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Posted: Thu Jul 31, 2008 6:19 pm
One of our marketing tools for customer service is to offer a regular "lights out report" that does several things in one shot:
1. Tells the client we've done the job.
2. Reports any suspicious activity.
3. Reports any lights out, broken items, etc.
Right now, we don't have a standard form. Each report is custom created for that client. Does anyone else do something similar?
I am looking for ideas to standardize this into a form and make that one sheet of paper really work for us - one that not only contains the reporting, but also reminds them of additional services we have to offer. Have you created a similar form that you'd be willing to share?
BEJA Environmental, Inc
Posted: Thu Jul 31, 2008 8:51 pm
We do about the same but we just list anything we find as a line item on the monthly invoice. I have always thought a fax report once a week or more often if needed would be a great idea. A standard form would be nice. it could also offer additional advertising if you do other work that they may need. Striping, pothole repair, landscape, etc.
Posted: Sat Aug 02, 2008 7:50 am
Personally, I would not think it's a good idea to add in things like "reporting suspicious activity". Here's why: We used to do things like that, since the property manager was out of town. So for example, when an RV parked there for weeks at a time (someone was living there), we told the manager, who thanked us, and promptly got the squatter moved. And various other such friendly notices.
This might sound good, but it only backfired, as managers start to expect that this is your job, and you are held accountable for NOT seeing something, that they feel you should have alerted them to. For example, an exterior pipe, in a store alley, had sprung a leak. For many days water trickled accross the alley pavement, and down a drain. I noticed it, but just figured someone had dumped mop water out, or someone was cleaning inside a store at night, or whatever. In other words, it just didn't register as something amiss. Then I get this call, out of the blue, getting the 3rd degree for "not having alerted them that there was a problem".
Apparently, someone from inside the stores finally noticed it during the day, and had called the property manager. During the course of their fixing it, they determined this water had been running for several days. The property manager, accustomed to having gotten other calls from me on other matters, figured we'd not done our job. She quite literally said to me "you drive that alley every night, are you blind or something?"
It was at that moment, that I decided that the minute you put yourself out on the line like that, you will merely get expected, that you are somehow now their night security, or maintenance man, blah blah. From then on, I decided we were strictly a sweeping service, and .... barring crime in progress, anything else is their problem.
You can certainly angle that your service will be a "notch up" from your competitor, if you start to be their night-watchman or whatever, but just be forewarned, it will cost you time and energy (thus you better be more expensive than your competitor), and you will often-time get ingrates who just come to expect that you're somehow their personal aids.