Veteran’s Day

Veterans Day makes all of us take at least a few moments out of our busy lives and think about the incredible job that our military men and women do for our country.  Giving years of their lives and putting themselves in harm’s way to defend the United States is a tremendous sacrifice, and I think individual citizens and businesses need to do whatever they can to thank our veterans for what they have done for our country.  Here at SharpLine Electric we are very much in favor of seeking out and hiring veterans as part of our team because they have so many qualities that make for great employees. Folks who have been through the highly demanding life and training of military service have so many character qualities we look for, from the ability to orderly handle instructions and respecting the importance of making sure paperwork and all job materials are handled in an orderly fashion. I like to say that if someone has the people skills and the communication abilities, then we can teach them all the technical abilities they need to be a successful electrical technician. Military service is such a potential plus for us when we’re searching for a new hire that we strongly encourage veterans to make a point to highlight that on their application and resume when they get in contact with us. Our most recent addition to the SharpLine team served in the Navy before joining us and we have been so very pleased with his level of dedication and ability.  Todd came on board as a member of our standby generator division and is a motivated member of the team and someone who knows what it takes to get a job done right.  He has done a fantastic job of upgrading our generator service department and has brought a wealth of experience to SharpLine.  We’re glad to have him here, and hope we can bring more veterans onto the team as we continue our expansion into the San Antonio market in 2017.

San Antonio, Here We Come!

As fall arrives it becomes clearer than ever that big changes are in store for all of us here at Sharpline Home Services. That’s because we’re moving full speed ahead with plans to move into the San Antonio market and set our sights beyond our home base here in Utopia. Adding a new service area, especially one that’s more urban and has a fundamentally different kind of customer base, means thinking in new ways and a whole lot of planning to make sure we take the right steps and keep delivering exceptional service to each of our customers, new and old.

On a tactical level, we’re working with Home Advisor to drum up leads on new customers. Our appearance at the San Antonio Home & Garden Show in late September was another important move to expose Sharpline to a large new market.
We will of course keep our home base going full steam in Utopia, but there are plans to open a small San Antonio office for the techs we have there so they can respond to service calls with the same speed we have from our current location. Speed and reliability is another reason we’re also planning on adding two more vehicles to our existing fleet.

Add it all up and that’s a lot of moving parts, but that’s also the way things go when you’re running full speed and growing a business. The San Antonio expansion is something we’ve been looking at for a while and have taken careful steps to plan for. Originally we expected to be up and running there by May, but sometimes Murphy’s Law steps in and you have to deal with the delays and complications that life throws at you. We’re still banging all the pieces together, but fall means the time has come to make San Antonio a part of our daily lives.

Praise Makes a Welcome Treat

Sometimes it’s the things we take for granted that wind up making a big difference to our customers. We aim to give the best service possible on every one of our home installation or repair jobs here at Sharpline Home Services, but it’s always a nice surprise when a customer takes a moment to thank us for the high standards the whole company holds itself to.

I had this happen most recently on a trip to install a generator in Corpus Christi. For us, this was a fairly standard visit during which we make sure to educate the owner on how to use everything properly after the install is complete. But in this case, the customer took the time to check back and thank us because everything went exactly as we said it was going to, and they appreciated us making sure to not disturb their yard even though there were some wet conditions there at the time.

I often get similar comments about our technicians, which is always a nice thing for a business owner to experience because it lets you know that your people are present, listening, and following through on the training they received. It’s also great to pass those kind words on to the techs themselves so they know that they’re delivering exceptional service and making the homeowner feel great in what is most likely a stressful and demanding situation for them. That encouragement ultimately helps them perform their job even better because they have proof that exceptional service matters. It’s especially important for our younger techs to receive that kind of encouragement because it helps them develop confidence in their ability to solve a problem and to engage the customer in the best way possible: on a personal level.

There’s a lot at Stake – Like Steaks – When it comes to Customer Feedback.

It’s always interesting to hear what people think of you when you do business in the home electrician world. Sometimes that means puffing your chest out and passing along congratulations on a job well done, especially on a complicated or expensive fix that could have caused lots of frustration for the homeowner. Other times it means taking a look in the mirror and having an important huddle with the whole team about something that went wrong so we can work as a company to improve and deliver the best service possible.

Here at Sharpline Electric we pay close attention to what our customers are saying about us online on forums such as Angie’s List, Yelp! and other platforms. We encourage them to let us know in any way possible how their experience with our technicians went. That lets others hear about a great experience so they can consider us when they have a need and lets us know if we’re slipping in any way. We also mix in regular follow-up calls as another way to gather feedback about our performance. The most important thing for us to know is whether someone was happy enough with the job we did to recommend us to someone they know in their immediate circle. Since word of mouth is the best advertising possible, achieving that level of satisfaction is a key goal for our business.

Making those calls also helps us make amends and fix what happened to an unsatisfied customer. One great example of this was when, due to a mix up, the breaker for a refrigerator got left off on a repair job for an extended period of time and the food inside started to thaw before it was discovered. Those folks had a barbecue planned but their food was compromised, so we sent them over some nice steaks so they could have the barbecue they had planned. In the end, they gave us their support and said we handled that situation better than they could have imagined and planned on recommending us to people in the future. Of course we never want to have something like that happen in the first place, but hearing from the customer that we handled their situation the right way is one of the reasons why we check back on performance as much as possible.