The word transparency is tossed around quite a bit in the business world, and for good reason— transparency has earned its buzzword status. It’s almost cliché these days to say that a good business should be transparent with its customers, but what does that mean? What good is transparency? And what transparency is good?
It’s been said that there’s no such thing as a simple restoration job. Sure, a leaking incoming water line is certainly easier to deal with than widespread flooding and blackwater contamination affecting the entire first floor (or more!) of a house. But even easy restoration jobs aren’t necessarily simple. Someone’s property is damaged, maybe uninhabitable. The homeowner or property manager is upset, and all eyes will be on you to get things back to good as quickly as possible. Whether the property is commercial or residential, your customers will be expecting regular and clear updates on the project and timelines. They’ll want to know the extent of the damage, what you’re doing to fix it, and when things will be back to normal.
Most people have a deep-seated desire to know what to expect, and to understand what’s coming next. So intense is this need for information that even horrible circumstances are easier to navigate if one has at least an idea of what to expect from them. If your restoration company has clearly communicated the scope of the job, the steps necessary to get it done, and your anticipated timeline for completion, you’ll have set the customer’s expectations and eased the customer’s mind. Simply put, transparency is your friend here.
Transparency around a job isn’t limited to the onsite work. Consider your billing practices: It’s standard operating procedure for you to provide an estimate of a job’s cost to a homeowner before the work is agreed to, right? It seems a no-brainer. But have you ever paused to think about why this is SOP? Why not just send them a bill for whatever amount after the fact? Of course that seems crazy, and no customer would agree to it because an accurate cost estimate helps set the customer’s expectations—it introduces transparency to the interaction.
Clearly, you won’t know the amount of work you’ll have to do on any given job until you perform a full assessment. Still, the estimated range must be a fair and realistic approximation of the final bill.
Who’s in charge of what
In a large project, it can be easy to lose track of who is accountable for what. Clearly delineated lines of authority that are well communicated will make every project go smoother and faster. When the various teams understand their roles in the restoration project, jobs get done faster and more efficiently. This allows everyone to work on their own specific duties and not have to worry about anyone else getting their jobs done. DASH by Next Gear boosts transparency on restoration projects by keeping everyone up to date, providing the ability to change project plans and send mobile updates on the go.
Not only does transparency promote teamwork to get the job completed faster, it also instills confidence in each customer that you are in command of an unpleasant situation and on track to restore order to their life. As the restoration industry grows more competitive, top-notch job management software is becoming increasingly necessary to helps put you ahead of the competition, bring in more business, and ensure happier customers
Project managers must keep track of, and be able to report on, every detail of a job. The bigger and more complex the job is, the harder the task is—and strict requirements from carriers or government contracts only add to the burden.
For restoration contractors still getting by with paper documents and physical file storage, projects can be significantly delayed by the inefficiencies inherent in paper. In addition to the time costs, there’s also the administrative burden associated with filing, archiving, retrieving, and sending paper documents. And at any given moment, only one person has the most up-to-date paperwork—the moment a single change is made, everyone else is suddenly working with stale information. The result of a reliance on paper files is not only inefficiency, but reduced or even completely obscured transparency as well.
Notes made within DASH are designed to be a permanent record of all communication and progress on a job file. System-generated notes when a job status is changed, when employees are added or removed from a job file, milestones are met—all are recorded for increased transparency on a job. Management has insight into when each record was created, what was completed, and who was involved. Any employee added to the job file can quickly see what was accomplished before their involvement and be easily updated on the next steps in the job.
We mentioned earlier that homeowners want punctual, accurate updates about the state of their job. Regular and transparent communication is vital and ProAssist is just the tool to do it. Integrating with DASH, ProAssist gives you the power to effortlessly let the homeowner know you’re en route to the job, when you’ve arrived, and when you’re finished. Along the way, customers can access files, photos, and notes about the job, keeping them informed of the technician’s status and progress. It’s transparency that leads to peace of mind.