Pictured above, left to right: Geoff Conatser / Lenexa; Repairing condenser water leak on cooling tower; Justin Koerner / Lawrence/Topeka;Taking Amp Readings on a 25 Ton AAON rooftop unit during preventative maintenance; Gary Jones / Lenexa; Looking for R134A refrigerant leak on a Leibert data room cooling unit; Kenny Hines / St. Joseph; Installing 3-ton split system
For many P1 customers, our service technicians are the face of P1. They are the people taking care of service calls and preventive maintenance, out on the front lines with our customers every day.
The service department currently has 130 service technicians across the six P1 offices who provide mechanical, plumbing and electrical maintenance and repair services to a multitude of customers.
“Service techs have the opportunity to build a long term relationship with the customer. We are constantly going into the same building and working with the same people,” Mitch Campbell, Vice President, Service Topeka, said.
Customer service is just one of the many important aspects of being a service technician. The spectrum of duties for a service technician is extensive.
A service technician:
When equipment failures are addressed in a timely manner and the technician has good communication skills, a relationship of trust is developed. Since a technician may be in front of the customer time and time again, they ultimately become the face of P1.
The technicians also develop a sense of ownership with the customer. They want their work to be correct, they want to give the customer the best possible service, and they will go above and beyond to do so. They are willing to work extra hours during the evenings and weekends, if that’s what it takes.
“One thing people do not see in a technician is their tenacity. They are fighting a piece of equipment and they are committed to winning the battle.” -John Hilbert, Lenexa Service Manager
In addition to any previous experience or training, they must go through the five year apprenticeship program through the local union.
During their apprenticeship, they are paired with experienced journeymen who can help train them while they get valuable field experience. Upon completion of the program, they must keep their training current by getting at least 6 hours of continuing education every year.
To address these technology changes, the P1 Technical Training Program was developed to support the technicians’ efforts to enhance their skill set and provide opportunity for continuing education. Many of these classes are taught by P1 service technicians who are experts in the field.
“Depending on the customer and the situation, service techs may be walking into a hornet’s nest,” John said. “People are uncomfortable or they have machinery or systems shut down and they want it rectified right now. You learn how important it is to make your customer happy.”
“Regardless of the size of the problem, anytime someone’s air conditioning is not working and you walk in and fix it, you have saved their day,” John added. "You just fix it and don’t really think of yourself as someone’s hero.”
But often to our customers, that’s exactly what our service techs are.