How not to join the 'when contractors don't show up' crew

Graham Wood 02/14/2020 Vehicle Management

‘When contractors don’t show up.’ It’s perhaps one of the most common complaints that a consumer has. You book an appointment, and your knight in shining armor doesn’t come to save the day.

Nowadays things have changed somewhat for the better on this score. Technology has played its part with mobile phones, apps and location-based online services. But surprisingly, it still happens as many contractors remain “old school”.

It doesn’t matter what kind of contractor you are. Electrical, plumbing, roofing, construction, renovation, or a service or engineer contractor. The call to action for you is simple: break the rule, be different and surpass expectations. Trust us, it will pay off, both financially and for your reputation.

When contractors don’t show up: the reasons why

What causes “when contractors don’t show up” syndrome, then? Well, there could be any number of reasons why. Sometimes it’s by accident, and sometimes it’s on purpose. And sometimes it’s accidentally on purpose 😉 .

But, just because some of your tribe act irresponsibly it doesn’t mean that you should do the same. Right? Irresponsible behavior from others may have given a bad name to your whole category of profession. So, therein lies and opportunity for you to stand out from the crowd. Don’t try to understand the why’s behind. Not everyone has the same goals in work and life.

The thing for you, as a contractor yourself, is to stay away from this “dark side”, and stay on the good side (even if you prefer Darth Vader to Yoda).

One thing to remember, however, is that it can happen to anyone.

This means that it can also happen to you; no matter how diligent and punctual you are compared to the average Joe in your line of business. How? Maybe you get held up at another job or service call; or are delayed by traffic or a road accident; or a supplier or 3rd party lets you down. There are many unpredictable situations.

You may have some employees or part-time staff who use some of your vehicles to get on a job first and start working. And they may decide to do a detour (by the way make sure that you hire the good ones. It’s really important for your business); or may even go on their own to other customers in random places all over the city. This can easily happen, if you have delegated some workload and have not been able to check if they have arrived on time, etc.

Your workers might be late and you have no idea if they arrived at their destination or not. Or even if they are on their way. You need to be beware of your employees and partners’ whereabouts and ensure that they toe your company line, that you’re all on the same page. Because if not, their mistakes can affect your business in a big way.

What are the consequences if you don’t?

It’s simple, your customers don’t trust you, and you won’t be able to trust your employees. That’s a recipe for some nerve-jangling stress and lost business right there. You don’t want to end up finding out all about such things when it’s too late to save the situation (maybe you could have done something about it and avoiding this and other common mistakes). And in some cases you may have to return down-payments and deposits on work if you don’t manage to stick to agreed appointments and timelines as a result.

Be the exception to the “when contractors don’t show up” rule

What you need to do is simple: Call ahead in advance to help your customers reschedule their plans (or your partners). I mean, come on, it’s not so difficult to do that. Is it? You don’t want to be included in someone’s sad or angry “when contractors don’t show up” story, do you?

What can you do?

Easy. Be consistent with your appointments. Make sure that your staff members and/or drivers will be on time. Or if they won’t be – or there’s a risk they won’t be – that you know about it in advance. This way you can notify your end customers. Perhaps rescheduling for another day will save you losing a job. And you should be able to know exactly where your vehicles are at all times and make phone calls to your drivers and your customers to synchronize things if it seems that something may change versus the order/schedule of the day/week/month.

With a fleet management app, for example, you can manage things much more effectively. And forgive us for a shameless plug here, but a solution like our very own Veturilo, which is designed for contractors and small to medium-sized businesses, can help you no end.

You can contact your drivers and propose alternative routes, know straight away where they are; or if there’s been some kind of accident, what status the vehicle is (moving, idle, engine switched off). You can even see if any kind of damage to the vehicle or equipment/materials inside due to things like bad driver behavior. Most importantly, you can use available information to go ahead and orchestrate and fine-tune all of your appointments.

So go ahead, be smart and don’t add yourself or your brand name to the pool of “when contractors don’t show up” horror stories.