Inspect What You Expect

How are your technicians doing? I ask this question all the time with limited results. The technicians are the face of your company and everything they do or don’t do is a reflection of you. If the customer calls you back, that is very good. What if they call someone else? How will you ever know?

Let’s start with the basics. How much revenue does each technician generate daily, weekly, and monthly? If you pay hourly, have you determined what their break-even is? Did you include Overtime? Knowing that number can keep you in business or force you to close the doors. Do you know what your payroll is every day, week and month? Since payroll is one of your largest expenses, shouldn’t you know that number?

What is the Close Rate of your techs? That is the percentage difference between the number of jobs they actually went on and those where work was performed. If you sent the tech on 10 calls and he only worked and collected money on 7, he has a 70% Close Rate. So, to summarize, he loses 3 out of every 10 customers he visits. Who got that work?

What is your Tech’s Call Back Rate? A Call Back is when the customer has an issue pertaining to the work that the tech recently did, be it real or imagined. Some use the word “Warranty” to make it sound better. It is still a Call Back because something is not right. I am very black and white on this issue. Unless a manufactured product failed, it is a Call Back! Keep it simple with no gray areas and the number become something useful.

How many Calls Backs the tech has is a reflection of the quality of work he does and his communication skills. Sometimes they just attempt to work too quickly and miss little things, like tightening a pack nut. It is not much, but to the customer, there is a leak. I had a tech with a high Call Back Rate, so I rode with him one day. He told every customer, “If you have ANY problems, let us know!” We changed his wording and the issue when away.

You are expecting a great deal from your people. They are the ones doing the work and helping your business grow and be prosperous. If you are not inspecting what they do and their performance daily, weekly, monthly, etc., how do you know how your business is doing? There is no need to do an annual review if you are doing your job every day and providing feedback to your people.

I was asked recently what we need to look at to make our business successful. Here is the answer: revenue, job count, ticket average, close rate, call back rate, payroll percentage, and materials percentage. If you know these numbers and react to them quickly when they are not in alignment, you will have a prosperous business. I have always said, “The plumbing business is not hard. It’s just doing a lot of little things right.” Plus, inspect what you expect and communicate it daily.

If your business needs a good shot in the arm to help you get over the hump or go to the next level, you need to call me. I can help. This is what I do all day, every day. 727.451.9170 or

The Plumbers Coach™. Detailed personalized business coaching and training for plumbing contractors. Like us on Facebook @ThePlumbersCoach, follow us on Twitter @T_PlumbersCoach and on LinkedIn @KeithGlass1. Get your day started right with The Daily Quote on our social media pages.

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