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Keeping Down the Hidden Costs of Callbacks

Aug. 18, 2021

field service management software

Callbacks are a persistent nuisance for field service contractors. It’s frustrating to spend time and money on a job that you thought was complete. Interactions with dissatisfied customers can be stressful.

Some callbacks are inevitable. For now, it’s impossible to eliminate the human factor of field service, repair and installation. But contractors who calculate the basic costs associated with callbacks will likely be motivated to consider making a maximum effort to make them rare and build a reliable process to deal with them efficiently and effectively in order to limit their losses.

Calculating Callback Cost

Whether it’s a simple oversight, a defective part, technician error or a major equipment malfunction, there are hard costs associated with sending a tech back to the site of a completed job. There are many industry- and service-specific formulas for precisely determining those costs, but even a quick tally of what’s involved may be enough to give many contractors pause.

In addition to time and labor spent on service the customer isn’t paying for, other factors also eat into profits from the original service: technician salary or wages, replacement parts and materials, truck operations and lost revenue from jobs that wait until the callback is complete.

It’s easy to see that just a handful of callbacks that cost a few hundred dollars will quickly add up.

Costs You Can’t Count

Those costs are compounded by the potential fallout from a negative customer experience. A frustrated customer could add up to significant future losses, not just from their business but from the impact of poor reviews and a damaged reputation. Those losses are harder to measure but nonetheless very real. They can result in severe immediate consequences.

There is internal risk, too. No one on your team enjoys interacting with upset customers or wants to have their ability called into question. If team members are undertrained, overworked or don’t feel they have open avenues of communication, the ultimate responsibility for any oversights that result in callbacks has to be shared by management and leadership. If your front line team members don’t feel fully supported on callbacks, morale and culture can suffer — and have enormous long-term impact on your company’s success.

Keep Callbacks Down

In order to manage callbacks, they have to be measured. Tracking callbacks is a critical first step in minimizing their impact. When contractors have a record of work performed on completed jobs, they can identify the recurring factors involved and develop a realistic strategy for improving efficiency and eliminating costly repeated effort.

Training and trust are equally essential for managing the number of callbacks your company gets and the financial impact of each one. Equipping your team with top-level skills empowers them to complete jobs efficiently and effectively. If they know they can count on your support when customers call back, they’ll be positive ambassadors for your brand when providing service on completed work.

BuildOps’ mobile app for technicians provides key tools for managing callbacks. With our cloud-based app, techs have a tool that streamlines communication between the office and the jobsite, providing immediate access to important data. With BuildOps’ standardized workflows, first-time fix rates can increase and techs have greater ability to capitalize on opportunities for pull-through work. Video and photo documentation offer a comprehensive site history, and innovative features like smart fields and optical character recognition set technicians up for success on every job. In addition, contractors can track callbacks, identify the common causes and build a plan to address them.

If you want to learn more about how BuildOps can help your team complete jobs more efficiently and keep down the costs of callbacks, get in touch to schedule a demo.