Some technicians, and some service company owners, are of the opinion that consumers don’t care about certifications; that all they are interested in is getting their equipment fixed and getting it fixed at the lowest price possible. Well, no doubt there are some consumers that fit that profile, but, as in any situation, painting everyone and everything with the same broad brush is, to put it simply, just not the right way to go.

To look at this fairly and with a common sense approach, consider the idea that consumers actually fit into one of two fundamental categories. They are either shoppers, or they are customers.

What’s the difference between the two?

A shopper’s primary focus is price. A customer’s primary focus is value.  And that, as they say, is all there is ’cause there ain’t no more.

So, the shopper fits the profile of a consumer who doesn’t care about technician certification (though, when pressed, will likely admit to being caring about technician competency) and their primary concern is getting service or repairs accomplished at the lowest possible price.  Why does a person take this approach? It might be that they just don’t have the funds in the form of cash, money in their checking account, or via a credit card to pay for professional service. Or, it may be that they believe that the above is true when it actually isn’t. Whatever the case, there’s no reason to spend any more time thinking about this type of consumer. Instead, focus on consumers who fit into the customer category, someone who understands that what they want is a good value for their money spent.

A customer does care about technician certification. Certainly, they won’t have a complete idea of what it takes for a technician to earn a certification, but they understand the basic concept of certification and they will, by nature consider it a benchmark of credibility. For example, if they notice that the technician who has come to their home to service their air conditioning system has a NATE (North American Technician Excllence) patch on their shirt, they may ask what it stands for. And, they’ll likely accept the explanation without questioning whether or not it is credible.

They won’t think to ask “So what is this NATE? Are they an organization that the state or federal government oversees in order to make sure that the certifications they grant are the real thing?” 

Or, they may not even bother to ask what the letters stand for, or for any explanation of any kind, simply assuming that it must indicate that the technician is competent and will be able to get their system up and running again because, after all that’s what they agreed to pay for when they called a reputable service company.

The point is, yes, customers do care about technician certification, not just the lowest price possible for a repair.

Jim

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