Getting Ready for the Summer Busy Season

by

Lauren Pszonak
March 29, 2018
/
minutes to read

Get to the Point

  1. Prepare Your Team - Make sure your office staff is ready for the extra calls, and filing. Holding some team meetings to help focus works great. Make sure people take time-off before, and during this time.
  2. Prepare Your Equipment - Get your trucks serviced, your tools checked, your inventory stocked and be ready to roll!
  3. Prepare for Efficiency - Implementing new technology can help make the busiest times run more smoothly. You’ll also want to prepare for emergencies and Emergency Rates that are reflective of the busy season.

Summer is Coming…

Summertime the “busy season” for many field service companies. Landscapers take care of lawns, roofers capitalize on nice weather, HVAC techs install new air conditioners, and more!

Preparing for the extra business is difficult. Any inefficiencies in your off-season will be accentuated and can cost a company potential business and revenue!

Here are some ways you can make sure your company is ready for the extra hours.

1. PREPARATION IN THE OFFICE

Refocus the Team - Before you hit your peak business, make sure everybody in your company is on the same page. You can have a company-wide meeting making sure everybody knows what to expect in the upcoming months. Be clear in what you expect from your techs, your office staff, and what they can expect from you!

Training! - There will be phone calls and questions in the field that will be asked over and over again. If your office staff and field techs are ready for these commonly asked questions, they can answer without fumbling through their words or making calls.

2. PREPARATION IN THE FIELD

Routine Maintenance - Before you start experiencing an increase in calls, YOU can contact people who may need a tune-up on their equipment. Not only does this show initiative and help strengthen relationships with previous customers, completing these services “early” will free your time in the summer for new customers/ new installations/ and emergency jobs that comes up.

Equipment/Inventory - Check your own equipment / inventory regularly. Having a service vehicle break down mid-season, or running out of your most commonly replaced part can be catastrophic. Not only would you have to reschedule appointments that can not be completed, you may also lose long-term customers to a better prepared company.

3. GIVE TIME OFF

It may seem counterintuitive to make sure your employees are taking the appropriate time off during the busiest time of the year. However, if you keep the morale high, your employees can perform better, and are less likely to burn-out.

Many companies have a policy limiting vacation time during certain times. If this is the case for you, make sure you are valuing your employees and allowing them to still take some personal time, even when it’s busy.

4. EXPEDITED RATES

You may already have a policy in place for “emergency rates.” If you don’t, you will want to adjust pricing for some of your services to have a higher rate charged for ‘rushed’ jobs.

While it is important to get to a house with a flooding basement as soon as possible, you will want to reflect that in the price the customer is charged.

You may even consider adding a bonus or incentive to a tech that takes an emergency call, so they can feel compensated for the added pressure to their already busy schedule.

5. NEW TECHNOLOGY

If you don’t have field service software to streamline your workday, you should strongly consider finding a digital solution.

Having software that eliminates your office manager’s processing time, and reduces the amount of paperwork necessary at any given field call can revolutionize your business.  

If you feel like the window of opportunity has passed, and you’ll have to look into a software solution after the busy season ends, we beg to differ… incorporating software into your business is relevant and important as early as possible… even if it is in your peak season.


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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