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  • I have an appointment...no customer, no job.

    I made an appointment last Saturday to pull three toilets and install new ones supplied by the owner. We talked about pricing, material and set up a time.
    I call on Tuesday to confirm the appointment, wife answers and says call husbands cell. I leave a detailed message regarding the appointment and call if any issues.
    I show up today, ring doorbell (hear someone come down stairs) no one answers. Knock on door (hear movement some voices) no answer. Call cell phone-subscriber not available, no answer service this time. Call home number, leave message. A couple minutes later, son calls, says dad is at work, knows nothing about any toilets.

    Only thing going for me was the call was 20 minutes away. Told the secretary if the h/o wants me out again, charge service call to credit card ahead of time, to cover another possible no-show.

    Any ideas on how to avoid this from occurring again?
    Last edited by NorthernIllinoisPlumber; 05-15-2008, 12:58 PM.

  • #2
    Re: I have an appointment...no customer, no job.

    I've had the same thing happen, very seldom, but has happened.
    I added "scheduling fee" to contracts on larger jobs.
    After having a customer pull that on me with a $5K job that morning as I called to tell her I was on the way, I explained to her that I'd turned away other jobs to keep my word with her, she replied "I'm so sorry...I forgot to call...my neighbors plumber gave us a lower price.".

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    • #3
      Re: I have an appointment...no customer, no job.

      I never leave and head in the direction of a call, unless the customer picks up and knows I am heading over. I don;t waste the gas anymore

      When I take the call, I tell them, I call before I come, so make sure you answer your phone.

      I had a customer cancel on the call to let them know I was coming, that pissed me off because it was a 1/2 day scheduled job and I had nothing to do.
      sigpic

      Robert

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      • #4
        Re: I have an appointment...no customer, no job.

        you know that pisses me off to, real hard to pick up a phone and give us the courtesy of a cancellation, sure it sucks but ill get over it. now i understand in the heat of say a medical emergency i might forget to call the plumber or any one for that matter that can happen, but as rule we do not send out a truck unless the homeowner or decision making person is there to meet us and we can secure payment either on site or by telephone.

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        • #5
          Re: I have an appointment...no customer, no job.

          I'm with Robert we won't head over there unless we had communication with them.

          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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          • #6
            Re: I have an appointment...no customer, no job.

            I might try to secure a CC# when making the appointment, with a cancellation charge if no one calls. Doctors do it! For a good reason!

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            • #7
              Re: I have an appointment...no customer, no job.

              Originally posted by NorthernIllinoisPlumber View Post
              I might try to secure a CC# when making the appointment, with a cancellation charge if no one calls. Doctors do it! For a good reason!
              Maybe take a 1/3 deposit next time for a job that you schedule, but wont be done for acouple days. Tell the customer that the deposit secures your time slot for the day so you know how to schedule around that customer...Thats what i do..Big jobs only...I wont do it to snake a kitchen sink 2 days later.
              The History of Sanitary Sewers Good site on the history of sanitary sewers and cleaners

              www.thedrainsquad.net Our website

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              • #8
                Re: I have an appointment...no customer, no job.

                Originally posted by westcoastplumber View Post
                I never leave and head in the direction of a call, unless the customer picks up and knows I am heading over. I don;t waste the gas anymore

                When I take the call, I tell them, I call before I come, so make sure you answer your phone.

                I had a customer cancel on the call to let them know I was coming, that pissed me off because it was a 1/2 day scheduled job and I had nothing to do.


                One thing that I do that is an unwritten rule:


                If you call me for plumbing services and I call back and get a busy signal? You'll never hear from me again as it's not my job to find you. Stay off the damn phone and pay $4 a month to keep your line open. Lots of customers have found out that they've lost a reputable plumber for good with the notion they're too stupid to keep their phone line open.

                I feel better now.


                Aside from that, any communication I have with the customer initially, I tell them up front that when we call before appointment time, if you don't answer your phone we will not show up, period.
                Northern Kentucky Plumbers Twitter Feed | Plumbing Videos

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                • #9
                  Re: I have an appointment...no customer, no job.

                  Thanks for the advice, I will use it.

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                  • #10
                    Re: I have an appointment...no customer, no job.

                    Originally posted by NorthernIllinoisPlumber View Post
                    I made an appointment last Saturday to pull three toilets and install new ones supplied by the owner. We talked about pricing, material and set up a time.
                    I call on Tuesday to confirm the appointment, wife answers and says call husbands cell. I leave a detailed message regarding the appointment and call if any issues.
                    I show up today, ring doorbell (hear someone come down stairs) no one answers. Knock on door (hear movement some voices) no answer. Call cell phone-subscriber not available, no answer service this time. Call home number, leave message. A couple minutes later, son calls, says dad is at work, knows nothing about any toilets.

                    Only thing going for me was the call was 20 minutes away. Told the secretary if the h/o wants me out again, charge service call to credit card ahead of time, to cover another possible no-show.

                    Any ideas on how to avoid this from occurring again?
                    I run into a similiar problem on occasion.....During emergency calls homeowners call so many plumkbers they forget whom they have or haven't talked to..........A few times I have showed up on a late night call only to find another plumbing service truck already in the driveway!!!
                    Many of the companies hear in the DC area ALWAYS take a credit card number on "after hours" calls............And I even know of one plumbing company (which is the largest in our area with 180+ trucks that make you enter your credit card number into their voice service in order to have a plumber on duty call you back during holidays!!!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: I have an appointment...no customer, no job.

                      Originally posted by DuckButter View Post
                      I've had the same thing happen, very seldom, but has happened.
                      I added "scheduling fee" to contracts on larger jobs.
                      After having a customer pull that on me with a $5K job that morning as I called to tell her I was on the way, I explained to her that I'd turned away other jobs to keep my word with her, she replied "I'm so sorry...I forgot to call...my neighbors plumber gave us a lower price.".
                      This is WHY you need a website ,

                      Its a VIRTUAL business card that can hold unlimited amounts of information

                      If you were to have a page or a site, You could have NOT lost that job.

                      I know, I know, Everyone thinks websites don't work after a million corporate idiots caused the first dot come bust,

                      BUT , the one thing I can tell you , is that websites sell work , if you have the right one and set it up the right way.

                      Just my thoughts and experience ,

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: I have an appointment...no customer, no job.

                        Originally posted by PlumbingSkool View Post
                        This is WHY you need a website ,

                        Its a VIRTUAL business card that can hold unlimited amounts of information

                        If you were to have a page or a site, You could have NOT lost that job.

                        I know, I know, Everyone thinks websites don't work after a million corporate idiots caused the first dot come bust,

                        BUT , the one thing I can tell you , is that websites sell work , if you have the right one and set it up the right way.

                        Just my thoughts and experience ,
                        I have a website, domain and E-mail.

                        So far it's bargain hunters or jobs too far to travel to....geographic targeting for PPC is far too rudimentary...the smallest area I could get covers three states, I just specifiy the area in my ad campaign to reduce paying for clicks too far away.
                        So far the average internet shopper doesn't seem interested in anything other than browsing.
                        I'm not sure what you mean that I may not have lost that job if I had a website, in fact, I got that job from the website.
                        I think the problem stems from people being conditioned to find cheap & convenient deals on the interent via promtional sites like Priceline.com

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: I have an appointment...no customer, no job.

                          Originally posted by DuckButter View Post
                          I have a website, domain and E-mail.

                          So far it's bargain hunters or jobs too far to travel to....geographic targeting for PPC is far too rudimentary...the smallest area I could get covers three states, I just specifiy the area in my ad campaign to reduce paying for clicks too far away.
                          So far the average internet shopper doesn't seem interested in anything other than browsing.
                          I'm not sure what you mean that I may not have lost that job if I had a website, in fact, I got that job from the website.
                          I think the problem stems from people being conditioned to find cheap & convenient deals on the interent via promtional sites like Priceline.com
                          Hey Duckbutter,

                          Just having the website is NOT good enough,

                          Thats like a helper saying " I have the van and the tools, Lets go Plumb"

                          Chances are that he won't pass inspection with the lack of experience,

                          When I say you could have not lost the job with a website, this is what I mean,

                          IMAGINE THIS:

                          Customer: Sorry , I have decided to go with another guy because he price is lower.

                          TYPICAL RESPONSES:

                          • I took the whole day for you
                          • I already got the parts
                          • How could you be soo rude and cancel at the last minute ( This is really said by some )
                          • Are you kidding me followed by a hang up ( Happens a lot )
                          There TYPICAL responses:

                          • Sorry guy, We are on a budget, a lower price is what we need.
                          • Too bad, and they hang up
                          • They leave you a message with the above responses and you don't have the guts to call back and let it ruin your day ( Many do this and won't admit to it )
                          All in all if you have a REMARKABLE website, There is THOUSANDS of ways to save that job and NEVER loose one,

                          I know, You think I am full of crap...right?

                          Well, I can not type all my answers here in this thread, But follow my ridgid blog for the next 100 days and maybe you can get to see what I mean.

                          ( I started the Ridgid blog , so that everyone could read it there and so I wouldn't clog up threads <pun intended > with webmaster stuff

                          Duckbutter ! There is Hope!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: I have an appointment...no customer, no job.

                            Originally posted by PlumbingSkool View Post
                            I know, You think I am full of crap...right?
                            Well...if ya gotta put it that way...
                            Truth be known, I'm on the fence...wondering if I'm not subscribing to the very same convenient notion that I state internet shoppers do.
                            Legwork, making calls, placing local ads, actively pursuing new sources of work, calling/followups on old job requests & estimates (very surprising how many folks I have estimated a job, never get back to me...I call them and...SCORE!
                            ...they didn't call anyone back & kept the project on the backburner)
                            What I often see is an over-dependance on technology...and many of us start to allow ourselves forget that there's only so much that automation will do.

                            Marketing/sales dept's for software co's eat that up.
                            Let's not even discuss SEO companies.
                            There certainly IS a useful purpose for technology, the internet & software...but there's also a line between automation & good ole fashioned legwork.

                            Also, I have a somewhat decent understanding of internet marketing, HTML, CSS, JS, and keyword/meta tags, PPC vs organic (organic..the impossible dream...ooph).
                            When/if work slows enough, I'll do some more work on it, but from what I've seen so far...my time is better spent on conventional methods.

                            As for that specific customer...NO form of advertising, business cards or reminders changes the reason it happened.
                            Convenient memory, there will always be people who conveniently look at things the way they want to, regardless where you find them, they are out there.
                            Solution is simple...."scheduling fee" on larger contracts...get over it on smaller jobs.
                            Last edited by DuckButter; 05-21-2008, 12:50 PM.

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                            • #15
                              Re: I have an appointment...no customer, no job.

                              Let me ask you this...

                              How many people do you think are "searching" phone books ?

                              NOT many at all,

                              And for the "meta tags . organic search etc " , Sure , thats all good BUT everything you just mentioned IS for the bots, spiders, and machines.

                              What does the website offer for customers?

                              Lets take progressive car insurance for an example.

                              NOW, We all no "car insurance" is a HUGE market, BUT Progressive is a leader...

                              WHY - ?

                              Well its NOT from "traditional" methods ,

                              In fact "Traditional" marketing is DEAD as a door nail and 100% true.

                              20 years ago "MARKETING" was about WHAT the customer WANTED ,

                              In Today's world "Consumerism" is all about what WE NEED, not want any more,

                              People NEED:

                              • Choice
                              • Reputation Guarantee
                              • Piece of Mind
                              Please tell me how a "phone book" or WHAT phone book will allow your present customers and future customers to see all your Awesome work with the click of a mouse?

                              I think NOT , In fact the phone book is a waste ( Google local crushed this )

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