Providing “Extended Hours” of service is something that I’ve always preached as a key to creating additional profitability at any company. It’s also the right thing to do to serve your customer best. It’s also the only smart way to squeeze all the profit you can out of your business. That’s true in any economy but inthis economyit’s essential to become great at this process.

Here’s a quick overview of four ways you can kick in the extended hours’ program the right way:

1. How do you keep track of who’s on and who’s off for a rotating shift layout?

Answer:Setup an Excel Spreadsheet that has all the technicians you have and then what trades [ex: plumbing, drain, hvac or electrical] they can do. Then, plot it out on a monthly calendar so you can get a feel for it.

2. How many techs do I need on these shifts?

Answer:The number of techs depends on how many different trades you do and how well your staff is cross-trained.

3. Do I schedule calls for Saturday and any call that comes in that day is on-call?

Answer:The best companies call it “Same as Normal Service” and staff it with rotating shifts or as necessary as overtime in the most dramatic weather or peak season if staffing rotation isn’t possible.

4. Where is the cutoff on taking extended hour calls, if any?

Answer:We don’t stop taking more calls until the techs tell us they won’t be available to take more calls. Only then, do we need to prioritize the calls we have. The better the leadership of the owner and the ability to create buy-in from all the staff the less of a problem this becomes.