For most, a New Year brings the desire for change. It means re-evaluating your current situation, setting a goal, and then taking action. It’s a time that causes us to reflect on where we are and where we want to go. As a field services technician, what are your New Year professional goals? Where do you want to take your business in 2013 and beyond?
Whether you are a seasoned entrepreneur or are just getting started in your IT career, there are a number of soft skills (i.e., personality attributes) that I have often found with field services technicians who are successful. As you embark into the New Year with specific business goals in mind, here are the top five soft skills that can help you stand out with customers and encourage repeat business.
Know your technology. With technology innovations coming out every day, it’s almost impossible to stay on top of it all. Regardless, do your best to be an expert in your particular area of interest. Is most of your work focused on mobile solutions? Make sure that you stay current with the latest trends and developments in the mobile space. The key is to complement your years of experience with the latest skills to help you navigate the ever-evolving IT terrain.
Set expectations. If a customer expects you to arrive at a specific time (and you have confirmed that you will) but then show up late, it’s not good. Of course, things happen that are out of our control (e.g., there’s an unexpected traffic jam, service event location details are inaccurate…etc…) but if the unexpected happens, then let your customer know as soon as possible. This will not only help prepare your customer accordingly, but also will demonstrate that you are proactively managing the situation.
Be a strong communicator. The ability to manage multiple service events and allocate resources, all while juggling a variety of customer requests requires strong communication skills. While it’s important to be able to effectively communicate what you want to say, it’s also about being a good listener, observer and being willing to ask questions.
Stay positive. No one likes to work with someone who views life with a “glass is half empty” mentality. Instead of focusing on what’s going on with the economy, direct your attention to where you see opportunities and go after them. Are networking skills in hot demand? Make sure you have them and indicate it in your service profile. Are you losing time between service events because you are getting bogged down with important, yet inefficient, administrative tasks? Use a mobile app to help you streamline processes so you can stay productive.
Love what you do. Life as a service technician involves dealing with a wide variety of tasks and challenges every day. It’s important to have the motivation and persistence to keep going even when things get complicated or when problems arise at a job site. If you don’t, customers can pick up on your lack of enthusiasm and choose not to work with you again. If you really care about your work and consistently strive to do your best, you are often called upon for repeat work.
Are these soft skills that you practice on a regular basis? Is there a skill that you would add to the list?