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Number of service calls per day

Rocky_2 Member Posts: 89
Am thinking of going to fewer number of service calls per tech per day after the first of the year. Just seems like we can never quite complete the number of calls each tech is assigned each day. This leads to lots of invoices that have tech stating, "need to go back to Mrs. Jones' house and put on a T&P gauge" or whatever the part was that they ran out of time to do. Then our office is left trying to find a place to squeeze in a return visit to complete the required work. Often this is a month down the road before we have an available hour to re-schedule this work. Often this is not due to the part not being on the service van, but the tech running out of allotted time for that call. Currently the techs leave the shop in the morning with the work orders for that day: anywhere from three to four depending on what type of work, and how busy we are. I am feeling that doing less calls per day, but being able to complete them 100% would actually increase profitability. I also feel it would lead to greater customer satisfaction because all the issues would be handled in that one call. Hopefully this would also reduce call-backs by allowing the tech more time to properly diagnose/repair ALL the issues. Has anyone out there done what I'm talking about, and how has it worked out for you? Any info would be greatly appreciated.


  • Jim_47
    Jim_47 Member Posts: 244
    work load

    Rocky, is there someone in the shop that can be put out on the road during the busy times to help offset the extra seasonal workload? Is there room for another tech in your shop? maybe its time to pick up a seasonal employee. I have a guy that works as a landscape equipment mechanic in the spring and summer and works as a mechanic for me in the late fall and winter. He is able to do a lot of mechanic duties to customer equipment as well as assist on jobs that require a second set of hands. I pay him well enough he comes back ever season for another round with me.
  • bb_10
    bb_10 Member Posts: 29
    From a hmeowners perspective


    If I have to take time off of work for your company to fix something in my house I would exect you to complete the work on the day the appointment was scheduled. Almost reminds me of waiting for the cable company. We will be out between 8 AM and 7PM, but we don't know when.

    Now, from the business owners perspective. What does it cost you to send the tech back? Especially if he already has the part on the truck. I would get the job done and help simplify my life. No more scheduling rework, no more homeowners that are unhappy.
  • lee_7
    lee_7 Member Posts: 458

    If you have an office person, why give techs all of their work in the morning? Give 1 call at a time. So if you have say 4 techs, the office person knows that at least 8 calls will be completed a day, if not 12. Now, after the 12th call, those customers are told " we will back every effort to accommadate you today, but the schedule is full. If you make it, you look great, if you can not get there during normal business hours and they still reguire same day service, that would incur additional fees as overtime would be neccessary to complete job.
  • lee_7
    lee_7 Member Posts: 458

    sorry double post
  • Ross_7
    Ross_7 Member Posts: 577
    Way back when..

    I used to get (no exaggeration) 5-6 per day because my boss at the time only wanted to have one service tech for a shop of about 15-20 guys. My **** was draggin'! I was pretty crabby then too. As a result, my quality of work sometimes suffered. All because the front office had "Hero syndrome". "Sure.. We can get there today, no problem!"
  • tim smith
    tim smith Member Posts: 2,398
    Re: # of service calls

    We usually schedule 3 to 4 calls per day with telling clients the day before or that day that we will try and get to them but cannot promise. Depending on the info we have, we may only schedule 2 calls if one is deemed as a long one. That's our take on it. 4-6 techs servicing a day.
  • Rocky_3
    Rocky_3 Member Posts: 231
    We currently send techs out the door with work orders

    for the day. This way the tech has all the customer info in his hand regarding what type of equipment he can expect to see so he can make sure he has the right service parts on his van. We currently have a van stock list that is supposed to be kept on the van at all times, but lets face it, often times there are odd-ball parts out there and its kinda nice to know that before going out to that job. So, the tech heads out the shop door in the morning with however many work orders that day. But again, I am finding that invariably we run into jobs that completely throw off our schedule. So instead of doing the three jobs scheduled for that day, we only get two done, or perhaps start on the third, only to run out of time, necessitating a return call whenever the office can find a time slot. Am thinking of just sending them out the door with their first call of the day only, then having them call in whenever they are ready for any more work. Hopefully the dispatcher will have more work lined up ready to go for them. I am feeling that if the techs don't feel pressured to "get to the next job" they will be a little more thorough, resulting in less call-backs and higher customer satsifaction. Then if there is no more work, they can clock out and head on home.
  • oil-2-4-6-gas
    oil-2-4-6-gas Member Posts: 641

    ---if you start a job and parts are on the truck or available within reasonable distance --you will finish the job, Period --what do you mean start the 3rd job and not complete it --? --can i work for you --i mean sometimes after 4:00 o'clock i do get tired - //////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// i've been running anywhere from 10-40 hrs overtime for 7 weeks now 6-days/wk Do you have any openings ? I leave the office with a list --with phone # short description of job ---it anywhere from 1-10 jobs depending on what it is --and there is always more added throughout the day ---------------
  • Mark Eatherton
    Mark Eatherton Member Posts: 5,837
    Tough call...

    One never knows for sure what all he's going to run in to in the field. The consumer has it in their mind what needs to be fixed (relief valve replacement) but when the technician gets in to the system, he finds a failed expansion tank, a failed pressure reducing valve, and a defective pressure gauge and NO isolation... Gotta drain the system and refill and purge and make sure everything is working before you leave. What SHOULD have been a 1 hour service call turns in to a 3 hour service call, and every other job that was pre-scheduled is going to have to be re-scheduled. And it is very expensive to have to go back to finish the job, especially when they had everything they needed, except time, to get the job done right the first time.

    Maybe you should consider having a central dispatcher, who schedules the work around certain "windows", and then have him/her keep in touch with the service techs and if one of them does get in over his head, have the dispatcher send someone else in their stead, or call the consumers and let them know the tech ran into unforseen circumstances, and will be running late, and that you will call them an hour before he will be able to get there.

    Most people understand.

    The nature of service work is that is is completely unpredictable. One has to be flexible in order to do a good and thorough job. Running back to finish the job is killing you, economically.

    Your locale may preclude the possibility of one guy covering for another due to lay of the land, but you still have to be somewhat flexible.

    Just my $0.02 worth :-)

    It's not so much a case of "You got what you paid for", as it is a matter of "You DIDN'T get what you DIDN'T pay for, and you're NOT going to get what you thought you were in the way of comfort". Borrowed from Heatboy.
  • burnerman_2
    burnerman_2 Member Posts: 297
    service calls

    As each of you know a call can be as easy as a swich off or a complete cleaning (by neglet of h/o)We are a small co. but my dispacher checks with me 3 OR 4 maybe 5 times a day . We have fuel del. so there are vent alarms that need fixed , fills that need replaced that is fill in work.They trust me to set up that kind of work. I can do 2 to 8 calls a day depending on the problem. We all get busy but the best tech's try to as taco says do it once do it right.I have call backs but try to find out Y? it went on safty.Any way if you only ask them to do 3 or 4 calls some days they will be done b4 lunch.
  • mtfallsmikey
    mtfallsmikey Member Posts: 765
    The best laid plans of mice and men

    The eternal did I deal with it?

    1. Always allowed slack on Monday's schedule for the weekend warriors/HO's who did their own work and needed to be bailed out, or quasi-emergencies that the HO did not want to call about over the weekend for whatever reason.

    2. Emergency calls took priority, especially from a fuel oil jobber that I had an agreement with to do all of their service/replacements.

    3. In the case of both husband/wife working, not being able to be home to wait...if it is a non-emergency, schedule work for late afternoon/evening. this worked very well for me and them.I kept 2 evenings a week open for them, as well as Saturday.

    4. Dispatcher/call taker needs to be able to ask a lot of questions,get as much info. as possible about work to be performed.And do not promise an exact time; make a 2-3 hr. window.that is probably the best one can do. can never be perfect,but organization and proper process flow can ease a lot of pain.
  • Rocky_3
    Rocky_3 Member Posts: 231
    yeah, Mark, you nailed it...

    That is exactly the scenario that thing leads to another. Our dispatcher already schedules in "windows" rather than exact times. We leave extra slack on Mondays anticipating getting hammered from homeowners who did not want to pay a weekend call-out fee. Problem seems to be that if the techs know they have several calls to do that day, it has become too easy to push off the extra service items for another day. I know this kills the bottom line. Figured if they went out the door with only one call, they would not feel pressured to "get to the next job". I know there are no perfect scenarios as each way has its own pitfalls. But you have to try something if you don't like whats going on. Too often people stay in a rut because they are afraid to do something different. Isn't the definition of insanity doing something the same way every time but expecting different results? :-)
    By-the-by, the weather man this morning said that by mid next week, we only WISH it were going to be -50! They are calling for minus -60's! I don't think there is anyway to NOT send the techs out the door with about 10 calls each when it drops off like that!
    Warm regards,
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 17,085
    another 'customer' comment

    I'm a building super, so I'm usually around. Still... however, the company that does my oil burner work for me (I do the steam side myself, but oil burners? No, thanks -- not trained for that!) has a system which works great: they tell me what day they can schedule for -- which may be some time off, unless it's an emergency -- but not the time. The dispatcher calls me an hour ahead of when the tech will get there, and that's that. I love it. How they work it on the company side I don't know...

    Emergencies (which are almost always ran out of oil -- we have automatic delivery, but it's not reliable) are another story. I have yet to wait more than two hours for the tech to get here, and I (and my predecessors) have been dealing with this outfit for over 60 years. I don't know how they do the emergency stuff either -- but again, I love it!

    Now if they'd get someone on board who could spin black iron pipe and diagnose and maintain the steam side... oh well, can't have everything!
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
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