Hold Techs Accountable: Diagnostic Fee Part 3


Steve Stone
Owner’s Spotlight

I want to mention our company was located in a smaller, metropolitan area. If our company was in Atlanta or even California where there are millions of people and it takes hours to get anywhere, then I absolutely think charging a diagnostic fee is necessary.  I also want to note you need to make sure you are flat rating. This approach will not work if you charge by the hour. If you’re flat rating, look at each one of your trucks and calculate how many jobs that tech is diagnosing. Take that cost and include it in your flat rate. Remember what I said, the customer pays for everything. So you’re not really loosing anything because the clients you trade are paying for the ones you don’t trade.

What about after hours?  I fully believe if you get a call after regular working hours, you must charge a diagnostic fee. You don’t want to be doing free visits after normal hours. We would charge a diagnostic fee for after hours visits and then wave the fee when we traded the job.  By charging a fee, we found out a lot of the time the customer will discover it is not an emergency. So we’d tell them if you can wait until Monday there is no diagnostic fee and we’ll send a service tech over first thing to look at the problem. We still captured the call and provided the service during normal business hours. If the client cannot get anyone over the weekend, they will call you back Monday because they know you will not charge a diagnostic fee.

If you’re wondering if this is the right approach for you and your company, here’s what I ask you to do: Count how many calls you capture if you don’t charge a diagnostic fee and send a tech on site first versus how many you capture if you do charge a fee. For this to work you really have to manage your technicians. If you do not hold them accountable it can burn you. Try it and I know you’ll see the results. You’ll see that you capture more calls and trade more jobs. You miss 100{938cd9e8dae860e800efc538277d4f7684e6f6981618ba70d1c34357a53c2e1f} of the shots you never take. If a potential customer hangs up because you charge a diagnostic fee, you lost that shot.  Your clients need a service done. They want to give you money. Don’t lose a potential client by charging a diagnostic fee.

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