Sometimes I chuckle when I hear the way others perceive the daily office life here at Earl’s. It’s an interesting balance between the guys in the field doing the dirty work (and you know it’s dirty!) and the pencil pushers making appointments and getting the guys out to the jobs. I thought maybe some of our customers would find it interesting and entertaining to have a little insight on the daily office operations that keep our business running so we can keep your home running.
The day starts quick. I typically arrive at 7:30am with phones already ringing and messages to call back. After a quick hello to the techs I send them out the door towards their first job. A pot of coffee quickly ensues,followed by the morning follow ups – quotes, ordered parts, and anything else that didn’t get finished during the previous evening or weekend. By 8:00 I’ve already spoken with over a dozen people – the day has officially begun!
Things pick up throughout the morning. More appointments are being scheduled, technicians are calling in for their next job, and things continue along smoothly. With a service area from Yuba City to Redding and over 90% same day service rate, sometimes we have to come up with creative solutions so we can deliver the best possible service in a timely manner. All jobs are scheduled based on the severity of the issue and the proximity to the next available technician. Our service agreement customers get preferential scheduling, so if two times clash, they will get service sooner.
By 11:00 things start to slow down a bit, allowing time to focus on data entry, billing, filing, and other mundane office tasks. Some days I have a helper in the office to help answer the phones and do office work, which is really nice because the rest of the time I’m pretty much by myself. By noon most of the busy work for the office is done, the schedule is pretty static, and I can head to lunch knowing everything is taken care of.
If not much has changed by the time I return from lunch, I’ll jump right into more creative tasks – touching up the website, posting blogs, doing market research, and trying to not get distracted on Facebook long enough to make a quick post. This is usually the most productive time for getting office work done, and usually things continue along smoothly.
Sometimes I get a curve ball. As the head of the office, I’m the actual first impression anyone has of our company on a personal level. I’m also the first line of contact in the rare instance of a customer complaint. I actually enjoy dealing with upset customers because many times they think we’re trying to work one over on them, and the joy and relief in their voice when we explain our 100% satisfaction guarantee (and actually deliver it) is absolutely wonderful. Many people feel like the world is less personal than in recent past, so building a real, trusting relationship is extremely important to all of us here at Earl’s Plumbing, and I bring that intention into every conversation I have.
By the end of the day things are pretty quiet now, most if not all of our appointments are taken care of, and I start preparing the office for the morning. The schedule is analyzed to make sure the morning jobs line up properly, all technicians are dispatched their first job for the morning, and any remaining appointments are sent to the on-call technician. If its unusually busy (like during a freeze that causes many homes to have pipes that freeze and burst), I might stay an extra half hour to make sure everything is taken care of. Usually though I’m home at the same time each night, which is more than I can say for our dedicated technicians, who might get stuck working until midnight (or later) if a job goes bad.
As I lock up the office I reflect on the accomplishments of the day. I remember all the customers I’ve spoken with and how I may have changed their life, albeit in a small way. I think of tomorrow’s goals and aspirations and how we’ve come further in providing the best customer service possible. I’m so thankful to be part of an awesome team of honest, devoted, and talented individuals who have come together to make this world a better place, one plumbing issue at a time. And our faithful leader, THE Earl (ok, his first name is Clinton), who has dedicated and invested so much time and energy over the last 14 years to provide excellent plumbing service, an unbeatable work environment, all with the strength and support of his family behind him – thanks Earl for making today an awesome day.