A recent Harvard Graduate School of Education study concluded that jobs that require high levels of cognitive, technical, and social skills have seen the highest levels of employment and wage growth relative to other jobs.
Like other skill-based learning, social skills need to be trained and practiced repeatedly. This is especially true in the residential home service industry as often customers are not reaching out because they are excited about spending money on our services. Often, technicians are faced with homeowners that:
- Think they can do it on their own
- Don’t know what is really going on with their systems, they only know that it’s not working and they’re uncomfortable
- Don’t have a realistic idea of the costs associated with repair and replacement
- Don’t know who’s honest and who is not
These scenarios require finesse and commitment outside of soft skills basics. Beyond being kind, respectful and honest, technicians need to be informative, patient and transparent. They also need to be supported by teamwork and strong leadership to perform optimally.
NexTech Academy is committed to helping aspiring technicians grow these soft skills. We are taking a new approach, weaving the practices of customer service and teamwork into technical training so the student understands how their craftsmanship improves the lives of homeowners and impacts business growth.
Preparing students to communicate well and create trust with homeowners as they become technically proficient, normalizes customer service best practices. Providing leadership training and promoting teamwork strengthens companies. Growth in soft skills prevents having to break bad habits in the future.
How is this possible in an online trade school program?
Throughout the curriculum, there are video lessons, skill practice and reflection exercises that blend soft skills with the technical tasks students are learning. Students learn how to talk to customers about what is going on in their home, explain safety precautions, present different service options to customers, and describe the work that they are going to do in terminology the customer can understand.
As the basis for our soft skills content, NexTech Academy utilizes the Service System®, a six-step program that provides technicians with guidance and inspiration for providing five-star service. In the last two years, over 2,500 Nexstar member technicians have been educated by attending a Service System class. Providing Service System content in an online environment makes it even more accessible and beneficial to the industry. Specifically, students will practice:
- Keeping worksites clean and safe
- Explaining safety to homeowners
- Presenting service options to homeowners so they can make an educated decision
- Personal health and well being
- Goal setting
- Leaving a homeowner’s home better than they found it
- Business ethics
Today’s workers require more than technical training to succeed. NexTech Academy is prepared to bridge traditional technical training learning gaps by providing real-world practice on the soft skills that will move workers from good to great.