What does ASAP mean? Sure, everyone knows ASAP stands for “as soon as possible,” but what exactly does that mean when you’re unsure of the context? For example, if a mechanical contractor says, “We’ll start the job ASAP,” does that mean they’re going to drop everything and start working on it that very moment, or will they put it on a list of assignments and tackle it as soon as they get to it next month?
Mechanical Services and Communication Breakdowns
Using assumptive or imprecise words can lead to miscommunication. This is especially true when these words are used planning the precise jobs mechanical contracting requires. In the example above, a contractor may appear to over-promise or under-deliver the job start, depending on the way in which the customer interpreted the message. That’s why TMS makes the effort and takes the time to understand precisely what mechanical solutions a client needs and ensures the customer understands exactly what we will provide.
When dealing with mechanical services, be on the lookout for vague words such as “about,” “almost,” “like,” “basically,” and “beyond,” as well as unclear terms like “if time permits.” If a customer tells a contractor to do something if time permits, the contractor needs to ask how long they actually have to complete the assigned task. Being clear up front about the time involved will avoid confusion and the possibility of disappointment down the line.For example, if you seek mechanical services “sometime next week” and a contractor tells you, “No problem, I’ll be there next Friday,” that could be a problem if you actually need him to come out, assess the situation, and provide a price quote for the work by Tuesday.
An astute mechanical contracting company will check its calendar and precisely pin down a time: “I’ll be there Tuesday at 2 p.m.” If the time doesn’t work for the client, it’s then much easier to arrive on one that does work for both parties.
Be Precise on Mechanical Contracting
Precise communication is key throughout all stages of mechanical servicing. After you’ve hired a contractor and he’s assessed the problem, you’ll likely ask if it can be fixed. The last thing you want to hear is “I’ll do my best,” because that doesn’t definitively answer your question (besides, you assume the contractor will do his best regardless). Similarly, a contractor shouldn’t preface his reply with “to tell you the truth,” since that implies he hasn’t been honest with you all along.
Proactively Prepare a Strategy
Life is unpredictable. You can’t stop a tornado or schedule a flood, but you can have a Plan B or Plan C in place. But to do this you have to have all the facts—and that requires sound communication.
If you need a piece of equipment or a part that’s being shipped in from overseas, you can’t control the variables and make customs go faster. However, you can have your contractor find out what the lead time is and what the worst-case scenario is so you can troubleshoot a strategy.
This will be more helpful than having a nebulous reply such as “there’s always hope” when things don’t proceed as expected. While that may seem positive, it’s actually counterproductive. It’s better to know the facts, even if they are bleak, so you can take steps for a solution.
TMS: Thorough in All Phases
Dealing with mechanical problems is challenging enough, so it’s important not to have the situation complicated further with misinformation. When vague abbreviations, words, or terms are used, it’s crucial to recognize, identify, and rectify them by asking for clarification.
TMS employees make it a policy to be clear and succinct when speaking to customers or prospective clients. They’ll reiterate a point — or ask you to repeat something — to ensure all parties are on the same page and no miscommunications are made.
If you’re in need of contractors who are as thorough with their communications as they are with mechanical services, contact TMS at tmsmech.com.