Could a Single Phone Call at the End of Every Job Change Your Business?

by

Tim McGuire
VP of Content and Community
December 10, 2019
/
3
minutes to read

When running a home service business or working as a technician it’s easy to forget the little things. After all, there is so much to keep track of before, during and after a visit. That’s why it’s so important to make sure that key pieces of information are collected. And the easiest way to do this is to record it during the visit and then share the info with the back office.

Pointman Business Success Coach Dale Bykowicz is a veteran owner and manager, having served in leadership roles with successful plumbing, HVAC and manufacturing companies. He explains that the “debrief” — in which a tech shares details with the dispatcher over the phone at the end of the job, or records those details in a separate form on their mobile software — is essential. (Download a free “Job Debrief” worksheet to get started.)

“Before our techs were dispatched to their next job, we always asked them to call in,” he says. Dale uses the example of a follow-up visit. Let’s say the tech told the homeowner that he would return a few days later. That important detail might make it to the job notes. But what if it’s not shared with the office? It could be several days before it is seen in the notes, and the tech won’t be reminded to return.

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“The homeowner might be waiting,” Dale says, “and that call could catch the CSR or dispatcher completely off-guard.” These are the kinds of things that lead to bad online reviews, and a loss of repeat business. In other words, one quick phone call to the office after a job could have a dramatic impact on your company. 

To help keep these instances from happening, make sure your team is collecting the following seven pieces of info at every job, and also telling the back office — right away. The longer one waits, the more likely it is that sharing these details will be forgotten. 

1. Invoice Total 

How meaningful would it be to know at any point of the day where you are in total sales and average ticket, at both the company level and the tech level? The alternative — having to wait days until invoices are entered into your software — can cost you significant money. When your budget is based on daily goals, you need to be able to act quickly to get back on track when necessary.

2. Amount Collected

Cash flow is king and whenever possible you should be running a c.o.d. business. This information helps you know what payments to expect back in the office. It also tells you which techs are doing a good (or not-so-good) job of collecting at the end of the visit.

3. Money Task Count (i.e., Number of Repairs Sold Beyond Diagnostic) 

If the job is diagnostic only, then the money task count is zero. Every job you run where you fail to sell the repair is probably a job where you lost money — even if you collected a diagnostic or dispatch fee. Remember, closing rates aren’t just for salespeople. Techs “close the deal” when they sell beyond the diagnostic. 

Closing rates help you determine your top techs, and which tech is best for each type of job. As Dale puts it, “We always wanted to know the tech’s closing rate — we wanted to send the right tech to the right home.”

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4. Add-On or Upsell Count and Amount

Here, we’re looking at repairs sold beyond the original reason for the call. Every time you enter a customer’s home your techs have the chance to sell value added work, beyond the repair itself. If you’re training your techs to sell add-on products, don’t you want to know who's doing it well, and who may need a training refresher?

5. Agreement Opportunities/Sales

Maintenance agreements are the key to a consistent client base and essential for keeping your team busy during the shoulder seasons. Every time your technician is in the home of a non-member there is an opportunity to sell. Are they delivering? You need to know.

6. Future Opportunities

Are your technicians talking to customers with forced air heat about the improved comfort that comes with a humidifier? How about the benefits of water softeners or whole-house surge protection? If the customer is interested, but not now, you need to be able to follow up on those opportunities.

How much money do you think gets left on the table just by failing to make a follow-up call to reintroduce an offered product or service? Tracking these opportunities can be the secret to putting more of that money in your pocket. These opportunities are the gold dust that’s hiding in your business. With a little work, there’s a lot of money just waiting to be panned for and earned.

7. Replacement Opportunities/Sales

Repairing a capacitor on a 17-year-old condenser, or the pilot on a 12-year old hot water tank? These are opportunities for replacement, and your techs should be offering that as an option along with the repair itself. You can determine what you consider a replacement opportunity in your business. But regardless of the conditions you establish, you want to know which of your techs is making the most of them. 

And if they didn’t sell? See the previous item. You should be setting this as an opportunity for a follow up.


Have any recommendations for additional information you’ve found to be essential? How do you make sure your team shares these details after each visit? We’d love to know — drop us a line here.

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