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  • #16
    Re: Customer Service…..

    Originally posted by HebertDrainCare View Post
    Doesn't matter if I'm on the roof, under a house, talking to another customer, hands covered with sewer, head dripping with sweat. I stop what I'm doing, remove my latex, wipe my forehead with my sleeve, and answer the phone. Unfortunately this means salesmen with local numbers get through. Not interested, thanks, click.
    The other side of this 'arguement' is, I am at a paying customer's job. They deserve all my attention. I make an effort to stay off the phone when I'm at a customer's home.

    I've also had customer's complain about time on the phone in the past. They don't think they should have to pay for time spent on the phone.

    Also for me atleast, I start to make mistakes when I'm distracted. I once did half of an underground with the phone to my ear. Looked real nice until the walls were framed and I missed 2 of them!

    Bottom line- you have to find a system that works good for you and your customer. Your repeat customers will get into your routine, too. They'll know what to expect when they call.


    Oh and Drip Trip, Check around. I don't know what you call 'local', but my answering service is actually based 50 miles away. Maybe you can find something farther out?

    Does anyone know where I can find some cheap shoes?

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    • #17
      Re: Customer Service…..

      Sounds like a nice little niche market for someone looking to semi-retire. Set up an answering service that caters to small mechanical, electrical, and plumbing contractors.

      I'd bet there is are a number of small companies that are too big to not have someone manning the phone but not big enough to go all out with a full time staff person in the front office. I think for many that person is sometimes the wife but where that option does not exist or work you need something else.

      The retiree gets a work-at-home job so to speak where they can earn some extra bucks to help pay their bills and the company gets someone who can talk intelligently about plumbing/heating problems and knows a wax ring from bathtub ring w/o the expense of a full time employee. Since they are offering a service to you and not an employee you don't get bogged down with payroll, and all that, just a check each month and they take care of reporting their added income themselves.

      Not anybody could fill this job, but I bet there are many out there who could. How do you compensate them for their time? You'd have to work that out but it could be based on the volume of calls or some flat rate per day or week.
      ---------------
      Light is faster than sound. That's why some people seem really bright until you hear them speak.
      ---------------
      “If I had my life to live over again, I'd be a plumber.” - Albert Einstein
      ---------
      "Its a table saw.... Do you know where your fingers are?"
      ---------
      sigpic http://www.helmetstohardhats.com/

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      • #18
        Re: Customer Service…..

        Originally posted by Drip Trip
        I should never answer the phone. Get me in front of a customer and I'm in my groove, but I've lost more sales on the phone than I care to remember.

        I cut back on office staff hours, so I'm answering the phone more and I tell you what, there are some sick people who like to ask questions on the phone.

        I tried to find a service, but there isn't one local...I'm stuck with office calls being forwarded to my cell.

        To answer Rootx question...99% of all calls are answered live by either a girlie or a bad tempered plumber. By the way, does Rootx have a live person or a automated system?



        During business hours Monday through Friday we answer the phones live. At night or on the weekends you will speak with the all mighty voice mail. Each manager has their own VM so my customers can leave me a message and I try and check them on the weekends. I give out my cell number to those who feel they need to reach me on the weekends or at night. My business here is different than what you guys do it's not necessary to be available 24hrs at this point. No 2 am service calls for me. I also do alot of work form emails and so I check that at home just about every night.

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        • #19
          Re: Customer Service…..

          I am just curious, what are some of you paying for your answering services? Also are the answering services in the US, the reason I ask is because I would'nt want a call center based in INDIA answering my calls.

          Me personally though, for now I will be the sole person answering my phones.

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