Something has gone missing and I need your help to find it. Unlike most of the things that go missing in my world, this time dog didn’t eat it, my 5 year old didn’t lose it in the bottom of a toy box, and my 12 year old didn’t hide it under the bed. I’ve identified something that is missing from our entire industry: service. Ask any rater what industry they work in. What sort of answers would you get? Home Performance Industry, Construction Industry, Building Science Industry, Energy Efficiency to name a few. But guess what they won’t answer? Service Industry. The term “Service Industry” conjures up thoughts of retail and hospitality jobs. But the term is much broader than that.
Time for a quick review of Economics 101. The Primary Sector of a nation’s economy harvests goods from the Earth. The Secondary Sector manufactures products from those harvested goods. And the Tertiary Sector- also known as the Service Sector or Service Industry- is not about producing goods. Instead, it is an exchange of the worker’s knowledge or time. These are not just bartenders and cab drivers. The Service Industry includes professionals and tradesman as well. The range is wide, from banking to transportation to pest control and health care. In fact the Service Industry represents something close to 75% of the US workforce, including home energy raters and auditors. But in my experience, many of us have completely neglected the “Service” part of our work. That’s a dangerous proposition for any business given that good service is a key component to customer loyalty, company reputation, and word of mouth advertising. For context, I had about 15 years of experience in the customer service departments for banking and retail businesses prior to joining EnergyLogic. Improving the company’s customer service is part of the reason I was hired.
So what’s got me so worked up? It’s the slow turnaround time that I see with regard to raters getting their reports to clients. Part of my job at EnergyLogic involves uploading ratings to RESNET’s National Building Registry database. That means I personally handle several thousand ratings that get submitted by EnergyLogic’s Rater Partners all across the country each year. All too often, I come across files that are submitted several weeks after the last field visit! Since no RESNET Accredited Rating Software can print reports without watermark until AFTER submittal to the National Buildings Registry, I can deduce that no official reports have gone to the client for several weeks after the date of final inspection! We understand that ENERGY STAR Version 3 has added a few more hoops to jump through (chasing down checklists from contractors), and it can cause some extra time getting everything together (not to mention re-inspects). But let’s face it; this is not just an issue for ENERGY STAR Homes. The rating reports (and associated certificates or labels) are the primary deliverable in the rating world- particularly on new homes. So a client is paying for a service, and the business they’ve hired to perform this service is running several weeks behind in delivering?
There is no other way to put it; that’s just bad service. If builder clients seem okay with getting this sort of turnaround time, then what does that say about how much they value your reports?
EPS Administratvie Coordinator