Overloaded, Booked, Swamped

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by SprinklerGuy, Nov 18, 2001.

  1. What do you guys do when you are booked/swamped and someone you have worked for before calls and needs you? I never know what to say. I hate leaving that money on the table like that by not being able to get to the work.

    Obviously time to hire someone! Anyone for sunny arizona?
     
  2. HBFOXJr

    HBFOXJr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,712

    Depends on what has you swamped/booked and what the exisiting person wants.

    If it was installation work I'd put them on the list after the other jobs and maybe hire someone to speed up work if demand will be steady.

    If it's service and a real emergency I'd have a guy work late one day or a saturday.

    Some of this depends the customers perception of the problem versus your perception/reality.

    I get people that call here with a broken lateral or a broken head that get all in a tizzy because they can't "run" their system. We tell them to turn off that one zone till we get there and use the rest. The comment usually is "I never thought of that".

    Other consideration, is need for your service quickly a lack of planning and organization on the customers part?

    If your jammed for service and demand is fairly steady, leave a spot or two open each week for emergency work and you can fill them with new stuff at the last minute or other little things you wanted to get to.

    When we are restarting in the spring I tell my guys that when the run into a big problem, skip and keep checking the rest of the system. Some had started to repair as they go rather than scoping out the entire job.

    When a full day of work is scheduled by appointment you can't die on one problem of one job. I tell them get all the easy stuff done to give the customer the most banf for the buck and we'll reschedule the tough stuff for another day when we can allow enough time to deal with the big problem. It works well and the customers understand and are greatful. These jobs are sometimes re-scheduled immediately while on site or the customer is called the next day if no one in the office is available to do the scheduling.
     
  3. I generally leave one spot open per day for emergencies but it gets filled pretty quickly.

    As for installs, they will always wait if they like the salesman and the price is right, never a problem, service however.........

    One of the selling points for the guys working for me was that we would never work on Sat or Sun. Have yet to work a weekend in over 5 years. I wonder if I could put FAQ's on my website to walk a customer through turning off the water or a particular zone so that they feel like they can do it themselves while they wait for us to get there?
     
  4. Tony,
    If the client were able to shut off their water or re-program the timer so that one zone wouldn't turn on until our work load permitted it, We wouldn't have a job:)

    John
     
  5. Tony,
    If the client were able to shut off their water or re-program the timer so that one zone wouldn't turn on until our work load permitted it, We wouldn't have a job:)

    John
     
  6. Sure we would John, they would still be waiting for us to come fix it they just wouldn't be inconvenienced completely while they wait. I think that is part of good customer service, trying to help people no matter what. Maybe we make it so that only repeat customers can visit the FAQ's and perhaps a membership fee?
     
  7. Tony,

    If people take the time to read the manuals that i leave with them, I wouldn't get so many call outs to re-program timers. Hey, it does make for a quick buck or so...

    Do you realy think that people would read a FAQ page on your site? How would you promote it to you clients?

    I do like the FAQ on the web site. I just don't think people would take the time to read. Being lazy is part of being a human being.
    John
     
  8. HBFOXJr

    HBFOXJr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,712

    even for money. I think people feel ripped off and it doesn't do anything for the relationship. We tell them we charge the same to program as repair, now at $56 minimum charge. Then we tell them when they are done hacking up the fur ball in their throats that we can help them for free over the phone or jsut read what's inside the door and follow directions. They won't break or ruin anything, call us if you have a further problem.

    That seems to end it and we all live happily and better ever after.

    Servicing this kind of nonsense takes you away from more important stuff they can't do or new sales.
     
  9. Charging a service call still doesn't change the fact that people are too lazy to read the box or manual.

    I do charge a simalar charge, but not as high as $56 to re program a timer for my regualr maintenance gardening accounts. I will charge a min. plus time it takes me to drive out. Here in the bay area of San Francisco, I can say we pay the highest cost of fuel in this nation. My truck don't run on water or whisky.

    John
     
  10. Chuck Sinclair

    Chuck Sinclair LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 336

    gusbuster,

    I saw on the news last night were gas in Stockton was .99 cents a gallon, i think we are both in the wrong part of California.

    Were at 1.27 right now.
     

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