March, 2022 | iRestore Restoration Software

3 Ways Restoration Management Software Helps Build Customer Relationships

restoration management softwareWhen working in the restoration industry, customer service is essential to be successful. Customer service for restoration project workers and managers might include; developing a restoration plan that fits the needs and expectations of the client, handling questions, concerns, or complaints, showing empathy for damages and losses, communicating the status of the project, responding to issues when they arise and following up with client satisfaction. Customer service can encompass a number of situations and issues in business. Whatever the situation may be, customers feel more satisfied with the work that was done and the overall end result when they feel like they received valuable in-person interactions, with their restoration company, and satisfied customers should be the number one priority for restoration companies.

Restoration Management Software And The Customer Experience

There are ways to meet your customers’ expectations but if you want to stand out in your industry, you really need to go above the standard of expectation. iRestore is committed to helping restoration business owners manage their businesses successfully and that includes the customer relationship. Our restoration management software is designed to do so many things that can improve the internal workings of your business AND optimize the customer experience.

Here are 3 major ways that iRestore’s restoration management software can help promote an attentive and detailed customer relationship and help you succeed in your business.

  1. Get to know your customers. Understanding who you are working for and with, what their situation is, what their expectations are, and what they value will help you make sure your restoration work is tailored to their specific needs. Be prepared with answers to the most frequently asked questions, and when meeting with the customer for the first time be sure to ask what their specific desires or requirements for the restoration project are so you can make sure your plan aligns with their desired outcome. The more you get to know the customer, the more trust you build with them which means the more satisfied they will be once restoration is complete. The restoration management software allows you to keep notes for your contacts, contact them at the press of a button, and optimize your relationship with other professionals working on the job.
  2. Show empathy for the customer and their situation. Dealing with restoration is a high-emotion and high-stress job. Customers are often completely overwhelmed and devastated by the damage done to their homes and belongings, so being able to show empathy, compassion, and understanding for their situation is so important. Putting yourself in their situation and treating them how you would want to be treated when dealing with a disaster will help you to greatly improve the relationship you develop with customers and the service you are able to provide. Be mindful of this and use the restoration management software to provide quick follow up emails or phone calls and manage notes so that other techs on the job are filled in with all the information they need before they arrive on-site, and
  3. Provide prompt and accurate answers to customers’ questions. Most customers have not experienced a property disaster before, so it is natural for them to have questions, concerns, and feelings of stress related to the job. Using the restoration management software can help you lay out a plan for your customer so that they know what to expect, who to expect and when to expect it.

While these 3 tips may seem simple, they can make a huge impact on the customer service you provide. iRestore’s restoration management software makes it easy for business owners and their employees to pull up detailed information from their phones, ipads, or on the computer and to relay information to customers quickly and accurately. Request a demo today to learn more! 

How to Train Someone From Outside or Inside the Restoration Industry

employee onboarding
March 3, 2022. Lisa Lavender M.T.R., M.F.S.R., M.W.R.

Hiring outside the industry brings fresh ideas to your organization. It is a necessity for overcoming labor shortages and has many other advantages like avoiding the need to overcome bad habits that sometimes come with experience. You have a clean slate to train. So, now what?

Over the years, I have been asked the how and what of training a new person. I know everyone who has asked this question wants an easy answer like, “Send them to water restoration technician (WRT) training and then send them to ‘X’.” My answer typically involves me walking them through a simple series of questions.

Training a new person for success is not quite as simple as we may want. However, it can be simplified. When approached deliberately and applied consistently, setting up a new hire for success can be done and produce desired outcomes for both the company and employee. The first tip is that it should be a part of a developed on onboarding program. Are you on board with employee onboarding?

Next, I present the idea of a personalized learning path. In the context of the workplace, it is best defined as the “Learning Paths Methodology,” which, since 1993, has been applied as an employee training approach. It is touted as reducing time to proficiency by more than 30% in every case, across employees of diverse roles. As Learning Paths International explains, “A Learning Path is the series of learning activities that go from day one to proficiency. These activities include formal training, practice, experience and more.” The three principles of the employee training methodology include: 1) Learning as a process – not an event – extending beyond the classroom, 2) Knowing and doing are different things, 3) Training should be by design rather than by accident.

Learning paths provide a transparent and deliberate approach to the training process. At Restoration Technical Institute (RTI), the concept is a cornerstone to how we help companies with their training programs. Identifying gaps and needs helps individuals and companies achieve their goals. It is a basis for our development of curriculum so that needed resources are available and accessible. You can learn more about learning paths and other training technology at Learning Today with RTILearning.com.

Steps to Develop Personal Learning Paths for Training Success

  1. Determine the training objective. What is the desired outcome? You can approach this a few different ways. As you build the plan, keep in mind the complexity of the path will be based on the individual, their capabilities and limitations, as well as the desired outcome. Examples:
    1. By task: Fire structure clean, extract water
    2. By key function: Run a water loss, schedule coordination
    3. By job title: Project manager, lead technician
  2. Identify skills and experiences needed to meet objectives. It will be challenging to develop an effective training path if there is no clarity regarding the skills and experiences required for the objective. In “A New Tech Under Your Wing,” one of the tips calls for the use of a training guide or matrix. The matrix will allow you and your team to consistently apply a specific set of desired skills and proficiencies. It can also be a tool for the trainee to engage and have clarity on the requirements.Be sure to capture all the training necessary: Technical skills, soft skills, computer, software, equipment, products, safety and other specific company processes, etc. A brief example for a lead technician may have these elements:
    • Perform the following on water losses > 5,000 square feet
      • Calculate equipment and layout drying plan
      • Map and monitor
      • Remove baseboard, cove base, insulation, drywall
      • Set up equipment
    • Lead and supervise a crew of up to five people
    • Proficiency in using company software
    • Ability to communicate progress, changes and meaningful information to property owners
    • Completed on-the-job training by successfully engaging in:
      • Clearly defined experiences
      • Use of equipment/products/other
    • Account for company-specific training requirements that may include but are not limited to:
      • Standard operating procedures
      • Software and systems
      • Formal and informal processes
  3. Inventory the skills of the individual. An inventory of the skills and capabilities the individual has may be determined by a combination of the following: Previous job experiences, credentials/certifications/degrees, assessment testing, skillful interviewing, etc.
  4. Determine the training and experiences required. This can be viewed as a mathematical equation: Skills needed – skills present = training needed.  An example of this may be an estimator from outside the industry who came to you with experience equivalent to the skills needed in sketching a building. Sketching may be a skill required for the position of the estimator, and this was accounted for in the individual’s inventory.
  5. Path the training and timelines. Now that we know what the training needs are, we can lay them out, correlate timelines, and facilitate a path based on the individual and the criteria established.
  6. Celebrate and recognize the milestones along the path. A learning culture and engaging the new person on their training journey is of great importance. It encourages everyone to celebrate and support each other’s learning and growth.
  7. Review and adjust the path, if necessary. The idea is to make this personalized for the learner while meeting all company objectives. As an example, you may have pathed a water technician to learn to extract > set equipment > monitor > basic demo. As the learner progresses, you may notice that the monitoring and math may not be the best next training step after learning to set equipment. You then adjust and change the path to basic demo.
  8. Celebrate the outcome! Following a basic system of training in your company will help you achieve consistency and positive results.
RTI learning path
Photo credit: Restoration Technical Institute

As you develop your systems to train people from outside or inside the industry, the learning path method will bring you success. The following is a short list of some of the things needed to help you effectively and efficiently deploy:

  1. Budget: Training is an investment in our most valued asset, our people.
  2. Assignment of responsibility: The company must support the responsibility of managing, deploying and pathing the team’s learning initiatives.
  3. Apprenticeship and team: Have a defined expectation and the tools to measure the outcomes of field training. Other team members should be engaged in applying a consistent and positive approach to on-the-job training.
  4. Resources and tools: Like everything else in this industry, there is a constant evolution of technology and resources. This makes the delivery and management of training easier than ever before. According to an article in Small Business Trends, 98% of planned to use eLearning by 2020.  

May using Learning Paths bring you much restoring success.

 

Originally published here https://www.randrmagonline.com/articles/90014-how-to-train-someone-from-outside-or-inside-the-restoration-industry