What's a "true professional"? Installers please critique...! (1 Viewer)

bhelms

Thread Starter
"Wannabe Retiree"
Lifetime Supporter
Feb 26, 2006
7,788
843
Central PA
Hello, all! I don't know if this has been done before. If so, maybe it's time for an update. Moderators - If you have a problem with this, I'll understand - just let me know why!

I see so many installation "horror stories" in these forums, and the posts in those threads allude to related situations others have suffered through. I see only a few compliments or "good installation" stories, but there should be more of this latter. Perhaps there is a means to that end!

I thought it would be a worthwhile exchange to see what the consumers think are the elements of "true professionalism", and I hope the folks who have to make a living in this increasingly low-margin business will counter with a "reality check". It's tough to make a buck in this business these days, but IMHO, it's equally tough for a true professional to look at himself in the mirror knowing that he's had to cut corners and do less than his best. Tough choice!

I am NOT a professional installer of satellite receiving equipment, but I have done my own installations and helped with several others. I have seen the work of many installers, mostly after-the-fact. I WAS a professional installer in the security (alarm) business which has a similar consumer base that requires similar on-site installations and third-party service, and I have a lot of retail sales and general customer service experience. Thus I think I have a pretty well rounded idea of "true professionalism" in this context. I just want to see what others think.

To all you true professionals out there - my hat is off to you! I believe most of you want to always do your best in any given situation and will always go to most reasonable extremes to satisfy a customer. I realize there are some customers (I probably met most of them at one time or another!) who will NEVER be satisfied no matter what you do. Your perseverance in those difficult situations is appreciated by at least some of us! (Perhaps an installer will follow this thread with one about "The Customer from Hell"...!)

Given all that...

IMHO, "true professionalism" comprises a competent installation that strictly conforms with all prevailing codes and regulations (antenna locations, electrical grounds, etc.), that reflects "good workmanship" practices in all areas of concern (proper tools and incidentals, drip loops, sealants, etc.), that achieves maximum or best-compromise performance from the connected equipment (tested and adjusted, etc.), and - within reason - meets subscriber expectations.

Here are some extras that others may put into the "wow" category, but that I also consider part of routine true professionalism.

The true professional installer:

1) Arrives on time (in the "window") or makes an attempt to contact the customer of any ETA change;

2) Is cordial, and makes an attempt from the beginning to communicate with the customer. (In my experience, part of this is to confirm the extent and expectations of the installation from the get-go! The rest is just being friendly!);

3) Presents installation options to the customer when any exist and explains his preference/reasons for one vs. another, if any;

4) Does the best possible job to hide wiring and equipment that does not need customer intervention;

5) Removes all debris he created during the installation or disposes of it in an appropriate manner, regardless of the condition of the environment. This would include vacuuming-up sawdust, removing boxes, etc.;

6) Does not eat or smoke, etc. on the job site without first gaining an OK from the customer, and if he does, removes all traces;

7) Makes sure he does not track in any dirt from outside, leave doors/windows open, let pets out, etc.;

8) Makes an attempt to confirm the customer's level of comfort with the equipment and installation and takes time to demonstrate, explain, etc. This is also the time to confirm that the customer is satisfied with the installation itself and correct (if possible) anything that's in question;

9) NEVER "badmouths" the competition or is condescending about prior work that is not up to his standards. (I know this one is contentious! It's difficult for an installer to explain why he'll have to replace a substandard installation that the customer will probably have to pay for, but there are PC ways to do this!);

10) Mediates with any off-site providers who are also part of the service and makes the effort to fully understand the customer's side of any issues in order to try to represent the customer's perspective with those providers;

11) Appreciates that the customer's time is valuable too, and;

12) No matter what - THANKS the customer for his business when he is sure the job is done correctly!

And a professional who is proud of his work, that knows he did his BEST job (given any compromises that had to be explained/managed), and who would be happy to showcase that job in an interview with prospective clients, should also be happy to ask that customer for referrals!

This last piece - more than anything else - tells me that a contractor on my premise and taking my money from me (directly or otherwise) believes he has done his best!

We may not always agree on what that "best" is however - and that's what this thread is all about.

So is this reasonable stuff? I was trained by one of the best, and 30 years after the fact I still run into customers who remember who we were and what we did for them! And many want to know if we're still in the business. All I can say is - Thanks...
 

dragon002

SatelliteGuys Pro
Mar 7, 2005
2,656
0
DONORA PA
bhelms said:
Hello, all! I don't know if this has been done before. If so, maybe it's time for an update. Moderators - If you have a problem with this, I'll understand - just let me know why!

I see so many installation "horror stories" in these forums, and the posts in those threads allude to related situations others have suffered through. I see only a few compliments or "good installation" stories, but there should be more of this latter. Perhaps there is a means to that end!

I thought it would be a worthwhile exchange to see what the consumers think are the elements of "true professionalism", and I hope the folks who have to make a living in this increasingly low-margin business will counter with a "reality check". It's tough to make a buck in this business these days, but IMHO, it's equally tough for a true professional to look at himself in the mirror knowing that he's had to cut corners and do less than his best. Tough choice!

I am NOT a professional installer of satellite receiving equipment, but I have done my own installations and helped with several others. I have seen the work of many installers, mostly after-the-fact. I WAS a professional installer in the security (alarm) business which has a similar consumer base that requires similar on-site installations and third-party service, and I have a lot of retail sales and general customer service experience. Thus I think I have a pretty well rounded idea of "true professionalism" in this context. I just want to see what others think.

To all you true professionals out there - my hat is off to you! I believe most of you want to always do your best in any given situation and will always go to most reasonable extremes to satisfy a customer. I realize there are some customers (I probably met most of them at one time or another!) who will NEVER be satisfied no matter what you do. Your perseverance in those difficult situations is appreciated by at least some of us! (Perhaps an installer will follow this thread with one about "The Customer from Hell"...!)

Given all that...

IMHO, "true professionalism" comprises a competent installation that strictly conforms with all prevailing codes and regulations (antenna locations, electrical grounds, etc.), that reflects "good workmanship" practices in all areas of concern (proper tools and incidentals, drip loops, sealants, etc.), that achieves maximum or best-compromise performance from the connected equipment (tested and adjusted, etc.), and - within reason - meets subscriber expectations.

Here are some extras that others may put into the "wow" category, but that I also consider part of routine true professionalism.

I AM GOING TO ANSWER FOR MYSELF AND NO OTHER INSTALLING TECH. I DONT KNOW HOW TO CRACK APART A POST AND HIGHLITE SEPREATE POSTS,SO HERE GOES.

The true professional installer:

1) Arrives on time (in the "window") or makes an attempt to contact the customer of any ETA change;

CORRECT. ON THE OTHER HAND, OUR WINDOWS ARE 8-12 AND 1-5. SO DONT ASSUME THAT YOU ARE THE FIRST PM APPT. WE CAN ARRIVE TO INSTALL ANYTIME BETWEEN 1-5 TO START THE INSTALL. WE ARE ONLY ALLOWED TO GIVE OUR FIRST AM APPT A FIRM HOUR OF ARRIVAL.

2) Is cordial, and makes an attempt from the beginning to communicate with the customer. (In my experience, part of this is to confirm the extent and expectations of the installation from the get-go! The rest is just being friendly!);

CORRECT

3) Presents installation options to the customer when any exist and explains his preference/reasons for one vs. another, if any;

CORRECT, I ALWAYS GIVE THE SUB AT LEAST TWO DISH LOCATIONS.

4) Does the best possible job to hide wiring and equipment that does not need customer intervention;

THIS ONE IS OPEN TO VARIABLES, EXPLAIN THIS.

5) Removes all debris he created during the installation or disposes of it in an appropriate manner, regardless of the condition of the environment. This would include vacuuming-up sawdust, removing boxes, etc.;

VACUUMING UP DUST? IF I BROUGHT THE EQ I WILL PUT THE BOXES IN YOUR GARBAGE CANS, IF IT WAS SHIPPED TO YOU, I WILL PUT THEM ALL TOGETHER ON YOUR PORCH.

6) Does not eat or smoke, etc. on the job site without first gaining an OK from the customer, and if he does, removes all traces;

I NEVER SMOKE, EAT OR EVEN USE THR BATHROOM UNLESS IT IS VERY URGENT.

7) Makes sure he does not track in any dirt from outside, leave doors/windows open, let pets out, etc.;

AND HAVE YOUR PETS PENNED UP OR LOCKED IN A ROOM IM NOT GOING TO BE IN. PLEASE REMOVE ALL LITTER BOXES. YOU MAY LOVE FLUFFY, I HATE CATS, AND DONT WANT TO DEAL WITH DUKE.

8) Makes an attempt to confirm the customer's level of comfort with the equipment and installation and takes time to demonstrate, explain, etc. This is also the time to confirm that the customer is satisfied with the installation itself and correct (if possible) anything that's in question;

BY ALL OF OUR CONTRACTS, YOU HAVE 20 MINUTES OF LEARNING TIME, IT STARTED NOW.

9) NEVER "badmouths" the competition or is condescending about prior work that is not up to his standards. (I know this one is contentious! It's difficult for an installer to explain why he'll have to replace a substandard installation that the customer will probably have to pay for, but there are PC ways to do this!);

A GIVEN......UNLESS IT WAS VOOM:devil:

10) Mediates with any off-site providers who are also part of the service and makes the effort to fully understand the customer's side of any issues in order to try to represent the customer's perspective with those providers;

WE ARE STRICTLY FORBIDDEN TO ACT AS A LIASON IN ANY DEALINGS BETWEEN YOU AND DIRECTV AND ITS RETAILERS.

11) Appreciates that the customer's time is valuable too, and;

A GIVEN

12) No matter what - THANKS the customer for his business when he is sure the job is done correctly!

AND YOU THANK THE TECH

And a professional who is proud of his work, that knows he did his BEST job (given any compromises that had to be explained/managed), and who would be happy to showcase that job in an interview with prospective clients, should also be happy to ask that customer for referrals!


I ALWAYS LEAVE MY BUSINESS CARD WITH, MY CELL, FAX AND ALTERNATE E-MAIL, THE NUMBERS OF THE COMPANY I DID THE INSTALL FOR AND DIRECTV.

This last piece - more than anything else - tells me that a contractor on my premise and taking my money from me (directly or otherwise) believes he has done his best!

I ALWAYS DO MY BEST. HELL IT ISNT FOR YOU, THE FIRST SERVICE CALL I HAVE TO GO BACK AND SEE YOU AGAIN ....FOR FREE ....WHEN YOU ARE ANGRY.

We may not always agree on what that "best" is however - and that's what this thread is all about.

So is this reasonable stuff? I was trained by one of the best, and 30 years after the fact I still run into customers who remember who we were and what we did for them! And many want to know if we're still in the business. All I can say is - Thanks...



SO WHAT IS MY GRADE???
 
Last edited:

bhelms

Thread Starter
"Wannabe Retiree"
Lifetime Supporter
Feb 26, 2006
7,788
843
Central PA
Not bad Dragon002 - we have a lot in common...

PS - If I'm the customer and the tech does a job matching a lot of the above - I'd give him a $20 - $50 tip I guess, my way of saying "thanks" and something I rarely saw in my old line (a LOT of ingrates out there), but that's a story for another day...
 

chadzx11

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jan 28, 2006
1,190
0
memphis
1) Arrives on time (in the "window") or makes an attempt to contact the customer of any ETA change;

Again, windows are 8-12 and 1-5. I tend to put service calls, service changes, and redflags (jobs that were missed by someone previously) on top of the list. My dispatcher will call if I am pushed behind, though.

2) Is cordial, and makes an attempt from the beginning to communicate with the customer. (In my experience, part of this is to confirm the extent and expectations of the installation from the get-go! The rest is just being friendly!);

I introduce myself and ask to be shown the areas where I will be working, and where the equipment is to be installed. Its always fun to ring a doorbell and be greeted with "who the hell is it" or--or to be left standing out in the cold b/c someone isn't dressed when you knew I was coming, probably before I did, since most days I don't get workorders until the day of.

3) Presents installation options to the customer when any exist and explains his preference/reasons for one vs. another, if any;

I take a good look around, and then ask where you want your dish. Then we can talk about what it takes to make it happen.

4) Does the best possible job to hide wiring and equipment that does not need customer intervention;

I prefer stealth installs, but I can't make everything invisible. I have to ground it some kind of way.

5) Removes all debris he created during the installation or disposes of it in an appropriate manner, regardless of the condition of the environment. This would include vacuuming-up sawdust, removing boxes, etc.;

I do not carry a vacum cleaner.....

6) Does not eat or smoke, etc. on the job site without first gaining an OK from the customer, and if he does, removes all traces;

I eat between jobs, IF I eat, and I don't smoke at all, period.

7) Makes sure he does not track in any dirt from outside, leave doors/windows open, let pets out, etc.;

I will take my shoes off, if I feel comfortable doing so, or if I am muddy. Critters should be locked up. The next dog that bites me gets stabbed, and the owner gets sued. I have a scar on my ass and one on my ear from worthless mutts with puppies. Its not fun getting you ear sewed back together in an emergency room. Just because your beloved worthless little mutt hasn't ever bit anyone--well it doesn't mean they won't.

8) Makes an attempt to confirm the customer's level of comfort with the equipment and installation and takes time to demonstrate, explain, etc. This is also the time to confirm that the customer is satisfied with the installation itself and correct (if possible) anything that's in question;

I was a training NCO in the Marines, thus, I perform a Period of Instruction, during which I stop repeatedly to ask if there are any questions. I start at the top of the remote and work down. I'm not teaching this for me. I know how to use the damn thing. The least you can do is pay attention. When people roll their eyes at me (and it is usually old ladies--the exact ones who need to be listening to me), it makes me want to poke those eyes out.

9) NEVER "badmouths" the competition or is condescending about prior work that is not up to his standards. (I know this one is contentious! It's difficult for an installer to explain why he'll have to replace a substandard installation that the customer will probably have to pay for, but there are PC ways to do this!);

I don't bad mouth the competition because I have the competition. I install E*, but I wouldn't become one of their customers for all the gold in fort knox.

10) Mediates with any off-site providers who are also part of the service and makes the effort to fully understand the customer's side of any issues in order to try to represent the customer's perspective with those providers;

Please note that I did not promise you a free DVD player, so don't get pissed at me for not bringing it (one guy claimed he was supposed to get a $700 ebay gift certficate). I do not know WHO you ordered your satellite from, that is your responsibility. I'm a contractor. Anything told or promised to you by one of E* retailers is between you and them. I can put you in touch with E*, but I don't have a dog in this fight, so my name is bennet, I ain't in it. :D

11) Appreciates that the customer's time is valuable too, and;

Those same customers need to realize that they are not the only people on earth. I'm taking care of my current customer's first, THEN we can deal with new connects.

12) No matter what - THANKS the customer for his business when he is sure the job is done correctly!

I always thank my customers.

And a professional who is proud of his work, that knows he did his BEST job (given any compromises that had to be explained/managed), and who would be happy to showcase that job in an interview with prospective clients, should also be happy to ask that customer for referrals!

My employer wants us to get referrals. I refuse to take part in this, because I hate telemarketers, and I would be some kind of pissed if one of my friends sold me up the river for a referal credit. I wouldn't do that to my friends, and I won't do it to yours. If you want a referral, get a club dish card and leave me out of it, please. Tips? I've been offered jobs while out in the field. I just might accept the next one that comes along. :D
 

Doctor Bob

SatelliteGuys Pro
Nov 22, 2003
566
0
Riverside, California
bhelms said:
I thought it would be a worthwhile exchange to see what the consumers think are the elements of "true professionalism", and I hope the folks who have to make a living in this increasingly low-margin business will counter with a "reality check". It's tough to make a buck in this business these days, but IMHO, it's equally tough for a true professional to look at himself in the mirror knowing that he's had to cut corners and do less than his best. Tough choice!

You've really addressed most of the issues that a true Professional will follow in all of the Installation Trades. What makes the problems in the field intensify, is the poor attitude that the Consumer has towards the Installation Tech, plus they expect everything for free, just because the salesperson forgot to qualify the Customer.

Because you stated that you "HAD" been in the Security installation business, I'm sure that you realize how that business is no longer worthy of serious consideration. Neither is the Satellite Fulfillment Industry, worthy of serious consideration.

When our Client has been properly qualified, and they have shown that they respect our knowledge and craftsmanship, then and only then do we start the job, and everything is smooth sailing.

When we run across the person(s), who is not mindful or respectful of paying for what they are getting (No Free Work) we politely back away, and do not even consider doing any work for them.

You did an outstanding job of outlining the what the "Real Pro" will do, and the only thing you left out, was the fact that most of (80%) of the people in the fulfillment part of the business, can't be professionals yet, because they are just beginning to be trained, on how to be "A Real Professional"... Great Job BTW!!!
 

str8poolbanger

SatelliteGuys Family
Feb 16, 2005
110
0
Johnstown, PA
Excellent posts, and I will surely take some of the things said to the job sites with me tomorrow. Although I am a "newb" in this industry (9 months), I was a previous owner of a cellular store, and my pr skills are above those of a normal person, I tend to defuse situations with hostile customers.

Again thanks for the words of wisdom, and I can only hope that what I take from this thread will truely make me a better technician.

Thanks :up
 

Doctor Bob

SatelliteGuys Pro
Nov 22, 2003
566
0
Riverside, California
Thanx Dragon, and I know that the few good Techs, like yourself, that are left in the "Fulfillment" part of the business, will help the new guys like str8Poolbanger, because we want to help them, not because we have to... LOL
 

Van

SatelliteGuys Master
Jul 8, 2004
9,316
1
Virginia Beach
The one thing that makes it hard for some of the points to be met is the workload and drive time a tech faces these days. As all companies both sat and cable are pushing harder to gain subs this gets transvered over to the techs by way of a set amount of points, a set amount of jobs per tech, a set amount of jobs per van, and all of this that must be met per day.

For instance, my employer requires 80 points be completed by each tech each day, 3.31 jobs completed each day, per van its 2.75 jobs per day. Now this is where it gets a bit sticky, jobs are allocated to each facility based on now many techs are on the roll call, so if there are 10 techs then there are jobs for 10 routes. Now lets say that the company has hired 4 trainee's, now there are 4 additional routes that are added to the daily quota but on 10 vans and 10 techs that can be assigned to do this work so that mans that these 10 techs must pick up the extra work. Now where a tech may have went out with 4 jobs and 80 units he will head out with 92 - 112 units and 5 - 7 jobs, the above situation can happen if say 1 or more techs call off sick or are on vacation.

Lets look a bit further now, the minimal amount of time on any job is 2 hours based on points, max so far as I know right now is 7 hours so I will try to break it down the best that I can.

0 - 12 units = 2 hours single tuner swap, deinstall, trouble call, service call, remote drop off, D1000 upgrade, must carry

13 - 18 units = 3 hours Single tuner install, service call,

19 - 22 units = 3 hours 40 mins dual tuner swap / add on, single/dual tuner install, superdish upgrade,

23 - 28 units = 4 hours 20 mins Superdish single tuner install, D500 3 tv install various tuners, superdish upgrade + dual tuner

29 - 34 units = 5 hours D500+wing 1 - 2 tv install, D500 4 room install, Superdish 2 - 3 room install, D1000 + 2 - 3 rooms

35 - 40 units = 5 hours 40 mins Superdish 4 room

41 - 46 units = 6 hours 20 mins Superdish 4 room + wing dish

47 - 52 units = 7 hours Superdish + wing dish + 5 - 6 rooms with cascading if superdish with no wing dish

In some situations now a work order will incorporate multiple work orders such as a superdish upgrade with an add a receiver, most of the time on work orders like this a tech will also have to relocate one or more of the existing receivers to complete the add on of the new receiver and the time frame associated with the work order will be reached or may not be enough depending on the situation.

On top of the time associated with an individual job order there is also the issue of drive time/mileage and this can easily equal 4 hours a day or as much as 300+ miles. Please understand that Im not trying to make excuses for a bad tech but I am trying to show that there are right here two issues that have a considerable impact on a techs day, aside from these two issues there are all the others that you will hear up here on these boards from the techs about the homes we work in, the people we meet at these homes, and all of the situations that are associated with them not including the weather.

Most techs are hard pressed to do a good job, we do want to do it right the first time and make it look good as well, as a tech I can tell you that we arent out to ruin your home and leave the work looking like it was a drive by install.
 
Last edited:

bhelms

Thread Starter
"Wannabe Retiree"
Lifetime Supporter
Feb 26, 2006
7,788
843
Central PA
Keep it up !!

Doctor Bob said:
Thanx Dragon, and I know that the few good Techs, like yourself, that are left in the "Fulfillment" part of the business, will help the new guys like str8Poolbanger, because we want to help them, not because we have to... LOL

Guys - Tks for the dialog - that's exactly what I was hoping for! Let's see if any of the consumers see this as an eye-opener.

Dr. Bob - Tks for the kudos. Yeah, that part of the security business has degraded to the quantity vs. quality side. There was never much money in the installation part, only in the recurring part (monitoring and maintenance agreements, etc.) so the only way do make a buck now is with the "drive-by" 3-a-days, to hell with quality. Glad I'm not part of that anymore...

str8poolbanger - good luck in the biz - seriously. Hope you can get established and won't get too discouraged. As Dr. Bob said - we're here to help (I'm hard-pressed to include myself in this talented and experienced group since I'm not in this business...)

Now let's see if anyone wants to describe the "customer from hell...!" Being forewarned is an important asset. How does one go about qualifying the client in advance if D* or E* didn't do it? Seems like that is very much a key for success in this business!

BRgds...
 

Doctor Bob

SatelliteGuys Pro
Nov 22, 2003
566
0
Riverside, California
It's easy to spot the "Customer from Hell"... LOL

When the hair, on the back of your head stands up, you know that you are about to get into a fist fight, or you are about to be had, right??? Well then, just explain to that customer, that you forgot that you have a mercy errand to run, and refer another "Installer" to them... RONTGLMAO.....
 

Doctor Bob

SatelliteGuys Pro
Nov 22, 2003
566
0
Riverside, California
BTW, you are right Van, pretty soon, you guys in the cable world, will have effeciency experts following you around, like the USPS does... RONTGLMAO.... You need to start looking for the "Magic Bullet", because the only guys that will be left will be the trainees...
 

Van

SatelliteGuys Master
Jul 8, 2004
9,316
1
Virginia Beach
Doctor Bob said:
BTW, you are right Van, pretty soon, you guys in the cable world, will have effeciency experts following you around, like the USPS does... RONTGLMAO.... You need to start looking for the "Magic Bullet", because the only guys that will be left will be the trainees...

Already there, have been for a while now.
 

wobbie

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jul 22, 2004
569
0
Pint well made Van. That's why I recommend the local retailer or dealer and for the consumer to do research. Most people will look into any other project being done to their home, but satellite TV heck any 800 number or website will do. I charge a trip charge for a service call then proivide an estimate when I get there. been on a few where I just tell the customer they need to call the original installer or installation company and they have NO clue who tey were or where they were from.
 

dishcomm

SatelliteGuys Master
Nov 29, 2005
10,377
540
suburbia
bhelms said:
Hello, all! I don't know if this has been done before. If so, maybe it's time for an update. Moderators - If you have a problem with this, I'll understand - just let me know why!

I see so many installation "horror stories" in these forums, and the posts in those threads allude to related situations others have suffered through. I see only a few compliments or "good installation" stories, but there should be more of this latter. Perhaps there is a means to that end!

I thought it would be a worthwhile exchange to see what the consumers think are the elements of "true professionalism", and I hope the folks who have to make a living in this increasingly low-margin business will counter with a "reality check". It's tough to make a buck in this business these days, but IMHO, it's equally tough for a true professional to look at himself in the mirror knowing that he's had to cut corners and do less than his best. Tough choice!

I am NOT a professional installer of satellite receiving equipment, but I have done my own installations and helped with several others. I have seen the work of many installers, mostly after-the-fact. I WAS a professional installer in the security (alarm) business which has a similar consumer base that requires similar on-site installations and third-party service, and I have a lot of retail sales and general customer service experience. Thus I think I have a pretty well rounded idea of "true professionalism" in this context. I just want to see what others think.

To all you true professionals out there - my hat is off to you! I believe most of you want to always do your best in any given situation and will always go to most reasonable extremes to satisfy a customer. I realize there are some customers (I probably met most of them at one time or another!) who will NEVER be satisfied no matter what you do. Your perseverance in those difficult situations is appreciated by at least some of us! (Perhaps an installer will follow this thread with one about "The Customer from Hell"...!)

Given all that...

IMHO, "true professionalism" comprises a competent installation that strictly conforms with all prevailing codes and regulations (antenna locations, electrical grounds, etc.), that reflects "good workmanship" practices in all areas of concern (proper tools and incidentals, drip loops, sealants, etc.), that achieves maximum or best-compromise performance from the connected equipment (tested and adjusted, etc.), and - within reason - meets subscriber expectations.

Here are some extras that others may put into the "wow" category, but that I also consider part of routine true professionalism.

The true professional installer:

1) Arrives on time (in the "window") or makes an attempt to contact the customer of any ETA change;

2) Is cordial, and makes an attempt from the beginning to communicate with the customer. (In my experience, part of this is to confirm the extent and expectations of the installation from the get-go! The rest is just being friendly!);

3) Presents installation options to the customer when any exist and explains his preference/reasons for one vs. another, if any;

4) Does the best possible job to hide wiring and equipment that does not need customer intervention;

5) Removes all debris he created during the installation or disposes of it in an appropriate manner, regardless of the condition of the environment. This would include vacuuming-up sawdust, removing boxes, etc.;

6) Does not eat or smoke, etc. on the job site without first gaining an OK from the customer, and if he does, removes all traces;

7) Makes sure he does not track in any dirt from outside, leave doors/windows open, let pets out, etc.;

8) Makes an attempt to confirm the customer's level of comfort with the equipment and installation and takes time to demonstrate, explain, etc. This is also the time to confirm that the customer is satisfied with the installation itself and correct (if possible) anything that's in question;

9) NEVER "badmouths" the competition or is condescending about prior work that is not up to his standards. (I know this one is contentious! It's difficult for an installer to explain why he'll have to replace a substandard installation that the customer will probably have to pay for, but there are PC ways to do this!);

10) Mediates with any off-site providers who are also part of the service and makes the effort to fully understand the customer's side of any issues in order to try to represent the customer's perspective with those providers;

11) Appreciates that the customer's time is valuable too, and;

12) No matter what - THANKS the customer for his business when he is sure the job is done correctly!

And a professional who is proud of his work, that knows he did his BEST job (given any compromises that had to be explained/managed), and who would be happy to showcase that job in an interview with prospective clients, should also be happy to ask that customer for referrals!

This last piece - more than anything else - tells me that a contractor on my premise and taking my money from me (directly or otherwise) believes he has done his best!

We may not always agree on what that "best" is however - and that's what this thread is all about.

So is this reasonable stuff? I was trained by one of the best, and 30 years after the fact I still run into customers who remember who we were and what we did for them! And many want to know if we're still in the business. All I can say is - Thanks...

Only thing I can add is the tech should clearly demonstrate the basic functions and proper care of the equip and ask cust if there are any questions before he leaves the job....Other than that you've hit it right out the park!
 

dishcomm

SatelliteGuys Master
Nov 29, 2005
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suburbia
dragon002 said:
SO WHAT IS MY GRADE???
I guess you have some points I missed ..i agree with most of what you wrote.....Except I don't look for thanks..I really don't care ..the other thing is I do my demo after the job is complete..Most people get in about ten mins..Some will hand the remote right back to you when you tell them to "push the guide button"...
I do not hold the custs hand..If they didn't research the product that's not my problem...
I like to say I do a dollars work for a dollars pay....My work is neat and and of the highest standards..Old habits from my P* days,......P* had rules for their rules...
I will hide cable under vinyl siding if I can or will go thru the crawlspace rather than the exterior of ther home if again I can...
That's that
 

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