One of the most critical positions in any residential service company is the Service Manager. Whether this is for your HVAC, Plumbing, Sales, or Electrical team, the essential elements of a successful Service Manager remain the same.
You have your job description down, you think you know what you need—you might even already have some applicants applying to the job —but what are the fundamental key elements to ensure that you hire the right candidate?
A key requirement for any Service Manager is the ability to motivate a team. The ability to do this well comes with a specific type of personality. Think of them as the captain of a team. Service Managers with the most success tend to be natural leaders. In other aspects of a Service Manager’s day-to-day, they might need to know the technical aspects of the job; but in this regard it is not necessary to have a background in the industry. We have seen many great Service Managers lead a team to exceed KPIs because they know how to lead people, not because they once were fantastic technicians themselves. A good Service Manager can help technicians set challenging but doable goals, and then provide the roadmap on how to achieve those goals. Finally, good Service Managers provide inspiration, guidance, and encouragement along the way. The individual that does this well is good at it because they genuinely want to see their technicians succeed.
We regularly hear from our clients about how important it is to have technicians who follow proven processes. The Service Manager is the ringleader in this effort. Good Service Managers have strategies that work and will make technicians incredibly successful, as well as help them to meet or exceed their goals. It’s up to the Service Manager to communicate these processes effectively. Communication—including follow-through when things aren’t done well or praise when they are—is an essential part of getting your team to make and exceed their personal goals, enabling your different departments to surpass their budget numbers.
The task of establishing and maintaining a culture of inclusiveness and teamwork is also up to the Service Manager. They are the ones that create the team energy as a whole unit, and they let everyone know that the company has the team’s back. They are the team’s voice when a situation arises that owners need to address, including processes that can be improved upon or inequalities that exist. Implementing a decisive, fair, and open management style can open their team up to creativity, cohesiveness, and ultimately team success through collaboration and unity.
When a situation requires confronting conflict, a good Service Manager should not shy away. Avoiding conflict is a recipe for disaster for any Service Manager. With most cases, it is either a coachable moment or a time to address deficiencies head-on. For Service Managers, sometimes just listening to a technician’s issues is all it takes to handle and deescalate a problem. Having the Service Manager taking the time to manage each technician with weekly or bi-weekly one-on-one meetings is something we have seen in many of our residential service clients. This allows for constant communication, coaching, and getting ahead of any issues.
Mentoring and training can come from the Service Managers themselves, or they can be the conduit to the company’s training. All of our clients not only offer continuous training, but they also put a significant emphasis on it with one day a week for sales training and another day open for technical training. The Service Manager’s role here is to foster the inherent nature of those that want to learn by allowing them to ask for specific training and to help with time management in order to participate.
Hiring a Service Manager for your residential service business isn’t an easy task. Hiring someone who is a natural leader, an effective communicator, a mentor and coach, and a person who is comfortable with conflict, are some of the most important factors to consider.
Enlisting Work With Your Handz to help hire your next Service Manager is the easiest way to ensure a successful hire in the quickest time possible. Work With Your Handz has hired Service Managers for clients nationwide and is proficient at spotting the required knowledge skills and abilities. Let us help you find this integral position that can be the key to your success.