Don’t wait until the phones are ringing off the hook to keep your heads above water in the office.
How many times have you repeated this same pattern?
You hire great employees, everyone seems to be doing well, and you go about your regular managerial duties and day-to-day operations.
Sometimes you have some fires to put out, but mostly you are on track and internal performance is going well. Since all seems to be running smoothly, you don’t proactively set aside time for any additional training or proactive duties for the future.
Busy periods present unique challenges – for you as an owner and for your team. It’s easy to look down the calendar or just be in an office where phones are ringing nonstop, and feel overwhelmed. Instead of just keeping your head above water, there are ways to prepare and maximize your efforts.
It should go without saying that taking the time to prepare for busy periods can help alleviate problems and improve performance. We understand as owners and leaders in your business, you are already wearing multiple hats. When it comes to managing day to day operations, you deal with the urgent and the important. So how do you cover both? Read on and see how you can prepare for your busy summer season that is fast approaching (or already here!) by:
- Identifying your business’ constraint points during peak season
- Utilizing your call tracking reporting to analyze phone traffic and outcomes
- Implementing actionable analytics to save time and improve performance
Identify your peak season(s)
As an HVAC company, you know that warmer months are one of your busy times. The heat comes around, and all of a sudden everyone needs work on their air conditioning, or wants new air conditioning installed in their house!
Summer is one cycle of a peak season in your industry, but the tips you can take away from this article can pertain to any of your other busy seasons as well. Do you truly know when all of the peak times throughout the year are for your company?
Start by reviewing reports provided to you by your call tracking provider. I can confidently say that CallSource reports provide transparency specifically on both your marketing and appointment conversion – both of which you’ll want to take a look at.
For example, if you have peak calls in May, but your conversion dropped, this may be an indication that you were at scheduling capacity or perhaps your team was not able to properly handle the increase in call volume. Additional research will be needed to identify what prevented you from converting appointments. This data will allow you to establish expectations for success for the upcoming peak season.
The sooner you start to prepare for the influx of volume, the better equipped you’ll be to handle it. Peak season should be viewed as a mini organizational change and treated as such.
Operations are potentially different, and everyone’s attention should be focused on meeting peak demand and achieving success. A business that can understand how their operation and employees are performing against goals via real-time data can be extremely valuable at any time, but especially during peak periods when efficiency becomes so critical.
Talk to your employees about how your team could operate more effectively. It is important that you’re asking the team, “How can we be more efficient?” Contributing to the solution creates team buy-in. You may also uncover great ideas. Set specific KPI’s you’d like to stick to, just as you would during any other time of the year.
As the busy season starts, having the ability to monitor operations will ensure that projected goals are met or that necessary adjustments are made. Reporting and analytics tools (like with your call tracking provider) are essential during these peak periods. Proceeding through peak times without the proper visibility into call volumes, staffing needs, or appointment capacity doesn’t allow your organization to flex and proactively address concerns.
By reviewing metrics, you can identify improvement opportunities and set goals for success. It will be important to also listen to your calls to determine if your potential customers are receiving the ideal experience.
After you’ve been able to examine data for your company for at least a year, it is important to gather and return to those metrics for the coming year. Organized data collection is essential to understanding results and learning from them.
When peak season has come and gone, it’s important to conduct a thorough review. – Repeat what worked, minimize what didn’t.
If you are not prepared, you may find that you’re short on staff or team members struggle with increased call volume or workloads during busy periods. When it comes to staffing up, don’t just add bodies. Create a plan. A wave of inexperienced staff arriving as volume goes up typically leads to mistakes, excessive demands on managers and potentially lost customers. You want staff to be effective, not just present, when pressure increases.
The best results come from closely evaluating the process to determine how it can be modified to streamline the work. CallSource reporting will provide an analysis of your business’ peak days and times for prospects to help you identify patterns in your call volume.
Time stressors are some of the most universal sources of pressure in the workplace, and they happen as a result of having too much to do, in too little time. Your workload is already high, and you have many other urgent tasks on your To-Do List. Because of this, you’re anxious, you can’t concentrate, and everything seems to distract you.
You’re probably looking at your calendar and feeling like you couldn’t possibly add one more thing, but you should. Setting aside specific time in your schedule to work on certain tasks will help you manage your workload, especially during a peak season. Knowing exactly what to do and when will help you feel much more in control of your tasks.
Time management means being effective as well as efficient. By blocking time on your calendar, you can clear enough time to do what’s essential for your success. This will maximize your chances of keeping on track, and help you avoid the stress of work becoming more urgent than necessary. This is the way you move from “firefighting” into a position where you can maximize and grow your businesses.
Be sure to block out at least 30 minutes a week to login to CallSource, or your other call tracking provider, to review important metrics. Even with this small amount of time compared to your entire workweek, you are empowered to influence your appointment conversion rate during the course of each month by ensuring required changes are implemented.
It will be important to also invest in frequent team meetings, even during the busiest of times. It is very easy to fall into bad habits when everyone feels pressed for time. You do not want the goals you have set for your business and team to be disregarded because leadership is too busy to monitor and follow up on progress.
Need help deciding what metrics to review during team meetings? Download our team meeting slide deck!
Get out there and make this your most successful busy season yet – by staying consistent and monitoring your analytics, you are bound to achieve all of the goals you’ve set out, even when things seem nonstop in the office.
Reach out to a CallSource representative today to see how we can help you get through a peak season, and improve in your slow times, too.