When to Hire Service and Install Managers

Know Who to Hire and When.
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Let's look into the world of hiring front line leaders for your home service crew. There are two major hires for the front line– we're talking install managers and service managers. They're the magicians who work directly with your field technicians, all in the name of boosting revenue, keeping that gross margin happy, and crafting a five-star experience for your customers.

Hiring for these roles usually goes down when you hit that $1.5-2.5M revenue mark. We made our move at $2.5M, but, truthfully? We struggled a bit. Our first manager lacked that revenue drive and coaching mentality. Lesson learned.

How to Hire: External vs Internal

Where do you start when it comes to hiring service and install managers? The question is a matter of internal versus external hiring.

Internal Promotion:

The most important part to acknowledge here is that promoting a new front line manager is NOT a promotion from a technician role. It is a career change. Going from an individual contributor like a technician to a manager of people is a completely different skill set and 90% of folks are unable to make the leap.

Pros:

  1. Company Familiarity: They know your business.
  2. Cost-Effective: Saves time and cost compared to external recruitment.

Cons:

  1. Limited Perspective: Might lack fresh perspectives from the outside.
  2. Stagnation Risk: Potential comfort zone, hindering new ideas.

External Hiring:

I 100% recommend doing this for your first couple of major hires.

When you begin your search, your goal should be to hire an experienced service or install manager. If you're a business gearing up for your first or second manager, bring in someone who's rocked that role before.

It's like having a cheat code for business growth – you’ll find faster expansion comes with the experienced hire.

Pros:

  1. Fresh Ideas: New blood brings innovation and a different viewpoint.
  2. Industry Experience: External hires may bring killer strategies from past roles.

Cons:

  1. Onboarding Time: Takes time to get acquainted with your company.
  2. Cultural Fit: Risk of not syncing with your team's vibe.

Duties

Now, their duties shift depending on service or install.

Service Managers:

  1. Customer Experience: Ensure each service interaction is positive and tailored to the customer's needs.
  2. Average Ticket Boost: Upsell during service calls, suggesting additional services to increase the average ticket.
  3. Conversion Rate Focus: Develop strategies to convert inquiries into booked services through effective communication and showcasing value.

Install Managers:

  1. Reducing Callbacks Through Training: Ensure installation teams are well-prepared and trained to minimize errors and callbacks.
  2. Efficiency Focus: Streamline operations by ensuring teams have the right equipment, materials, and a clear plan for each job, boosting overall efficiency.
  3. Job Closeouts for Customer Satisfaction: Orchestrate job closeouts to ensure customer satisfaction and tie up loose ends for a positive lasting impression.

Accountability Check

How do you know your front line leader is killing it?

Look at the numbers – revenue per tech, gross margin, and those glorious reviews for their department. A dream team usually consists of 8-10 technicians – that's the sweet spot.

These front line leaders in trades or home services play a crucial role in ensuring smooth operations and turning customers into loyal advocates.

What it all comes down to is growth and scalability. A good service or install manager should increase your revenue significantly when they’re smashing their KPIs. This is how you get to the next level.

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