One Tech or Two?


In service-based industries, uncertainty often emerges for companies that send out technician crews: Should technicians work alone or in pairs? This seemingly elementary question can carry significant implications for a business, from financial profit considerations, customer satisfaction, and long-term growth. The answer isn’t just about manpower but also the broader impact on business operations.

When digging deeper into this topic, I spoke with an expert in managing crews, Steve Toburen, director of training for Jon-Don’s Strategies for Success (SFS) program and founder of digital training company Home Front Success. He shared some thoughts any company sending out crews should consider.

“I’ve seen it both ways,” said Toburen. “Companies send one tech, two techs. It’s easy to say, ‘Send two techs,’ but let’s address the gorilla in the room right away: Sending two technicians will increase your labor costs per hour. Can you justify it?”

Can you justify the cost of two techs?

Is a lead tech combined with an assistant, with the added costs, a solid financial decision? While the financial aspect is undeniably essential, Toburen highlighted a crucial factor that often goes unnoticed: the homeowner or customer.

For the average homeowner, opening their door to a service technician can be a disconcerting experience. Having two professionals on-site might reduce their uneasiness and create a more comfortable environment. This sense of security can significantly influence a customer’s willingness to leave a five-star review, which, in turn, can only improve the reputation of the company.

Toburen acknowledged the counterargument that businesses exist to get the job done efficiently, regardless of whether it’s one technician or two. “That’s a valid point,” he agreed. “However, having two people on the job can increase production efficiency while one technician engages with the customer, builds rapport, and explores additional service options. This often covers the cost of the second technician.”

Beyond customer comfort, morale and technician well-being come into play. The physical demands of in-home service work, often performed by younger technicians, can lead to boredom and burnout when working alone. A companion provides companionship and an opportunity for learning and mentoring.

These are just a few ideas outlined in the interview. Watch it in full below:

Jeff Cross

Jeff Cross is the ISSA media director, with publications that include Cleaning & Maintenance Management, ISSA Today, and Cleanfax magazines. He is the previous owner of a successful cleaning and restoration firm. He also works as a trainer and consultant for business owners, managers, and front-line technicians. He can be reached at [email protected].

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