5 Signs It is Time to Change Your Utility Management Contractor
Home maintenance could, at times, be a tedious job. You have to be on alert to catch the first signs of damage or malfunctioning to nip the trouble in the bud. Else, it is going to cost you a fortune. Even if you catch it early, finding the right property maintenance agency could be difficult. This is why most property owners, especially HOA managers, hire contractors who provide year-round service. This is particularly relevant when it comes to utility management for your housing. To render the appropriate service, your utility management contract must know the property inside out. And only an agency with impeccable Field service management expertise can deliver such service.
Having said that, not all companies can keep up their service quality over a long period, and the requirements of your property may also change over time. In any case, if you are not happy with your utility management service, it could become a severe point of frustration. Whether it is because the service is becoming extremely sloppy, whether it is because there is no one to answer your queries or attend to your emergency service requests, or simply because you need more expert service—there is no point in sticking with the same contractor just out of loyalty. When you spend your hard-earned money on their services, it is only fair that you get nothing but the best service.
Just as you are mindful to catch your property hazards at the earliest, you should also do the same with your property maintenance. Else, it would cost you more money and bring in more trouble in the long run. So, it would be best if you switched to a new utility management contractor without delay. But how do you know when to make the switch? Here are five definite signs that say you must go for the change.
1. Poor Communication
As a customer, your first criteria in choosing a utility management contractor should be open communication. In other words, you must be able to reach out to your service provider for any query or concern. What’s more, they must develop the necessary response to satisfy you. This is all the more relevant in terms of utility management, for such service providers deal with crucial elements of your property, e.g., water usage, energy consumption, waste disposal etc. If any of these systems go wrong, the property could become inhabitable in a matter of days. So, it is vital that you have an open communication channel whenever there is an emergency.
If you feel like your service providers are leaving the communication channel behind when they leave your premises, it is undoubtedly a sign that you need a change. Signs that they are failing to show up on time and not returning your calls are serious red flags in this scenario.
2. No Consistency
This is one area where the utility management industry gets an awful rap. With some exceptions, of course, utility management companies often experience one of the highest rates of employee turnover. Therefore, it is unusual for one technician to stay with the same company for a long time, which could affect their service. Simply put, you rely on a particular technician to maintain your waste management system at your property. You explain what you want and what you are experiencing in detail. After a few months, it is a new technician with zero knowledge about your problem. So, here you go explaining everything to him all over again.
Now, if the cycle is going on for too long, it is definitely time you switch to a contractor that offers consistency. Or at least one that takes the burden of explaining the job to the technician off your shoulder. This is also a sign that your utility management company is not a very desirable workplace for its employees. So, please think before you continue your engagement with them in future.
3. Lack of Transparency
One of the most crucial red flags while dealing with any service provider is not getting what they promised you. It could be frustrating if they fail to deliver what they have committed or keep diverting from what they have said that they are going to do. So, when you hire a utility management contractor, make sure you get an estimate for the job. And if it is a long-term affair, insist on a written contract. However, if your utility management company refuses to give it to you or lacks transparency in their agreement, it is high time you move forward.
4. Little to No Concern for the Environment
In today’s world, Climate change has become one of the biggest concerns of humankind. Regardless of their field of expertise, every business now emphasizes sustainable practices in their business processes. This is of exceptional importance for utility management, for things like waste management and power consumption. Etc. Make a direct impact on the environment in the form of carbon footprint, pollution, and threat to biodiversity. In the light of this pressing concern, your utility management company must take note of sustainable practices in its operations. And if they are not, it is your duty as a responsible person to engage with someone more committed to the health of our planet.
5. Stuck with Traditional Tools and Methods
This might sound trivial, but technology could be a deciding factor in providing quality customer service today. With the advent of modern digital tools, the business ecosystem has undergone a dramatic overhaul. Most service delivery companies, including reputable utility management contractors, use software solutions, mobile apps, and other digital tools and technologies to manage their business operations.
Using digital tools not only enables them to keep things in order by automating and streamlining business processes but also helps them to deliver excellent customer service. For example, by using Field service management software, your contractor can schedule and supervise work orders better. At the same time, you get the necessary service every time without any missed appointments or missing parts. On the other hand, using an ERP gives them the power to communicate with the customers directly, while accounting software makes creating and sending invoices easier. There are more to the list. So, if your utility management contractor is still stuck with the traditional paper-based methods, you are missing out on better service and convenience. So, it is time to keep up with the changing times and go with the one that does the same.
If your utility management contractor is making these mistakes and there is no effort to work on their shortcomings, then it is definitely time to change your service provider. Having said that, parting ways could feel overwhelming. So, you might want to talk to them before you decide. Go over the reasons with them and try to sort out the issues. However, be leery of the company that makes lofty promises or offers considerable discounts to save the deal instead of fixing the problems.
In addition, do your research before you pick another contractor to do the job for you and make sure they meet all your expectations. Make sure to convey all your requirements at the very beginning. This will help you to get things off on the right foot.