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  • Too many calls!

    I can't handle the call volume. But I am not ready to add a truck. What does a company do when it already has too much work and the calls keep pouring in daily? Just turn people away? Higher diagnostic fee to weed out the tirekickers? Curious.
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  • #2
    Re: Too many calls!

    Too much business and too many calls? I hope you always have such problems, you must be doing a great job and getting referrals?

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    • #3
      Re: Too many calls!

      Originally posted by Service Guy View Post
      I can't handle the call volume. But I am not ready to add a truck. What does a company do when it already has too much work and the calls keep pouring in daily? Just turn people away? Higher diagnostic fee to weed out the tirekickers? Curious.
      I love it. I remember a Carl that was asking "How do you get business" less than a year ago! Now you can't breathe!

      You get my point that you're better at marketing than you think? You should save your money and do your own marketing unless you don't have the time too.

      Simple. You're gonna' have to turn them away, schedule appointments for a later date, or add personnel and all that goes with it. I'd conference with Mark or Spodelee as they have had multiple truck/personnel shops. I have ideas but people that have been in the trenches have the experience to give better guidance.

      Kind of like the difference between reading a book on plumbing and knowing how much to tighten' the fill valve on a toilet.

      J.C.

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      • #4
        Re: Too many calls!

        I call that growing pains. You are in a tough place right now. It is very scarey to think of hiring people to represent your company and have them to take care of customers as you do. I am a very small business, wife keeps the books, I get the work, design, order materials, and put the jobs in with only one helper (plus I farm on the side). I stay very busy but can offer what few customers that I have that personal attention they want. Tough spot indeed trusting your name with some one else.


        Good luck with it, maybe hire some one to just answer the phone and do scheduling for you.

        G3

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        • #5
          Re: Too many calls!

          if they are repeat customers then they would know that you need to take the emergency call first

          but all is looking good for you you could be sitting home looking for work
          Charlie

          My seek the peek fundraiser page
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          • #6
            Re: Too many calls!

            Originally posted by Service Guy View Post
            I can't handle the call volume. But I am not ready to add a truck. What does a company do when it already has too much work and the calls keep pouring in daily? Just turn people away? Higher diagnostic fee to weed out the tirekickers? Curious.
            I never had that problem...so I cant help! All I can say would be to politely turn them away. Also, if you have a good friend who would not steal your customers...refer them to him. Sounds funny, but you are still helping YOUR customer. They will call you back next time.

            By a friend, I mean a guy who wont leave his business card on the table when he leaves.

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            • #7
              Re: Too many calls!

              Carl,

              These things run in cycles and you need to learn not to over or under react. When I first started I would work 12+ hour days 6 & 7 days a week when it was busy. When I had to start paying my guys overtime to help with the load I would add an extra truck and cut back on my work.

              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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              • #8
                Re: Too many calls!

                Originally posted by ToUtahNow View Post
                Carl,

                These things run in cycles and you need to learn not to over or under react. When I first started I would work 12+ hour days 6 & 7 days a week when it was busy. When I had to start paying my guys overtime to help with the load I would add an extra truck and cut back on my work.

                Mark
                You plumbers in California must be filthy rich. Is that your helicopter? My boss just came back from visiting pc plumber in Los Angeles and he has an identical helicopter picture on his web site. Go to bestlineplumbing.com and click on the picture of the plumbing shop. He never mentioned owning a helicopter but I know that is a picture of him and his kid riding the ATV in front of the helicopter because my boss took a lot of pictures while he was there. Maybe it is a prop. Wow! Plumbers doing service calls with helicopters. I never thought I would see the day.
                Last edited by BatonRougePlumber; 01-25-2009, 06:09 PM.

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                • #9
                  Re: Too many calls!

                  Originally posted by BatonRougePlumber View Post
                  You plumbers in California must be filthy rich. Is that your helicopter? My boss just came back from visiting pc plumber in Los Angeles and he has an identical helicopter picture on his web site. Go to bestlineplumbing.com and click on the picture of the plumbing shop. He never mentioned owning a helicopter but I know that is a picture of him and his kid riding the ATV in front of the helicopter because my boss took a lot of pictures while he was there. Maybe it is a prop. Wow! Plumbers doing service calls with helicopters. I never thought I would see the day.
                  The way Leonard charges it would not surprise me to hear he has a helicopter but then again I'm sure he would have told us.

                  I don't own a helicopter but I have a son who flies out of Cameron Louisiana on a maintenance contract for the oil companies. I have another son who is a Major in the Army and is an Apache pilot.

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

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

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Too many calls!

                    I turn down most plumbing jobs, recommending them to other plumbers who give me their drain work.

                    My younger brother is a journeyman plumber working for a company getting a good salary.

                    Right now business is doing great, grossing six figures last year. With little overhead, I'm making a nice profit. Business is increasing too, averaging 55 jobs per month in 2007 and 60 per month in 08.

                    I bought a used (only 10,000 miles) van last july, after my current van's water pump broke right before a weekend. I didn't want to ever tell my current customers to call some one else, so I bought a back up van. Funny thing is, I'm still in my 124,000 mile van. The new van is set up, I'll move into it eventually.

                    I can move in to the newr van and hire my brother to be in my older van. The problem I have is, what if I hire my brother and can't support his lifestyle. I give work to other plumbers but I don't think it's enough to keep my brother and myself busy.

                    I'm between a rock and a hard place right now.

                    I know how you feel.

                    Right now I'm just letting business continue to increase, and waiting for the right time to expand. I want to save as much money as possible for the transition to a two man operation. Maybe be in another year or two?

                    I enjoy your posts SG, We seem to have alot in common business wise.

                    Lenny

                    Pronounced A-Bear Drain Care

                    I know, it doesn't make sense.


                    http://www.hebertdraincare.com

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                    • #11
                      Re: Too many calls!

                      Originally posted by BatonRougePlumber View Post
                      You plumbers in California must be filthy rich. Is that your helicopter? My boss just came back from visiting pc plumber in Los Angeles and he has an identical helicopter picture on his web site. Go to bestlineplumbing.com and click on the picture of the plumbing shop. He never mentioned owning a helicopter but I know that is a picture of him and his kid riding the ATV in front of the helicopter because my boss took a lot of pictures while he was there. Maybe it is a prop. Wow! Plumbers doing service calls with helicopters. I never thought I would see the day.
                      IT-IS-ALIVE!

                      J.C.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Too many calls!

                        Originally posted by Service Guy View Post
                        I can't handle the call volume. But I am not ready to add a truck. What does a company do when it already has too much work and the calls keep pouring in daily? Just turn people away? Higher diagnostic fee to weed out the tirekickers? Curious.

                        I know your interested in moving more towards being a drain cleaning company. Maybe now would be a good time to hook up with some other plumbers to trade work with. Tell them what you have to offer in exchange for their drain work. Just make sure it's with reputable people. You don't want to recommend customers to some one you can't trust.

                        Lenny

                        Pronounced A-Bear Drain Care

                        I know, it doesn't make sense.


                        http://www.hebertdraincare.com

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Too many calls!

                          Originally posted by HebertDrainCare View Post
                          I know your interested in moving more towards being a drain cleaning company. Maybe now would be a good time to hook up with some other plumbers to trade work with. Tell them what you have to offer in exchange for their drain work. Just make sure it's with reputable people. You don't want to recommend customers to some one you can't trust.
                          I was thinking along those lines myself. At the very least, I am going to focus more on the drain calls, now that I have to be selective about which calls I can take.
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                          • #14
                            Re: Too many calls!

                            Lenny and serviceguy,
                            speaking of being selective I'm curious, how do you both handle the lesser calls vs. the better ones. Say it's kinda slow and you only have a k/s sink job scheduled for a regular customer. But then, you get one of those multiple drain calls from a business that needs you right away knowing full well they'll call someone else if you can't get there asap?
                            Obviously the emergency job is going to pay a lot more but you've scheduled with Mrs. "Smith" the night before and now she's waiting for you as she has taken time off work to be there. Do you tell smith to go pound sand and go make money?

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                            • #15
                              Re: Too many calls!

                              Originally posted by Twicepipes View Post
                              Lenny and serviceguy,
                              speaking of being selective I'm curious, how do you both handle the lesser calls vs. the better ones. Say it's kinda slow and you only have a k/s sink job scheduled for a regular customer. But then, you get one of those multiple drain calls from a business that needs you right away knowing full well they'll call someone else if you can't get there asap?
                              Obviously the emergency job is going to pay a lot more but you've scheduled with Mrs. "Smith" the night before and now she's waiting for you as she has taken time off work to be there. Do you tell smith to go pound sand and go make money?
                              No exact times from me.

                              If they have to take off work, I work Saturdays at no extra charge, or I can come this evening.

                              All customers are told, before noon, after noon, this evening, tomorrow morning, or tomorrow afternoon, etc.

                              The jobs are just too unpredictable to give exact times. I try to feel the customer out. I ask "When's a good time for you?" to see what they're expecting. Then adjust the schedule as best I can.

                              I do work at two nursing homes. One time I was heading to a residential kitchen sink when one of the homes I do work for called in an emergency. No way was I going to let another company give them service. I told the home I'm on my way.

                              I called the residential and told them that a nursing home I do work has sewer running into the hallway, they need me right away, and I'll come to them as soon as I'm finished. They said, oh, well that's fine, I can wait.

                              Nice understanding customers, and I knocked off 10% for making them wait longer after they were expecting me. They were happy with that even though they said it wasn't necessary. I insisted. I appreciate your patience, thank you.

                              I have lost a few new customers because I was too busy to get to them same day, not often though. Always think it would be nice to have an employee when that happens. Then work gets slow and I think, good thing I didn't hire someone.

                              Lenny

                              Pronounced A-Bear Drain Care

                              I know, it doesn't make sense.


                              http://www.hebertdraincare.com

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