In a service environment, it often happens that a technician gets promoted to a service management position because of excellent technical skills. Unfortunately, that troubleshooting and service expertise isn’t the only skill set someone needs to be an effective service manager.

If you’re into looking at things from a numbers perspective, here are the percentages regarding successful service management:

People Skills………..85%            Technical Skills……….15%

The way I see the numbers above is that they’re a reversal of what it takes to be an effective technician who is running service calls every day and providing customer service. So, yes, a newly appointed service manager has some people skills, but they need training and information above and beyond their experience level of personal interaction from a customer service perepective. Without some kind of guidance, someone who is new at service management often winds up vacillating between being a pushover or a tyrant, depending on the situation at hand and their level of frustration at the moment….especially if they are supervising a group of former co-workers.

What to do?…..I suggest developing a plan for taking or starting over that shows that, as a supervisor, you’re fair, but firm; that you’re not a tyrant with a complete lack of respect for those who report to you, but you’re not a Casper Milquetoast either.

One perspective on this is: The Three Memos

Like any aspect of leadership, this will take courage on your part, and you can expect to get a variety of reactions from the people you supervise, mostly because they’ve never experienced supervision from this perspective. The three memos have a direct and to-the-point format and leave no doubt as to your level of commitment to doing the best job you can do as a service manager, and they leave no doubt that you expect the same level of commitment from your people.

The subjects of the three memos are:

1. What I Stand For

2. What I Won’t Stand For

3. What I expect From You

With these three memos carefully and thoughtfully prepared, and handed out in the order above at your next meeting, you’ll be on your way to making that 85/15 transition to effective service managment. I’ll discuss the specifics on what can be in each of these memos next time.

Jim

Learn from yesterday…..Live for today……Look forward to tomorrow

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