Ask the Experts
Author: | November 7th, 2023

Should my employees be cross-trained or specialists?

An HVAC contractor in Colorado asked:

What are your thoughts on having service techs double as installers?

“We see that everywhere we go,” said Drew Cameron, president of Flow Odyssey and Contractor University faculty member. “Sometimes the owner is not only the service tech or the installer, but he’s also the salesperson and the book keeper. You’re gonna have that in smaller companies.”

Cameron continued with the perspective that as a company grows, the owner should look to find “experts” in different areas of operation.

“They should be cross-trained for sure, but the key to this is you want installers to know what techs do,” said Cameron. “Sales people should know a little about airflow testing, and your installers should be able to dial a system in the way that it should be operating, which could prevent the service techs from having to come out.”

To Cameron, having more multi-faceted employees will only improve your service and your customers’ experience with your company. If each employee has at least some knowledge of the everyday duties of employees in other divisions, it means problems can be resolved quicker and without needing management to step in.

“What we used to do in my company is give an install person a service call at the beginning of the day and one at the end of the day,” he said. “Whatever it takes to serve, you gotta do it and you gotta have some cross-discipline intermingling.”

Still, Cameron suggests that in an ideal scenario, you have the properly trained professionals handle their own separate responsibilities. “I like to have dedicated people because they can develop a system, a routine and a level of productivity, agency and effectiveness with their craft,” he said.

Drew Cameron is America’s Most Sought-After Sales & Marketing Strategy and Success Advisor to Home Services Contractors and president of both FLOW Odyssey (formerly HVAC Sellutions) and Energy Design Systems, LLC: the premier industry alliance providing leading-edge technology along with complementary marketing and sales consultative support, recruiting, training, and coaching for performance and profit enhancement of Home Services Contactors. Drew is a renowned author, speaker, educator, coach, consultant, software developer, philanthropist, and an International Consultant Award Winner.

Our faculty members have also answered questions on other topics related to sales in the contracting world, including How do you determine when to hire a Service Manager? and at what point do I need to departmentalize commercial jobs?.

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