Clone Me.

It was a hot summer day in Florida and our A/C broke. While I have my favourite A/C guy – let’s call him Kevin – and two of his cell phone numbers plugged in my phone, I did not expect him to pick up. At the same time as I was speed-dialing his number, I was already impatiently googling “broken A/C tampa, FL” on my computer. I was also already preparing excuses as to why it was OK for me to abandon this guy who always did great work for me – just because I was sweating and wanted this problem to go away.

Whoever will answer the phone first and get to my house wins… right? In todays world where patience is measured by the speed of the internet – I am entitled to get things right away; or at least know when my A/C will be fixed. When you ask for answers these days, what you will usually get from the A/C guy will be, “Well, I just have to clone myself.”

It today’s ever-changing technology, the keys to making automation work for your business are to select suitable devices and software for your industry; while also seeing the opportunities that already exist and using them in new ways. Technology must help you get the job done efficiently. The bottom line is that technology has to work for you – not the other way around.

You are used to performing office-related tasks in the field on your mobile devices without going to your office. You are able to schedule the supply deliveries, equipment and contractors without ever setting a foot on the job site. The challenge is quickly finding “what is next.” What else can you automate and make work faster? What will give you that edge as the market is flooded with super expensive equipment… that you don’t have the money in the budget or storage space for. The answer: look back to your customer to find out what really matters to your business, solving the problems of ordinary people with a broken A/C.

I just want somebody to pick up the phone and tell me it will be OK and my A/C will be fixed tomorrow, and it will not cost me my arm and leg.

Kevin picked up on the first ring, and to my surprise just as my google search results were loading. He asked me if the second A/C was working, and if we were ok to sleep downstairs for one night. He explained that he would be over first thing in the morning. It felt as if about a thousand pounds was lifted off my shoulders, I closed my browser and the house suddenly also felt “cooler” just because I knew Kevin will take care of it. I felt special that Kevin picked up on a first ring. He is my superstar! Until the next A/C problem, that is.

No, he did not clone himself.

Kevin is in high demand, usually with a three week wait for installation, and he has his hands full all the time. So you are probably wondering, “How did he respond so quickly?” So did I. When Kevin arrived the next day, the answer was obvious right away. Kevin had a smart watch. Unlike most people who just get smartwatch to check Facebook and to look cool, he was able to see the true potential of this wonderful technology. He is a clever guy, and he also knows that not picking up the phone will make a difference whether or not he will get the job, and hiring an additional “receptionist/organizer” is not in his budget. Now no matter where he is he can simply answer his phone through a voice command on his smart watch and talk to an irritable, sweaty, impatient, and entitled person like me. When the phone rang he was actually in a dark and hot crawlspace pulling ductwork under a house.

Kevin was able to solve a problem with existing technology solutions, and that is making a whole lot of difference to his customers.