Apprenticeships

A Day in the life of a Field Technician during Covid-19

Ryan Lodder

Apprentice Field Technician

April 12, 2021

What is it like being an Apprentice Field Technician during a pandemic?

With the world we are currently living in, it’s easy to imagine that a role which involves entering people’s houses on a daily basis may be daunting. However, my experience as an Apprentice Field Technician during Covid has not had me feeling intimidated at all.

I started my journey at Virgin Media in October 2019, a few months before the initial lockdown. From October through to March I was provided with excellent classroom and In-Field training which had me prepare for entering the Field alone in February, on a reduced route which allowed me to settle in to the role. Once lockdown began and Covid became prevalent, I had to change the way I do things as a Technician. This was an interesting challenge for me as I have still had to learn and develop my skills during Covid, while trying my best to do so safely to protect myself and my Customers. As I said towards the start, Technicians do enter customer’s houses, however, Virgin do their best to ensure this is safe by setting out guidelines for both us and our customers. As Technicians we are requested to wear masks (if we are comfortable doing so), complete weekly Covid-19 Check-In Forms and follow government guidance e.g., social distancing. Our Customers are also contacted before appointments to confirm whether or not anyone in their household has symptoms and we also have a responsibility to check ourselves on a Pre-Call or on arrival at the property. This allows us to do our important role safely which means we get to keep everybody online!

What does a typical day look like?

Now I have briefed everyone on how we work within Covid, I think it’s only fair to let you in on one of my days here as a Technician. So, here is a little overview of a Day in The Life of a Field Technician:

7:30am: I switch on my PDA to complete my Covid Check-In Form and take a look my route. We are provided our PDA upon starting our role and this has an application we use to see all the customers we are going to work with that day as well as what jobs we will encounter, be it an Install or Service Call.

8:00am: I arrive at my first Install of the day and upon arrival I confirm with the Customer if there is anyone with Covid symptoms in their household, to which they confirm that everything is safe. I put on my face mask after briefing the Customer on the importance of us following government guidelines and I begin my work. I install our SuperHub 3 for this Customer and after completing the cabling and Installation, educate them on how the service works. I find that it is always important to SHARE YOUR EXPERTISE with your Customer so when you leave, they feel like all their questions have been answered, which is a key element in providing excellent customer service. Before leaving, I discuss one of the most important things you will be required to know about as a technician…

RAF! As much as learning technical and practical skills will be a big part of your role, being able to provide great customer service and grow the business is key too! The RAF (Refer A Friend) Scheme is a way in which we as Technicians can help grow Virgin but also EARN BONUSES. For every successful RAF we sell, we get £50! This provides us with a great incentive to work hard to incorporate conversations about this Scheme in our jobs. There are lots of benefits to doing an Apprenticeship at Virgin Media and the RAF Scheme is just one of them. We also get NPS bonuses and Quarterly Bonuses for our performance, so there are plenty of other ways you can earn more for your hard work!

10:30am: I now arrive to another Customer’s property. This Customer is a personal favourite of mine. They were one of our elderly Customers and they had one of our original SuperHubs which unfortunately went faulty which left her without Internet. She was delighted though as she had only called the evening before and had a Technician the very next morning! As I was putting a new SuperHub 3 in for them, I was able to have a great conversation about how life has been recently and how they have felt during Covid. This is one of the things I love most about my role, CUSTOMER INTERACTION. I have always worked in Customer Service in my short career and I genuinely do have a passion for this as I am an extrovert and being social is in my nature and my work allows me to constantly meet new people. This also allowed for me to make my Customer happy as it gives them a memorable experience too due to my HEARTFELT SERVICE. A lot of customers expect Technicians to just arrive, complete the work and leave. This is why I think it is important to be DELIGHTFULLY SURPRISING and challenge this stigma by not just fixing their faults, but giving them a positive experience. Why? Because it doesn’t just feel good for them, it will feel great for yourself too – trust me on that.

1:00PM: After completing my Installs/Service Calls for the morning and making my customers happy, it is now lunchtime! As we are provided with our vans, we are able to go to anywhere in the area that we fancy! Many Technicians like a cheeky McDonalds on their lunch break. I personally prefer to find somewhere quiet to park and enjoy a healthy salad… most days.

3:30PM: It was now time for another Service Call, which was certainly a challenging one. This Customer was reporting slow internet issues and upon arrival I could see many faults on their line. I had to utilise my knowledge and experience to troubleshoot and CHALLENGE MYSELF to work out the best way to resolve each issue. After completing the work, the Customer was ecstatic as their speeds were back to normal. Seeing a Customer happy after you have fixed their fault is the biggest reward you can get as a Technician.

7:00PM: Now, don’t get too worried, the job did not take 3 and ½ hours, I just don’t have enough time to fit my whole day into one Blog! The day itself was brilliant and allowed me to use my customer service skills and also technical skills in multiple jobs. This is the thing you will find in your role; you need to be able to adapt and use both; this will come with time and experience though. Now, it is dinner time for me, and I will leave you with the following statement…

I don’t want to ignore the fact that some days can certainly be harder than others. You must be ready to work in all weathers and will need to keep yourself motivated in those hard times, however, you’ll always have a colleague or manager just one call away. So, if you want a role which can provide you with many doors to a great, employee-caring company, you are looking at the right place.

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