For any electrician visiting customers in their home to carry out installations or repairs is a normal part of the daily routine. How about the charges for visiting a customer’s home, what should you charge and what are the terms and conditions of these charges?
Does your business repair electrical goods, install new electrical products or help customers understand their electrical equipment in the home? If not this is a good way to increase turnover. Many customers still welcome old fashioned courtesies such as having goods delivered to their home and installed by experts or repairs undertaken in the home rather than having to travel to a shop or workshop.
How Much to Charge
The price of a call out fee can win or lose a customer. Beware any company that is advertising free call outs as they must be recouping their labour and motor costs for the travelling time elsewhere. This could be by increasing charges on materials used or perhaps by upping their labour charges. First decide on which area you will cover when you travel to customer’s homes. Then what times of day you are prepared to work. It is a well-known fact that many repairs are done during the evening and at weekends when clients are not at work. Are you prepared to work unsocial hours, will staff work these hours? If you are registered for VAT make sure your customers know that this has to be added to the cost if you work this way.
Try not to cram too many appointments in a short space of time as this could prove unproductive with rushed repairs needing returned calls where work was not carried out successfully. It may be viable to cover certain areas on set days of the week or at set times. If parking is a problem in High Streets during the day then these areas would be better visited after six at night. Again some undesirable areas should be visited in daylight rather at night when it is dark. When booking the call set the time clearly and ensure the customer knows that if they are not home at the agreed time they will be charged the basic call out fee. Have a mobile telephone and give customers the numbers that they can contact the repairman if for any reason they are no longer home at the required time.
The rate you charge should include an hourly rate for labour. Many electricians and engineers charge a call out that covers the first hour’s labour. Material or parts should be added on top of this. During this hour it is possible to either repair the goods or assess the repairs needed and give the customer the cost of the repair. This may mean that the item for repair needs to go back into the workshop or that the engineer has to make a return journey. The total bill should reflect the amount of time spent in travelling to the customer as well as the time spent in repairing the said item. The best way to find out what other companies in your area are charging is to check out their websites and to ring and enquire as a customer.
Any repair should include some sort of guarantee on both the materials used for the repair and the labour, as either can be the cause of the goods breaking down once more.