Sears Blue Service Crew Technician Ride-Along!
When paired with a Sears Blue Service Crew technician for a full day of shadowing, my appreciation of the work that they do each day grew immensely. I found myself looking at how both our jobs are related. I am an online Sears Community moderator, reaching out to resolve issues and concerns for our members and customers.
For my first ride-along, I had an enlightening experience with Mark, a Sears Blue Service Crew technician who specializes in ranges, dishwashers and microwaves. Mark has been with the company for 36 years and is one of the most respectful, kind-hearted technicians I have ever met. Mark lives outside of Salem, OR and commutes over 30 minutes each day to work.
Most people have dealt with a technician in one way or another. Whether it being a dishwasher repair, refrigerators or even lawn and garden repairs, we all want our appliances fixed correctly and in the first visit. Mark’s philosophy when going on each service call is “treat others as you want to be treated”. I have heard this saying all my life and I too try to live by it.
In starting our morning, I asked Mark when they get their service schedule for the day. These technicians do not get to pick and choose which service calls they get for each day. Their schedules are made the night before and at times, yes, they can request to re-service a repair at a customer’s home if they choose to.
- Our first service call was to install a part for an LG microwave. This specific appliance is on its second repair with the replacement of the control panel. Before heading out, Mark contacted the customer to make sure that they had the part (when the parts are ordered that they are delivered to the customer) and to let them know that he is on his way.
- Upon arrival, we are shown to the kitchen. Mark asked specific questions on error issues (was ordered by another technician) to double check what needs to be repaired before adding the part. Once completed, he ran multiple operations on the microwave to make sure that all is working properly. The customer was then asked to participate in an optional, quick three-question survey to rate Mark’s performance during the service.
- Our next service call was for an LG dishwasher. This dishwasher is a yearly check-up that the customer is to call in and get set up. Before servicing the dishwasher, Mark asked the customer if they had any issues before getting started. They had none, but did have issues with their range for which repairs were just estimated by another company. He did not hesitate and walked directly to the range asking what issue they were having with it.
- Error codes were displaying during self-cleaning of the lower oven and the estimation given was for a new motor. Mark instantly realized that it was not a motor issue, but a latch issue where the oven was not closing properly. After consulting with the customer, a part was ordered to fix the issue as well as a discount for the additional appliance repair.
- We left for another dishwasher repair, this time a Kenmore. Upon arriving and viewing the dishwasher, Mark realized that the wrong part had been ordered for repair. Luckily after checking on his computer, he realized that he had the part needed within his service van. After retrieving the part, he proceeded to ask customer when the last checkup had been on their dishwasher. As Mark waited for a reply, he also pulled up the customers account to check on the service background of the appliance. As they are both in agreement, he began fixing the broken part, and continued to take it apart for cleaning.
- As parts are being removed, Mark is precise and looks at all parts. He soon realizes that the silverware basket had holes and proceeded to order a new one for the customer, making them aware to not put silverware into that slot. It was even more surprising to see all the things that get caught up inside and I can see how it can wreak havoc in the cleaning process. Especially in seeing plastic and paper items stuck in the bottom. Upon completion, Mark told the customer to use vinegar once a month to help in cleaning the filters.
- The next service call was for another dishwasher, this time a Frigidaire. This call stands out the most as I was able to see a language barrier as well as a policy issue. The appliance needing repair was for a home being sold on the market.
- The part was repaired and while checking to make sure it was running properly, Mark noticed it was leaking through the water line. Upon further investigation Mark was able to let owner know that there was a rodent issue. Chew marks were seen on the previous repaired part and also noticed on the water hose line.
- Mark informed the owner of this issue and the owner left the home to purchase the traps. The hose line was repaired easily but another issue emerged, the water was not draining properly. The owner returned and Mark showed them where and how to place the traps. While putting one trap under the sink, it became clear why the water is not draining properly. A new garbage disposal had been installed, but the hole had not been punched out to hook up the dishwasher line.
- As our Sears Blue Service Crew technician explains what needs to be done with the garbage disposal, the language barrier becomes more pronounced. Mark showed the owner what needs to be done to fix the issue as this is not a service that is provided due to liability issues. The owner was instructed to call a plumber if they were unable to do the repair themselves.
After leaving the home, I asked Mark about dealing with propane or gas when installing or repairing appliances. Technicians are not able to work with propane or gas due to policy and liability issues.
Riding with Mark was a very enlightening experience. I was able to listen to calls being made to customers, parts handling (repairing and ordering), customer communications, routes and the survey process.
I can see easily see how obstacles can crop up during these service calls. Once you arrive to your destination, it can easily turn into much more than what you were called out for.
My respect has grown for this department, as they too are dealing with quite a few of the same issues, questions and concerns that we online moderators deal with in the MySears and MyKmart Communities. The only difference, we are online while they are always out and about, helping our customers. - Wendy