• Sue Mazur

Why Tradies Don't Turn Up On Time or at All

2 Top Reasons and What You Can Do

This is a common problem we hear from our clients. Not about us, but why they choose us, why they are delighted with us and why they re-engage and refer us.

Other tradies they have called just don't turn up on time, sometimes don't turn up at all - or turn up but don't deliver a quote at all. Since the pandemic, this has escalated.

We know. It's frustrating. It's fairly common problem for tradies though, even before the pandemic.. In our experience in the trade, and also consumers, here is our insight on the common reasons, and how you can circumvent them:-

1. Time management and over-extending

Without effective processes, and experience, tradies will often guess at the time it will take to do a job. When traffic holds you up or a job takes longer than expected, they will often put pressure on themselves to stay to finish the job as they are getting paid at the end and drop their next appointment. (usually if it is a quote). Of course, everyone experiences that challenging job (rollers on glass doors are our achilles heel), but when that happens, most tradies stay on their first job and miss the appointment.

What you can do: Ask the tradie if they have an 'on-time guarantee'?

What we do.: we have extensive experience and time tracking systems and where possible (leaving out the impossible to know until you take it apart jobs, like the rollers), we know in detail what is involved in each job before we get there. We have tracked, detailed and costed each job and stocked our vans with a huge range for efficiency. We schedule jobs that can be reliably completed in a known amount of time first, then leave those jobs that have an unknown factor towards the end of the day. If that job takes longer than expected, no other clients are inconvenienced and the day's schedule is more easily kept.

2. Lack of Communication

Not only do tradies not turn up on time, or at all, but a common problem for others is a lack of communication. They don't confirm appointments, call ahead to let the customer know they will be arriving in a certain window of time, nor let them know if there are any delays. Most tradies won't call a customer to let them know that they cannot keep an appointment as it is far to stressful for many. So they don't call. When customers call to chase them, they often don't answer or make up excuses. Many haven't been trained in customer experience, how to handle conflict or difficult situations. Silence reins, and if they are especially busy, they feel they can wear it (and hope the problem silently goes away).

What you can do: Take your first interactions with the tradie as a representaton of how the whole process will go. If you call and request a quote, book an appointment or leave a message and they are quick to get back to you via text, email or phone, then that is a positive sign. If, however, you don't get a response from them, or it takes them a few days to get back to you, that that as an indication of how the whole process will go. It may be they don't have the current capacity to work with you.

Also check out their reviews online (Google and Facebook) and look for at least 15 positive reviews, keeping an eye on what they say about communication, being on time, etc.

What we do: we have a state-of-the-art workflow and software system that confirms appointments, reminds customers, and lets them know when we are on the way.. Our systems track SMS and emails to job cards and notifies the tradie on the job.. We know where every man and van is on our dispatch board and they are trained in customer experience and software management. Everyone knows what is involved and is fully informed. And a big plus - WE EVEN TALK TO OUR CUSTOMERS. We know, radical, right?

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