​How to go on-call properly this Christmas

Managing people

19 December 2016

Everyone deserves a holiday, but some workers face an added obstacle.

According to research from EDF energy, 25% of UK households have suffered a boiler breakdown between Christmas and New Year.

So if you're a boiler technician who wants to enjoy the festive season andstill show goodwill to all men, you'll need a watertight on-call strategy.

Set boundaries

Decide in advance which days you’re not going to work and which days you’ll be on-call, then stick to it. This makes sure both you and your customers know where you stand, and nobody is disappointed.

Lock down your rates

Just like the annual secret Santa, you can avoid awkward moments with a clear pricing policy. Whether you choose to charge double time, an emergency call-out charge or a flat rate holiday penalty, setting it in advance means you’ll have your quote ready as soon as a customer calls. It’ll speed up the process and avoid negotiations and quibbles.

Team up

The three wise men aren’t the only ones who should join forces at Christmas. If you know another accredited boiler technician that you trust, split key dates between you so that you know someone’s looking after your customers while you take a break. This way, you'll both have the chance of extra referrals from customers to cover the lost cash from your time off.

Contact customers

If you’re sending out cards this year, use them to let valued customers know if and when you'll be available over Christmas and how to get in touch with you. This will stop them turning to another emergency tradesman or, even worse, trying to sort the problem themselves. You may also want to record a special voicemail message and set an email autoreply, too.

Stay online

You never know when a boiler's going to break down, so keep your phone on you at all times; even at Midnight Mass and on Christmas morning. But to preserve your silent night, remember to turn off the sound and vibration, and only check it at designated times.

Then all that’s left is you tuck into a mince pie (or three) in front of the TV.