How to Measure Home Services Technician Efficiency

by

Tim McGuire
VP of Content and Community
November 26, 2019
/
4
minutes to read

Owners and managers of residential HVAC, plumbing and electrical contracting companies typically fall into one of two mindsets when it comes to measuring the efficiency of their technicians: 

  1. “My techs are busy all day, so they must be efficient,” or
  2. “My techs are busy, but they aren’t making money. We need more jobs and more workers.”

Both are reasonable assumptions to make. But both are harming your business, and here’s why: Being busy and being efficient are not the same thing.

The difference? Results.

Defining Technician Efficiency

If you bombard your techs with back-to-back visits, they’re keeping busy, but they’re not necessarily being efficient. If they aren’t producing the results you’re looking for, then the process is costing more time, money and energy than you can afford.

To start establishing repeatable processes and habits that aren’t wasting your time, your techs’ time and your customers’ time, you first need to look at how your techs are spending their time between and at each visit. After doing so, you can answer the following questions about your team’s efficiency:

  • Is the work being dispatched a match with my technician’s skill level?
  • Does training need to be revisited or restructured?
  • Have proper expectations been set so that a tech knows to move on to new tasks?

How to Use a Technician Efficiency Report

A technician efficiency report compares the time it takes a particular technician to complete a visit with the time it should take a tech to complete each visit. This “expected” time is called your total billable hours. Think of it as the time it would take an average tech — not necessarily the best tech — to perform a task. 

To calculate how efficient a tech was on a specific job (for example, a capacitor replacement or a tune up):

  1. Take the total billable hours for the tasks performed (again, the time you expect it to take) and divide it by the actual time at the site. 
  2. Multiply that number by 100 to get a percentage.
  3. That percentage is your tech efficiency rating for that particular visit. 

If your tech took less time than expected, your efficiency rating will be over 100 percent. But if the tech took longer than expected, your efficiency rating will be under 100 percent. It’ll never be perfect, but ideally, you want to shoot for an efficiency rating between 75% to 150%.

The next step will be to look at a tech’s productivity, which is not the same thing as efficiency. Productivity measures their performance for a whole day. Stay tuned — we’ll cover that topic on our blog soon.

Time to Talk Tech Efficiency

Where did your tech end up on the jobs you reviewed? Is he or she humming along between 75% to 150%, and deserving of a reward for contributing to the longevity of your business? Or clocking in around 50% efficiency, and perhaps in need of additional training or adjustments to certain workday habits?

Before taking any action on what you find in your tech efficiency reports, it is essential that you have an upfront conversation with your techs (no matter the skill level) about your billable hour expectations. You don’t want them rushing through each visit, but you don’t want them spending too much time on each visit, either. And you want them to feel like they know what they should be shooting for.

Flat Rates, Price Books and the Billable Hour

Whether you’re building your own price book or using one from a third party, tasks have to be thought of in terms of billable hours. It may seem contradictory, but even when you’re using flat-rate pricing, billable hours still come into play — you have to know how many hours a task should take so you can set expectations with your team and with your customers. 

Use Our Free, Printable Tech Efficiency Worksheets

To make the efficiency analysis much easier, we’ve created a handy Technician Efficiency Report Worksheet and included it in our latest workbook, “Improving Time Efficiency: Tools and Tips to Help You Lead Your Team.” Here you’ll find a ready-to-use worksheet (feel free to print off as many as you’d like), along with several other practical tips to help you get your team running more smoothly and more efficiently. 

Download your free copy here today:



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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