Of all the challenges of running a service business, scheduling has to rank number one.
And it is one that has major direct and indirect impacts on your bottom line. For maximum profitability, you need to get the right employee to the job; provide the customer with an accurate arrival time, and complete maximum jobs with minimum hours.
Use flex scheduling to tighten up the calendar. Some jobs, especially for commercial customers, can be completed anywhere within a range of dates. Set them up, planning on using them to fill slots or accommodate emergencies. If your scheduling software includes a no-date setting, this is easy. You will have work orders ready to fill gaps from cancellations or jobs that take less time than estimated.
Improve customer relations with updates on arrival times. Instead of making a customer wait hours for a service call, provide updates on your crew’s arrival time via text, email or phone. Consider setting up a self-service customer portal that will allow the customer to track progress without tying up the phones.
Think in zones when scheduling. Avoid sending a truck out to the limit of your service perimeter for a single job. Instead, call other customers in that zone and see if you can line up more stops on the same trip.
Use Employee-Friendly Scheduling to Improve Job Satisfaction
How much does it cost to train a new employee or recruit talent with the skills you need? Many reasons employees leave are out of your control, but one area that can make a difference is scheduling. Are there ways you can accommodate their preferences at little cost to you?
Establish an on-call rotation. Do you find yourself calling the same reliable employees whenever someone calls in sick or there is a customer emergency? Consider establishing an on-call rotation, spreading out the opportunity for overtime and the obligation to come in for unscheduled work.
Post schedules well in advance. Give your employees as much notice as possible of the schedule, so they can plan around it. Here is where the flex scheduling mentioned above comes into play, allowing you to forecast your workforce needs with reasonable accuracy. Try to post your schedule a minimum of two weeks in advance.
Set up a digital request board for extra hours and time off. Save your time and give employees more control. Set up a message center an employee can access from a mobile phone or computer to pick up extra hours or arrange to for a cover. (All pending your approval, of course).
If you haven’t already, it’s time to implement technology on your behalf. When shopping, ask to try your solution out for free. Scheduling software should work for mobile phones, tablets, and computers, and include GPS tracking, drag-and-drop scheduling, and a flex-date work order option. A self-service customer portal will save you a lot of phone calls. The software should be simple to install and operate, and have full customer support from the time you start a free trial.
Try out RazorSync mobile field management and scheduling software. Schedule a live demo today and start a free trial.