As a home services contractor, you’re used to the ups and downs in business, especially when seasons change or extreme weather hits. While it’s typical to experience fluctuations in demand throughout the year, it can be challenging to determine the right balance of customer service staffing at certain times.
Depending on your company’s services and geographic location (New York versus Florida, for instance), you’re likely busier at the start of hot summer months and beginning of colder temperatures, or when extreme weather leads to equipment failures. No matter the weather or time of year, you need committed CSRs to deliver excellent customer service every time the phone rings.
When it comes to peak and shoulder seasons, many home services contractors choose one of two options: staff for peak season, or staff for shoulder season. When you staff for peak season, you’ve got plenty of customer service representatives to manage your busy times. But during the off-season, there may not be enough work to go around, and you sacrifice profits for higher labor costs.
If you staff for shoulder season, you may rely on temporary hires to get your company through the high season. While you save on year-round labor costs, it may be difficult to find quality temporary staff dedicated to your company. If you sacrifice the quality of your customer service, you face losing customers and, in turn, revenue.
What if there was another solution, enabling you to staff year-round? Below, we list strategies for how to staff for peak and shoulder seasons, so you can meet company goals and your customers’ needs, while still offering the top-quality customer service your customers count on.
Identify staffing needs before peak and shoulder seasons
Successful home service contractors plan ahead, identifying staffing needs and strategizing how to support staff during busy seasons and boost business during the slow times of year.
To help contractors sufficiently staff to meet demand, Schedule Engine, a comprehensive software solution for the trades, provides online scheduling, live voice, and live chat support with industry-trained professionals.
“In the industries we work in, when something has really terribly gone wrong, somebody wants to pick up the phone,” explains Savannah McDermott, Head of Customer Success for Schedule Engine. “The thing that really sets Schedule Engine Live Voice apart from your typical answering service is our integration, our industry training, and our escalation services. It’s not just a standalone answering service, it’s actually a fully integrated service.”
Schedule Engine live agents receive specialized training and work only in home services, so they understand how the industry operates and what customers need. The solution seamlessly integrates with field management software and works as an extension of your business, providing superior customer service any time of day or night.
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Support your customer service team during peak season
It’s great for business when it’s peak season and your schedule fills up, but you don’t want to leave your employees feeling overwhelmed or burnt out. If so, your customer service could suffer and your employees may leave.
Home service businesses use live voice support for a variety of reasons, such as handling calls during peak season, a pandemic, employee emergencies, or during a time of rapid business growth. Support for extra call volume improves your customer service, too, so customers don’t need to wait on hold or for your staff to call back.
Michelle Micheletti, Regional Director of Marketing for Academy Air in St. Louis, explains how Schedule Engine Live Voice stepped in at the perfect time to support the company’s customer service staff and deliver exceptional service to customers.
“Schedule Engine actually fulfilled a call center role for Academy Air during a time of rebuilding,” Micheletti says. “The team really kept our business flowing during that time, because we didn’t have people to answer the calls. Most of our calls were just going to abandon, or if you’d go to a third party, you’re just turning around and giving that message back to a lean call center that can’t call them back.”
Without Schedule Engine’s support, the company would have seen big deficits in the business, she says.
“It helped us from a business perspective, it helped our call center, and it also created a great experience for our customers,” Micheletti says. “They delivered for us.”
Free up your team with online scheduling options
Providing customers with online scheduling options not only makes it easier and more convenient for them to schedule their own appointments, but also lightens the load for your customer service staff.
Schedule Engine streamlines your scheduling process, allowing customers to quickly schedule appointments from your website when they want, without time, effort, and attention from your team. Since Schedule Engine integrates with your workflows, job codes, and availability, you stay in control and up-to-date.
“Schedule Engine has reduced the amount of inbound calls to a point where we did not have to hire a seasonal CSR as in past years,” says Craig Sabol, Service Manager at Presidential Heating & Air Conditioning in Gaithersburg, Maryland. “It also frees up our current CSRs to find additional business.”
With more time, your team can focus on strategies to grow business year-round, such as offering lower prices or incentives during shoulder season, selling preventive maintenance memberships with annual fees, training staff to sell upgrades, promoting warranties with new installs, or sponsoring local events.
Operate efficiently while meeting customer demand
Schedule Engine solves contractors’ seasonal challenges, allowing you to operate efficiently while meeting demand year-round.
Home service contractors can adjust live-voice services on the fly, allowing them to choose when and where they need coverage—whether it’s during peak season, holidays, or after hours.
Schedule Engine offers flexibility with around-the-clock support and personalized service to your customers, so you can effectively scale your business and plan for the future.
Want to learn more about how Schedule Engine helps you efficiently manage seasonal fluctuations? Book a Demo
ServiceTitan is a comprehensive software solution built specifically to help service companies streamline their operations, boost revenue, and substantially elevate the trajectory of their business. Our comprehensive, cloud-based platform is used by thousands of electrical, HVAC, plumbing, garage door, and chimney sweep shops across the country—and has increased their revenue by an average of 25% in just their first year with us.