Are you losing your most important customers?
- Is your business open more than eight hours per day?
- Are you booking service calls scheduled for after your normal service hours?
- Are your technicians working more than eight hours per day?
If you answered “yes” to all these questions, there’s no doubt about it: you’re losing your most important customers.
Perplexed? You and your team are so busy; how is it possible that you’re losing your most important customers?
Here’s an example of two people who are vital to your business:
- Mrs. Johnson — she calls your company every year for service. She’s loyal, she pays on time, and she doesn’t try to negotiate her quoted price.
- Your best technician — he’s a committed team member, performs well in the field, and is willing to run calls after his normal workday. He works long days and doesn’t complain.
Now, choose the person most important to your business. Who’s more valuable?
Let’s say you choose Mrs. Johnson as your company’s most important customer. You and those at your business decide to focus all your attention on attracting all the “Mrs. Johnsons” in your market. Slowly, over time, this strategy works — your board is now full of service calls and you have plenty of work. Your dispatchers are ready to dispatch all those calls.
But wait! You’ve been booking as many service calls as you could get, but your technicians can’t handle the workload and are exhausted. Eventually, tech absences increase, no-shows begin to pop up, and staff begin to quit. Your company has more work than it can deal with, and now there aren’t enough people to do the work.
Not a pretty picture, right?
Imagine now that you choose your best service technician as your most important customer. You focus entirely on attracting the best technicians in your market. You provide the best training, offer top-notch pay, and provide reasonable, regular, 40-hour-per-week scheduling. Your techs are producing eight hours every day, five days per week. They have time away from their jobs to enjoy personal activities, and they come into work rested and ready. However, there isn’t enough work, because no one has been focusing much on booking and dispatching service calls.
How do you resolve this?
Change your company’s structure. Decide that service technicians are the most important customer, but create a modified system to ensure company-wide success. Put scheduled shifts in place for techs that allow them to work 40 hours per week, five days per week, and eight hours per day for the company. Not rotating shifts, not floating shifts – specific shift times. Extend company hours of coverage from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., with varying tech starting times. Create a block of time when your company is not open for calls or service, such as 9 p.m. to 8 a.m. This may be a cultural shift, but if you look into how many customers are serviced this in timeframe, you’ll likely learn that those hours bring in very few calls. As your company grows, consider adding Sunday shifts to meet both your technicians’ needs and external customer demands.
A scheduling change can mean a huge paradigm shift, but the benefits of a staffing structure that makes it clear you value your team can be tremendous. The techs become your company’s greatest advertisers, supporting external customer growth, and making your recruiting a snap!