“The thing nearest and dearest to my heart is customer satisfaction,” said Andy Filer, President of Berkshire Home Solutions in Plymouth, Minn., as he kicked off his presentation on crew management. Since studies show the performance of the crew is responsible for 80 percent of a customer’s job satisfaction, crew performance should be a continual focus. According to Filer, the keys to improving crew performance and decreasing costs include setting expectations and monitoring progress. “Numbers don’t lie,” he said. “What you track and measure will improve.”
Filer urged contractors to formulate a crew agreement and provide crews with a document spelling out frequently asked questions. Another must is a crew inspection checklist. “You have to define expectations with your crews,” he said. He noted that terms such as appearance, dress code, and cleanliness of the job should be defined up front, sharing his own forms by way of example.
Compiling crew inspection statistics and customer satisfaction statistics can help measure crew performance, so contractors should have a customer satisfaction survey and inspect at least 75 percent of all jobs, stated Filer. “Crew performance should be measured,” he said. He recommends holding monthly crew meetings and sharing feedback in order to boost future performance. “Crews are competitive,” he said.
He urged contractors to conduct background checks on all employees and use that as a selling point. He had another tip: stop paying workers on Fridays and Mondays, as they are more prone waste time going to the bank. “Stop paying on Fridays,” he said. “Pay on Tuesdays or Thursdays, and pay by direct deposit.”