When running an electrical repair business call outs to customers will be a large part of your business income. Call out charges must be set along with labour costs and charges for other items such as parts and materials.
Informing Customers of your Charges
It helps the customer if they have an idea of your charges. Quite often they will telephone to ask what the call out charge is for a repair under taken in the home. The reply you give could decide whether the customer gives you their business or whether they go elsewhere. Of course it could be a fellow trader checking out your prices only you can decide. Having a caller display screen on your telephone will help you know who you are speaking to.
Call Out Charges
For some reasons customers seem to have a fixation on call out charges, they seem to think service engineers are ripping them off with added costs. Point out politely that it is your time and petrol plus vehicle overheads and expertise that they are paying for under the umbrella of call out charges. Unfortunately in the service industry there have been many cowboy types who have exploited call out charges and thus made the customer very wary.
A Different Name
By not using a name other than 'call out charges' a customer can be assured that you are not trying to con them. By telling a customer that the basic charge includes the first hours labour and that if the job is done within this time they will only pay that fee plus any materials used for the repair, the customer is able to grasp what they will owe. It is the fear of the unknown cost that can frighten a customer. Explain that if they decide not to go ahead with the repair or if the repair is not economically viable then they will only have to pay the one hour charge. Then of course you must not charge an astronomical hourly fee – another con by the cowboy repair man – if you are reasonable you will get return work and recommendations from satisfied customers.
No Call Out Charges
Another ploy by the cowboy repair man is to tell the customer they do not charge for call outs and then rip off the customer by inflating other parts of their bill and adding extra charges. Add to this intimidation in the home and it is no wonder that so many people ask about call out charges.
Point out your Qualifications
When customers telephone your workshop or shop to book a call in their home and to enquire about your charges, be sure to point out that you are a qualified engineer and not just someone who has set up shop to rip off a few unsuspecting people before moving onto another trade.
Guaranteeing your Work
A service engineer who is honest and up front with their customers will be guaranteed work from happy customers for years to come. When your shop or workshop has been in place for several years and your reputation has built up you will have a steady stream of customers beating a path to your door. Engineers who are honest about call out charges and other charges will always have a reliable customer base.