Eight Tips To Becoming An Effective HVAC Office AdministratorBy My Service Depot on Tuesday, April 13, 2021
These simple strategies can help you stay on top of anything that comes your way.
Every HVAC office administrator knows their role is integral to the success of their company. If you work in this capacity, it probably falls to you to put out fire after fire and to keep the business running smoothly. And, of course, the unexpected, daily issues you run into always seem to happen right when you were in the middle of doing something else.
Well, you’re in luck! You’re not alone. And, for you and all the other overworked, stressed-out office dispatchers of the world, we’ve compiled a list of eight simple strategies that will make your work life easier.
1. Prioritize your calls.
Is a call best taken now or later? You can’t realistically drop everything on the agenda every time someone needs to have a long conversation with you. If a call will take 45 minutes in the middle of other time-sensitive tasks, ask to schedule a later time to talk. Calls from vendors or companies trying to sell something to your company can be important, but not always as time-sensitive as customer calls. Recognize who you have to wait on and who has to wait on you. A good rule of thumb? Prioritize the people who pay you (your HVAC customers), and make the people you pay (vendors, etc.) work around your schedule. Don’t be rude, but if you get overwhelmed on a given day, tell your vendors when you can make yourself available. You can even make these meetings official with a calendar invite.
2. Schedule time to review your emails.
A business that keeps up steady email communications with multiple clients cannot realistically expect to keep up with every message as they go. Often, your company inbox gets less and less organized over time. Things (including paying customers) can sometimes fall through the cracks. Taking an hour a week to go through and the company email inbox will keep your mind clear, and could help you out if you stumble on an old email you haven’t yet followed up on.
3. Don’t assume one time is enough.
If you’ve worked as an office administrator for any length of time, you’ll likely understand this one. If you’ve just gotten off the phone and have a list of important notes to pass along to the higher ups in the company, you might be tempted to drop off a note on your boss’ desk and consider the issue handled. Unfortunately, such notes often get buried and lost. Even if your boss takes the time to read the note, they may not remember it and follow through on it.
In both the teaching and marketing world, an accepted guideline states that you need to transmit information three times before it really sinks in. Let’s take another look at the note scenario above. After leaving the note, you should send your boss an email about it, then set a calendar reminder for yourself to follow up about the message in a few days. This ensures your boss will actually deal with the issue. Go above and beyond, and you will discover that your coworkers appreciate your organizational skills and general helpfulness.
4. Don’t panic. Putting out fires comes with the territory.
As an office administrator, a big part of your job will involves putting out unexpected fires as they pop up. Learning to calmly handle unexpected emergencies will only make you more capable of handling crises in the future. Knowing who you can go to when you need a helping hand and figuring out how to most effectively grab your boss’ attention when something needs addressed immediately can help you keep a level head and navigate issues effectively. Keep a list of important phone numbers handy for when you need them. The more scenarios and problems you take on and address, the easier your job gets down the road.
5. Pay attention to the office environment.
Always remember; you have a significant impact on your work environment. If your intuition tells you that office morale has sunk, a simple gesture can make a big difference. When things start to deteriorate, plan to have bagels and coffee ready for the office the first thing next morning. Prep the conference room a half hour before an important meeting and have a pot of coffee ready to go a few minutes before the meeting starts. Like it or not, a good office admin occasionally has to play psychologist. Sometimes small gestures can make a big difference in your office culture. When people like coming to work (and like spending their time around the office), everything gets better for everyone.
6. Take the initiative, when appropriate.
Have you noticed a procedure that you could improve? Why not take charge and offer a solution? A lot of times, the powers that be have a good reason for doing things, but sometimes, they don’t. You might be surprised to discover that your business sometimes does things simply because “we’ve always done it that way.” A solution that seems obvious to you may have never occurred to management or your coworkers.
If you see something you feel like you could improve, take it to the parties involved with some actionable suggestions. Remember, no one has the same perspective on the business that you do. This makes you uniquely equipped to solve certain problems. The worst thing that can happen? Someone says no. Even if you get shot down though, management will likely express gratitude for your thoughtfulness.
7. Make your phone calls between 8:00 AM and 11:00 AM.
Studies show that this window doubles as the best one in which to reach people at their desk or office. If you have control over when you make calls, go with the expert advice. Getting calls out of the way early helps you (and your customers) begin the day productively. You’ll love the feeling you get when you get caught up on your calls before lunch starts! (Plus, this leaves the rest of the day to focus on long-term projects.)
8. Keep hard copies or digital backups of important documents.
In today’s fast-paced work landscape, many businesses store vital documentation on a hard drive or in a field service management software system instead of a filing cabinet. However, we still recommend keeping hard copies of important documents with a few well-labeled folders.
If you’ve committed to going completely paperless with an HVAC software system like Smart Service, make sure you keep redundant digital backups of your documents and customer records. (Smart Service offers the backup service Smart Backup for this express purpose.) Redundant hard drives or cloud backups will preserve your company data in the event of a technical failure, fire, flood, robbery, or other disaster.
Recognize that small changes in strategy and outlook can have a significant impact on a work environment. When you pay attention to the way you spend your time and take steps to work more effectively, you may find that many of the difficulties associated with your job as an office administrator will become streamlined.