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Service scheduling

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  • Service scheduling

    This thread is for home service companies: plumbers, HVAC, electricians, etc.

    How do you set up appointments and schedule service calls for the techs?

    One idea I had was 2 hour time slots:

    for example, 8-10, 10-12, (lunch) 1-3, 3-5. So four slots/day would be scheduled. The only problem being is that some calls take one hour and some may take 4 hours, and it can be difficult for the dispatcher to guess how long to schedule calls for.

    Anyway how do you do it in your company?
    Water Heater Reviews & Water Heater Information

  • #2
    Re: Service scheduling

    I figure about the same as you. I go by job-drain calls-2 hour, toilet rebuild 1 hour, leaking pipe 3 hours.
    Buy cheap, buy twice.

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    • #3
      Re: Service scheduling

      Ironic this topic came up.
      Just thinking of it on the way home.
      I had a w/h this morning, then another job with a list of tasks that I was completely uncertain on time...then to be safe, I scheduled a KS faucet for 4:30.
      Just cleaned & organized the truck, now I'm shuffling papers...I got done faster than expected.
      I always overestimate time, when you have spare time in between you can followup on estimates, clean the truck, call in for stock...there's always something to do.

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      • #4
        Re: Service scheduling

        We do the two hour window appointment thing. It get's easier as you have more people. Otherwise, the key is calling people to reschedule the minute you become ware that you are not going to make the appointment. Most people are fairly reasonable about rescheduling as long as we communicate effectively.

        The biggest challenge is teaching certain technicians the importance of effective communication.
        spodelee

        Until lions have their own storytellers, stories of the hunt shall always glorify the hunter

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        • #5
          Re: Service scheduling

          I'm probably one of the tech's you could be refering to. At our shop, when a call comes in, they likely get one of our part time ladies (bosses wife 2 days a week, welders wife 3 days a week). They don't actually set the appointments though. One of our plumbers who's a few years from retirement sticks around the office from 6:30 til about 9:30 or 10 doing the scheduling and calls and parts and stuff. At least he has a clue for what it takes to do a job, though, and sends us out with enough promises to make up 1/2 to 3/4 of our day (sometimes all of it, depends on the jobs). The rest is made up with calls for people who are 'probably' going to be home or don't have to be (like PRV testing or commercial). That way if a heater or heating call or leak or whatever comes in that has to
          be gotten to it can get covered. Works until the 1/2 hour call turns into a four hour call.
          sigpic3:00, I mean 5:00, and work is done. Time to crack a cold one.

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          • #6
            Re: Service scheduling

            When I get enough work...I will let you know!

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            • #7
              Re: Service scheduling

              I set my first calls in a window of between 10am and 2pm.

              If I wake up feeling up to par, I'll hit that first call at 10, unless I have a customer that wants an early appointment, then I'll go to bed early and do the early run.


              I'm always awake by 7:30 am every morning but I'm certainly not moving until 9.


              Old Age at 38.
              Northern Kentucky Plumbers Twitter Feed | Plumbing Videos

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              • #8
                Re: Service scheduling

                Originally posted by DUNBAR View Post
                I set my first calls in a window of between 10am and 2pm.

                If I wake up feeling up to par, I'll hit that first call at 10, unless I have a customer that wants an early appointment, then I'll go to bed early and do the early run.


                I'm always awake by 7:30 am every morning but I'm certainly not moving until 9.


                Old Age at 38.
                Similar, I tend to shift to after rush hour.
                In my area you can easily lose an hour going to the first job sitting in traffic.
                Oh, at age 38 yer just a wippersnapper!

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                • #9
                  Re: Service scheduling

                  I always tried to start with 2-hour time slots so I had some room for emergency work and call ins but it did not always work that way.

                  Mark
                  "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

                  I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

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