Easy question, but involved answer - sorry if this is a little long. There are so many things that could fall the cracks, it's tough to keep it all straight. But this system seems to work for me.
For incoming calls, we use a RFB (request for bid sheet - 1/2 page paper in pad form, easy to keep on desk) that is then filed in a Mon through Sat set of folders for appointments once an appointment is schedule with customer. I mark in my calendar the name/address and use a green highlighter over the name so I know it's a new sales call. A yellow highlighter is for current customer appointment. After a prequalification on the phone, We meet with all prospective customers to qualify the job and see if it's something we want to bid on.
If construction job: they get a folder in my desk drawer. Their jacket or folder moves from one hanging file to the next depending on the stage of completion.
"Bids in Progress" - Bids that haven't be submitted, but working on
"Bids Pending" - Bids that are out, but no word on status yet
"Jobs Pending" - Received contract/deposit, have been scheduled
"W.I.P" - Work in Progress, job currently being installed
"Completed Jobs" - those jackets that are completed, invoiced, paid and job costed
"Rejected Bid" - those bids that people declined.
Maintenance Bid - I print out a contract, file one page hard copy to the RFB sheet, and file in a hanging folder that has simpler system than construction. Because there is not design or research on these bids, I turn them around within 24 hours of getting them.
"MTC Bids Pending" - Those jobs bid, but waiting to hear back from customer
"Holding - No decision" - Those customers that I've followed up with a week after sending bid, but have made no decision.
"Rejected Bids" - obvious what happens here
"Call When Time Allows" - those customers that we're too busy to do now, but agree that we can call when we're slow
If customer returns their maintenance contract (Res or Com) for long term maintenance, they get a hanging file folder which goes into our customer drawer. Foreman have access to this information so they know what customer wants, etc. The following folders are in the customer hanging folder:
"Contract" - current contract and updates to the contract.
"Correspondence" - any letters to or from customer and survey responses
"Budget" - not all customers get this folder, only our A and B customers that we meet to discuss budget and have to track carefully. During the year we put an updated summary of sales from the customer in this folder for foreman to look at.
"Profile Notes" - this folder has all the detail for how the customer likes to have the work done. We have special sheets that help us to organize the info in this folder.
As the requests for bids come in, I have several colored folders that remain on my desk. I handle my phone calls this way:
Blue Folder "To Call" - phone messages, and phone tag people go in here until I know what I'm doing with their request. Once I've contacted them, if the lead goes cold, the RFB slip goes into the "Rejected Bids" folder so we can track the call later from the referral source and send them mail in the future. If I get an appointment, I place their slip in my Mon - Sat folders for appointment.
Orange Folder "To Bid ASAP" - these are maintenance or small project bids that I try to turn around in 24 to 48 hours. Completed bid goes into the 'Pending' file.
Yellow Folder "To Schedule" - those jobs that are small requests that have our "Work Order" slips filled out - give these assignments to foreman as fill in work on their routes.
Those one time customers get manilla folder in the customer drawer - but they're all grouped together. Some customers only have us do a fall clean up or a planting, but we do something for them each year. So their folder stays in the customer drawer. We file in it the original call slip, the work order, any notes, copy of the invoice/statement. We staple each job together. So a customer may have one or ten stapled packets in his folder depending on what type of work we've done for them and for how long.
If it's a regular customer, it'll get invoiced and the information is trapped in QB and the summary will appear in their budget folder later on for reference if needed.
Once a customer relationship is discontinued, we put their hanging folder in a "Past Customers" Box in storage. We can always go back and pull it if they come back to us or if we get the new homeowner in the house.
If we complete a construction job for a maintenance customer, the job folder gets labeled with the project and date, and placed in the customers hanging folder. They may have several past project type folders. This way a foreman can access the plant material list, etc. or handle warranty work if needed.
If the contstruction job is completed for a non maintenance customer, we file it in a separate "Past Projects" box in storage.
Gee... since I"m in the process of working on our office Standard Operating Procedures... I think I'll cut and past this since I've never documented this before. Should be pretty easy to flow chart. Thanks for the thread. Helps me to think through things.
Lawn Lad, Inc.