstone of my philosophy in business operations and growth. Simple? Yes. Easy? Not always. Important? Critically. Here are three simple topics – let us call them “sub-rules” to the Golden Rule to think about:

Be Detailed

Attention to detail is critical when performing service work, both for safety and quality. Whether it is recording the specifics of a job before arriving or ensuring every part of the service is meticulously checked, detail orientation makes a significant difference. It is not just about fixing a problem; it is about providing a solution that is thorough and lasting. Customers recognize and appreciate this, which builds trust and a reputation for reliability. Thinking tech-forward here – and how technology applications can assist – is one of the ways to scale an effective detailed operation.

Be on Time

Punctuality is a non-negotiable aspect of customer service. It reflects respect for the customer's time and sets the tone for the interaction. When a service technician is on time, it communicates professionalism and efficiency. In cases where being on time is not possible, which inevitably happens in any business, the next point becomes crucial.

Communicate Proactively

Effective communication is the lifeblood of customer service. Following the golden rule means if there is a delay, we do not wait for the customer to call us; we reach out first. Informing customers about a delay or a change in plans as soon as possible helps manage their expectations and mitigates frustration. This kind of proactive communication is essential for maintaining trust and satisfaction during growth.

These principles are not important. They are critical. They are the bedrock for every service-technician-based business and essential in maintaining quality as you expand into new areas. Each market presents its own challenges, but the core of successful growth and scale lies in how consistently you can deliver on promises with quality—doing what you say you're going to do, when you say you're going to do it.

It’s simple, but it’s powerful. And in the service industry, it’s everything.

Shawn Koval

SideKick Operators -Vice President, Partner Service

I’ve spent over two decades building, growing, and scaling service-technician based businesses to national brand prominence, meeting some of the most skilled and incredible people along the way. If you’re a founder who is ready to scale your operation, but in need of expertise, strategy, and growth capital, our team at SideKick Operators would love to speak with you. We are a collective of Founders, Operators, and Leaders, with deep roots in the commercial and industrial sectors, who combined our years of on-the-ground experience into a Family Investment Office. United by core values and a shared purpose, our Partner companies have achieved exceptional present-day values, impacting thousands of lives, families, and communities along the way.