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  • Question - Communicating with the Customer

    Just wanted to ask a quick question about what you communicate with your customers after doing a camera job.

    1) After a drain inspection do you give the customer a copy of the inspection for their records? or do you just show them on your monitor and leave it at that?

    2) Are most of your camera jobs for an end customer or are they for another contractor?

    Bonus) what does a typical inspection job look like start to finish. Step by step.

    Thanks folks

    Josh

  • #2
    Re: Question - Communicating with the Customer

    Originally posted by Josh View Post
    Just wanted to ask a quick question about what you communicate with your customers after doing a camera job.

    1) After a drain inspection do you give the customer a copy of the inspection for their records? or do you just show them on your monitor and leave it at that?

    2) Are most of your camera jobs for an end customer or are they for another contractor?

    Bonus) what does a typical inspection job look like start to finish. Step by step.

    Thanks folks

    Josh

    Yes every customer gets a video tape of the drain...If they do not want it, i record it anyway and put it in my records...I note on the invoice if the tape was given to the customer, or brought back to the shop..I like to let the customer watch with me when i do the video, incase there are problems....then i can show them right on the monitor and explain to them what the problem is, rather them trying to figure out after i leave...

    Part 2 I do about 60-40 contractor to customer video inspections...Contractors, real estate companies...

    Bonus question
    My step by step video inspection go

    1. Water jet or cable the line
    2. After the line is open i will get the camera
    3. Set up camera and vcr , grab locator, flags, spray paint, and tile probe.
    4. Get the customer out with me.
    5. Usually all my videos are done from outside and go back into house
    6. Get the camera back into the trap, or cleanout
    7. Hit Record on the vcr
    8. slowly push the camera up stream
    9. Spend 15 seconds at every joint in pipe to inspect joint
    10. If spot is found, turn transmitter on
    11. Locate, mark and get depth of spot in question, or break
    12. continue with steps 9 thru 11 until full line has been inspected
    13. IMPORTANT Rewind tape after inspection is done, playback to make sure line was recorded..(that was something i learned in the past from a bad experience.)
    14. Label the video with the customers name, address, date, and problem on video
    15. Hand over video to customer
    16. Clean up area, clean off camera rod and lens

    Hope this helps

    Greg
    The History of Sanitary Sewers Good site on the history of sanitary sewers and cleaners

    www.thedrainsquad.net Our website

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Question - Communicating with the Customer

      I have only been asked once for a copy.
      Most of the time I go to work and if I see something I go get em and show them so they know it`s their sewer I`m showing and not some copy off a tape.
      I take the time to explain how a sewer works and what their problems are and what needs to be done to repair it.

      My plumber gets calls all the time thanking him for sending out someone that knows what they are doing. He got one yesterday and had to call me and tell me about it. He said that the home owner told him that when I got done they were shocked about how much they didn't know. He told me it`s nice getting calls from people with good reports
      http://www.all-clear-sewer.com/

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Question - Communicating with the Customer

        Greg , you just wrote the most professional guideline for camera work anyone could ask for!
        I know of no one around here that goes to those lengths ! Giving the customer the tape ,lets them get different quotes on repairs. This is the honorable thing to do! Flagging the problem joints is Great. Wish You were further North. Many don't give out tapes,I feel this is wrong!
        I can build anything You want , if you draw a picture of it , on the back of a big enough check .

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Question - Communicating with the Customer

          Originally posted by toolaholic View Post
          Greg , you just wrote the most professional guideline for camera work anyone could ask for!
          I know of no one around here that goes to those lengths ! Giving the customer the tape ,lets them get different quotes on repairs. This is the honorable thing to do! Flagging the problem joints is Great. Wish You were further North. Many don't give out tapes,I feel this is wrong!

          Thank you for the nice comment...I take pride in doing every video inspection. They are paying good money for me to perform the video inspection, they are paying for the tape too...I welcome, and encourage them to use the tape for anything...I stand by my work 100% so i have nothing to hide from them....If they want to go out and get 100 estimates on repairs needed...then thats great..i was able to provide them something to use to work with...

          Greg
          The History of Sanitary Sewers Good site on the history of sanitary sewers and cleaners

          www.thedrainsquad.net Our website

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Question - Communicating with the Customer

            Originally posted by Josh View Post
            Just wanted to ask a quick question about what you communicate with your customers after doing a camera job.

            1) After a drain inspection do you give the customer a copy of the inspection for their records? or do you just show them on your monitor and leave it at that?
            i always make a tape. it's only a dollar for the tape. typically the customer will keep it along with all the notes i take and put on the tape box. all the tapes are narrated and all the lines are located with green flags and green paint. it gives distance out, depth down and problems. this is also documented on the tape and noted for future locations.

            2) Are most of your camera jobs for an end customer or are they for another contractor?

            probably a 50/50 split, i do a lot of inspections for other contractors too.

            Bonus) what does a typical inspection job look like start to finish. Step by step.

            Thanks folks

            Josh
            typically the line is already flowing and i will video the entire line from clean out to city connection. document the total distance for future use. this allows me to properly clean the line from start to finish. not short and not too long.

            i also flag all the problem areas or concerns. take all the notes and put them on the tape, box top, and computerized invoice.

            if the line needs cleaning. i will clean it with my sectional as i can easily duplicate the footage to match up with the camera footage

            then i will make a post cleaning video to go along with the pre cleaning video, all on the same tape.

            if the job is for another plumber, i will also take some digital photos to go along with the tape to allow for easy recognition.

            the customer gets the one and only tape. sometimes they want me to give it to the plumber that referred me.

            i keep all the notes on my computer for easy review in case i need to snake down the road.

            rick.
            phoebe it is

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Question - Communicating with the Customer

              I always give a video to the customer dont keep unless its for a 3rd party (insurance ,rental manager) other wise end up with book case of videos at home.
              Regards
              Greg

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Question - Communicating with the Customer

                I often camera a line, just on a feeling, to make sure I'm not coming back. If I find nothing interesting, I don't charge for it. If I don't charge for it, they don't get a tape or any other info I got from the work; I did it on spec, it's my information.

                If the work has been requested, or there is an obvious need for it due to equipment behavior, then they are paying for it and it is their information. If I am cameraing at customer request, I first make sure I understand why they want it done so I can give them what they need. If I'm camering because I feel I need to for whatever reason, then I know why it's being done.

                I camera the full extent of what I want to see, making written notes of distances and areas of concern. I then locate anything that wants locating and paint it or stake it. I then ask if they want a tape if it is not obvious that they need one; I charge by the hour... the tape is only 1$ but the time to make it isn't. Often the written notes are sufficient. It's my customer's money so their decision if the want to pay for the tape.

                If I am making the tape, I then push back to the end of what I want to show so I am not caught on tape struggling to get round a bend or go the right way at a junction. Only then do I start to record, pulling back the whole way and referring to my notes so I know what is coming and my commentary is clean and authoritative; I've already figured out that black gap is the inside of a fernco at an old repair instead of a separation, I'm not figuring it out and talking through what it might be and then finally seeing it for what it is all on the tape. I do all that on the first pass so I don't sound like an idiot on the recording.

                Often, the tape is for insurance purposes or deciding if its the HOA's or the homeowner's bill. Sometimes it's for the excavator who will sadly have to come dig. I usually know who will be watching it and why, so I make sure to address anything I'd want to know if I were them as well as approaching it from a general unknown audience perspective.

                I do probably about 80% of my camera work on clogs I've been called to because of how my equipment behaved or because of frequent backups. Maybe 20% for locates for a contractor who wants to know where to cut a slab to tie in for a remodel or a builder who wants a blessing of the old line at his teardown before he builds a new house on it or for a property manager who's had a line back up a bunch and wants some more info on it or something like that.

                That got rambling...hope it helps,
                Alex
                This is my reminder to myself that no good will ever come from discussing politics or religion with anyone, ever.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Question - Communicating with the Customer

                  Kick butt response Alex... thanks for taking the time to respond. Thank you everyone who has taken the time to respond. Great job doing your inspections the right way.

                  Thanks again,

                  josh

                  Originally posted by Ace Sewer View Post
                  I often camera a line, just on a feeling, to make sure I'm not coming back. If I find nothing interesting, I don't charge for it. If I don't charge for it, they don't get a tape or any other info I got from the work; I did it on spec, it's my information.

                  If the work has been requested, or there is an obvious need for it due to equipment behavior, then they are paying for it and it is their information. If I am cameraing at customer request, I first make sure I understand why they want it done so I can give them what they need. If I'm camering because I feel I need to for whatever reason, then I know why it's being done.

                  I camera the full extent of what I want to see, making written notes of distances and areas of concern. I then locate anything that wants locating and paint it or stake it. I then ask if they want a tape if it is not obvious that they need one; I charge by the hour... the tape is only 1$ but the time to make it isn't. Often the written notes are sufficient. It's my customer's money so their decision if the want to pay for the tape.

                  If I am making the tape, I then push back to the end of what I want to show so I am not caught on tape struggling to get round a bend or go the right way at a junction. Only then do I start to record, pulling back the whole way and referring to my notes so I know what is coming and my commentary is clean and authoritative; I've already figured out that black gap is the inside of a fernco at an old repair instead of a separation, I'm not figuring it out and talking through what it might be and then finally seeing it for what it is all on the tape. I do all that on the first pass so I don't sound like an idiot on the recording.

                  Often, the tape is for insurance purposes or deciding if its the HOA's or the homeowner's bill. Sometimes it's for the excavator who will sadly have to come dig. I usually know who will be watching it and why, so I make sure to address anything I'd want to know if I were them as well as approaching it from a general unknown audience perspective.

                  I do probably about 80% of my camera work on clogs I've been called to because of how my equipment behaved or because of frequent backups. Maybe 20% for locates for a contractor who wants to know where to cut a slab to tie in for a remodel or a builder who wants a blessing of the old line at his teardown before he builds a new house on it or for a property manager who's had a line back up a bunch and wants some more info on it or something like that.

                  That got rambling...hope it helps,
                  Alex

                  Comment

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