Normally I love surprises! (I keep waiting for Big Billy Yeadon to throw a surprise party for me and so far… na-da!) But I hated being “surprised” in business!
I always told my staff there was nothing we could not overcome… IF we knew about a potential problem ahead of time. BUT wow! Did I ever dislike being “sandbagged” with by my employees with no notice!
Just like in a family success in business is based on clear, honest and open communication between all involved. (Customers, employees and management.)
So commend your employees when they give you a “heads up” on a potential problem account. (Even when they have screwed up! At least you are warned!) Your Business Infrastructure will promote this two-way communication when you…
Implement a “Production Day Sheet” form.
Prepare this “day at a glance” Production Day Sheet (PDS) for each employee or crew. Your PDS should include addresses, arrival time and special “non-inventory” equipment to be loaded for each job. Special customer requests or information (“Put the dog in the back yard” or “Mrs. Jones at Apt. 2C will let you in”) should also be noted on the PDS.
NOTE: HERE is an instant download of the Production Day Sheet I used in my company.
Remember, the PDS only gives your employees the “big picture” and is your “core document” for two way communication. However, job details and pricing should be on the Work Order in a separate Job Folder for each stop.
Your employees should also note down any potential problems (or commitments they have made to the client) on the PDS so the office can follow up. However…
NOTE: The PDS is not for urgent situations. Especially with residential work any quality problems should be phoned in immediately after leaving the job so they can be addressed with your Immediate Quality Check call. (This is so much better than having a disgruntled client trash you on Google, Angies List or Yelp!)
Commercial HINT: Each regular commercial account should have its own Commercial Account Profile (CAP). Commercial employee(s) will have a separate CAP listing out all the job’s access and cleaning information for each account. Then all CAP’s for the shift should be attached to their Production Day Sheet.
Restoration HINT: Employees should list all restoration equipment (air movers, dehumidifiers, air scrubbers, etc.) left on the loss along with the projected pick up date. (I hated it when the insured had to call me three weeks later and ask, “When are you going to get this junk out of my garage?”)