Because you are a smart builder, you probably offer your customers a written warranty on the work that you do for them. It not only makes a good impression up front, but it helps eliminate future misunderstandings about the length of the warranty or the customer's responsibilities.
But how do you track - and limit - the potential liability of these un-expired warranties? If a customer calls with a complaint about a job your company did, can your receptionist quickly determine whether that job is still under warranty in order to expeditiously handle the call?
Handle this situation poorly, and it will cost your company money.
But believe it or not, if you handle it right this can be an opportunity to increase your company's profits and enhance its image!
We've found that many builders - even the smart ones - don't have a formal system for tracking their warranties. When such a customer call comes in, it's often handled like this: 1. take a message, writing down the customer's name, complaint, job address, and approximate completion date, 2. ask around - or route the message to everyone - to find out who handled that job, 3. pull the file (often going to the archives to find it) to review the particulars of the job and the warranty information, 4. calculate the warranty expiration date, 5. get back to the customer (after a delay of several hours or maybe days) and agree on a plan to correct the problem, 6. afterwards, type up a memo and put it in the customer's file to document the events.
But contractors who handle their warranties like that aren't using Command Post, the business intelligence software program developed for contractors by contractors. Command Post's built-in warranty tracking feature can help turn these calls from liabilities into assets. It organizes and streamlines the storage and communication of key information about your company's jobs, customers, and markets.
Because Command Post streamlines some of the steps in handling warranty calls, smart builders using Command Post will SAVE TIME AND MONEY every time a call like this comes in - and help create happy customers at the same time!
When the call comes in:
1. The person taking the call can instantly look up the particulars of the job on his or her desktop computer screen. The job information can be found by picking it from a master list, or searching for the job name, any part of the job address, customer name, job number, etc. It's fast and easy.
2. The screen will show the job completion date, the length of the warranty, and the expiration date, as well as other pertinent information: the project manager, superintendent, and estimator; a description of the
job; other contacts related to the job such as architect, tenant, account executive, and owner's agent. It will also show the client's address, phone, fax, e-mail, and any previous comments that may have been entered about this job or this client. There's no need to write any of this information down again, if
it's already in the Command Post file.
3. You can also bring up an instant list of every job related to this particular customer. So, even if the person handling the call is a new employee and doesn't know this customer's history with your company, they
can see exactly how important the customer has been to the company's bottom line in the past.
4. The person handling the call can tell the caller immediately whether the warranty period has expired, who will be handling the follow-up work if any, and enter a description of the problem in the customer's Command Post file for documentation.
5. If warranty work is necessary, its cost will reduce your profits from that job. If the job is still "open" on your books your bookkeeper can and should post the warranty expense to the job. If the job has been closed, however, the expense can only be charged to a general category, and you'll essentially lose this important piece of information. Command Post to the rescue! Whether or not your accounting system will let you charge the expense to the specific job, Command Post will always let you track changes in both contract and profit amounts for every job - even jobs done years ago - and record a comment to document the reason for the change. Each such change is logged in Command Post's database, so you can always see a history of all the changes. Now it will be easier to tell whether certain customers, job types, or employees are responsible for excessive warranty expenses.
By using Command Post, the very smart builder has benefited at least four
THAT SMART BUILDER COULD BE YOU !!!
Even if your company ONLY uses Command Post for its warranty-tracking feature, we think you'll be very pleased with the results.
Of course, once you've used it for a while, you'll discover that warranty tracking represents only about 1% of Command Post's total capabilities, and chances are you'll soon be taking advantage of some of its many other features, such as:
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