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mcgrathpest
Posted: Monday, October 14, 2013 7:26:42 AM
Rank: Member
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Joined: 8/9/2011
Posts: 16
Points: 48
Location: Katy, Texas
my business is almost 40 yrs old. we have always used used the girls in the office to receive customer phone calls and set schedules for our service techs. we are a small company with only about 7 techs that all do a variety of services. My customers love the fact that we give them a set time for the appt and for the most part we show up at that time frame. We are also old school which means we still spray the inside and outside with the hand tank with different services upon request.
My issues pertain to the fact that we are growing and constantly getting more and more customers. Yes I know that's a good thing. I am finding it harder and harder to keep the office scheduling the same way but with the same customer service that my customers are used to. In order to fit everyone in the schedules are becoming tighter and tighter and the techs are not having enough time to fully complete each job to do that extra service the customer needs because he has to hurry and get to the next job at the time we set for him.

What are some different ways other pest control owners schedule their jobs with their techs? Do you let your techs schedule? Do you give a window time instead of an actual time of arrival?

I would appreciate any advice and different suggestions to keep scheduling efficient as we continue to grow as a company. Im also expecting next summer to be even busier than last summer.

Scott McGrath
McGrath Pest Control
www.mcgrathpestcontrol.com
JEFFEREY LEDFORD
Posted: Monday, October 14, 2013 9:40:21 PM
Rank: Forum God
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Joined: 10/16/2009
Posts: 480
Points: 1,255
Location: McKinney, TX
I have given a time window - between 9 and noon - but never more than 3-4 hours. But with as busy as everyone is these days, I ended up switching to exterior services with indoor as needed, no appointment required for exterior services. We sent out a post card with notice that their service would be done on a specific date, and that if they needed indoor service they call to schedule a specific appointment. We seldom did interior services, so it made it much easier to get the work done.

If your guys don't have time to do their services properly, you'll end up suffering - reputation will suffer and business will suffer. You'll get the reputation of slamming through customers, and you do not want that. Do what you need to do to make sure the techs can do their work properly. They will be happier and your customers will be happier.
mcgrathpest
Posted: Monday, October 14, 2013 10:06:20 PM
Rank: Member
Groups: Member

Joined: 8/9/2011
Posts: 16
Points: 48
Location: Katy, Texas
thanks. I tried to switch to doing what you said but I had too many customers that wanted their inside done. Plus they like the fact that they know when we will be there so they can schedule their day around us. Im kinda in a catch 22

Scott McGrath
McGrath Pest Control
www.mcgrathpestcontrol.com
ALAN RODEN
Posted: Tuesday, October 15, 2013 9:07:25 PM
Rank: Noob
Groups: Member

Joined: 9/6/2009
Posts: 5
Points: 15
Other than what you’re already doing, Swami Al sees three solutions to your dilemma:

1. Schedule further out and test the limits of how far out a customer will wait for service, then back it up a wee bit.

2. Make gradual price increases that reduce the number of new customers coming in, providing more money with fewer customers – though finding the optimal sweet spot is tough.

3. Hire another technician – that’s generally what most do, but good help is hard to find.

As far as time blocks and getting to appointments on time, if being late for appointments isn’t recurring on every appointment, one thing that you can do is to personally show up and finish jobs that are taking longer than usual so that the techs can get to their next appointments on time. Or have a supervisor do it – the upside is that customers will see other faces, faces that are taking an interest in the quality of your service, and maybe they won’t be so quick to leave and follow a tech who quits and strikes out on his own.
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