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Leaving messages on your phone

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by martyman, Jan 12, 2009.

  1. martyman

    martyman Senior Member
    Messages: 281

    Every snow fall I'm leaving a message for customers when I'm starting and when I should finish and not answering the phone until the end of my run. The other day we had a one inch snowfall and I had three people call to see if I was coming (I did not). I've now left a message telling regular customers if they call and request any plowing under my 2" 1/2 contract they will either pay $30 to $50 depending on size of driveway per plow. Some guy called today and said he was a way for a week and if I could come by to "clean up" and when I told him it was $30 he was nice but declined...

    Anyone else to this?
     
  2. redman6565

    redman6565 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,411

    i would do the extra plow runs but i dont know about phoning each customer. I guess i would rather have them call me than me call them because what if you hit a delay or something in your route? they could get pissed.
     
  3. JDiepstra

    JDiepstra PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,780

    What he is saying is that he changes the voicemail on his own phone that his customers hear when they call him, so they can hear when he will be out plowing, and he does not have to be bothered by answering their annoying phone calls. I think its a good idea, if you have the problem of getting a lot of annoying calls.
     
  4. redman6565

    redman6565 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,411

    oh i see. ya that is a pretty good idea.
     
  5. Krieger91

    Krieger91 Senior Member
    Messages: 353

    If that is what he means (which is what it reads as) I think that's a great idea.

    I know people around here, the people who'd have plow contracts anyway, would be very annoying and calling all the time, so I would do it...
     
  6. vmj

    vmj Senior Member
    from conn
    Messages: 752

    Just don't give out your cell # only com contracts have my cell#
     
  7. Marty, I do the exact same thing. I update my message every snow fall. The last snow fall you are talking about since I service your area too I updated my message and said if you believe to have our trigger amount leave a message with your name address and phone number and we'll send a truck. Be aware that if we get there and you do not have the minimum trigger accumulation you will be charged an additional fee as per the contract. My fee in the contract is $50 for residential. $100 per hour for my commercial. My commercial however have a 1/2 trigger so they get done a lot. We only had one customer leave a message and they did end up having the 2" trigger because of drifting.

    Since my phones are Bell 2way radios I use to communicate with my other truck what I am going to start doing as of tomorrow's snowfall is forward my cell over to my office phone. This way I can keep my cell on for 2way communication and text messaging.
     
  8. vmj

    vmj Senior Member
    from conn
    Messages: 752

    Since reading all these threads for a while now, i just don't understand all the talk about phone calls from customers/calling customers.. i have had most of my cust 15 plus years and i think i probaly get one call a year from someone, res and com.
     
  9. vmj

    vmj Senior Member
    from conn
    Messages: 752

    I don't know about you guys but i think the cell phone is the worst invention ever... Why do you want a phone ringing while your trying to plow, it irrataes the crap out of me i know. always rings when your trying to concentrat and work the plow..
     
  10. Could be the city your in that makes the difference. Markham Ontario where we work out of is a fairly wealthy city. Its general populace is Chinese and East Indian. The white people there are generally executives or retired. I'm not trying to sound raciest when I say this but most of the people that call me in my city are East Indian. Statistically with my route East Indians want more for their money than most other cultures. Again, not trying to sound raciest, its just how the statistics have worked out with my route.

    Where I live, most of the signs on stores are written in Chinese not English. Its not uncommon to go to a store or gas station and the clerk not speak any English.

    There was a news paper article early in the fall that said that only 30% of Toronto's huge population is white Canadians. We are a minority here.
     
  11. Agreed... The reason I use my cell in my advertising is because most of my work is done from inside my truck. Especially in the summer when I'm doing my asphalt sealing. Now I just create a message that updates my clients and turn it off or forward it over to my office phone and check messages every few hours from the road.
     
  12. martyman

    martyman Senior Member
    Messages: 281

    Yep...that hits the nail on the head pretty much. This year I have more East Indian than last year and they are becoming more and more willing to hire a service so thats fine with me.
     
  13. vmj

    vmj Senior Member
    from conn
    Messages: 752

    Thats cool... I just hate hearing the phone ring..
     
  14. flakesmeangreen

    flakesmeangreen Senior Member
    Messages: 217

    martyman. That's a good idea. You just motivated me to draft up a message for a blizzard/large storm where I know some people will call and wonder where I am. Hopefully I won't have to use it but it should help out if I need it. Thanks!
     
  15. elite1msmith

    elite1msmith 2000 Club Member
    from chicago
    Messages: 2,762

    Some of you guys are increadible

    "i hate it when the phone rings"? are you kidding me...ill be honest , i hated it when my phone rings too

    But, your a professional, there are ppl out there with no work what so ever


    if you dont want the call , or the money , give it to someone that does


    i do change my v mail , in blizzard like conditions...to give status updates , if im unable to answer...

    your customers like to hear from you..not just leave messeges... One more thought... if you have that many phone calls.... (im not talking about phone book calls) ...then maybe your not very regular in your service

    consider a time schedual on when to do things... i found it works well...not based on the snow fall

    We tell ppl, at 4AM we start our route... and then again at 3PM .... if there is more than 2 inches , you get plowed regaurdless of the storm schedual.... the only time that we might change it ,...is for a blizzard , or if we know the snow will stop , with in 90 mins of your route time...then we might wait ...otherwise plow as normal...
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2009
  16. You have no idea what your talking about here so I'd suggest watching the assumptions. Martyman and I have spoken on the phone about this phone calls problem. We both have clients in our area that call 15 minutes after the snow stops asking why we are not there yet... 15 minutes.... I'm not talking 4 hours... Or 8 hours.... 15 MINUTES....

    The clients in our area pay by the season with a trigger for unlimited plows. We are not paid by the push like a lot of you guys are in the States. In my contract and I believe Marty's too, it states we will have the property cleared within 24 hours... People sign and agree to that but they still call after only 15 minutes....

    I can't operate a blade and plow a residential driveway going beside houses and cars etc while talking on the phone.... Maybe we're just not as "elite" as you are....
     
  17. elite1msmith

    elite1msmith 2000 Club Member
    from chicago
    Messages: 2,762

    ok , instead of lettng the storm dictate the plowing time.... like 15 mins later

    jsut tell them your route starts at 4 am ... that means we should be at your property by 5 am .... so if you dont see us by 6 am .... then call... i have alot of commecrial accounts, they want to be cleared prior to them opening , regaurdless if its still snowing or not... so i started doign the same with my res accounts... seems to work well for me

    i wouldnt put it in my Vmail, about extra charges...but id make darn sure that they are aware...and if you pull up and its less.... then you will plow it for a fee
     
  18. Well you have to tell them we start plowing by 4am somehow tho right? And for my residential I don't go out till the snow ends unless its a really bad snowfall. So its impossible to give anyone a time we will be going out. Again, this info is left in the voice mail message.

    I agree, its always better to get a live person on the phone but if thats going to slow the truck down then they are defeating their own purpose anyways.

    I have over 65 residential clients. That can turn into a lot of phone calls and truck downtime while holding a conversation.
     
  19. Lencodude

    Lencodude Senior Member
    Messages: 128

    I had a few that calls me while I am plowing and I ask them did the plows go by and they say no. I tell them you should have no problem getting out. Last one inch snow fall I had two people call me and I told them read my contract 5 cm - 2 inches or more. If you go out at 1 inch when the call, they will run you ragged all season. I had one retired school vice principal new customer call right after each snow fall and ask me in a rude manner, as if he was talking to a kid, if I was ever going to show up. and usually I get to his place in 2 hours. I gave him the boot told him my service ends Jan 15 and gave half his money back.Don't need the B.S. been plowing too long to take crap from some people.
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2009
  20. Good for you man! I have kicked several clients just like that this year. These people think we are "slave labor" and we "work for them and only for them"...