Out of hours marquee cover is a nice selling point to offer customers, especially weddings. The downside to that is you have to man an out of hours number.
Whilst the most important thing to emphasis to customers is that their marquee will meet their expectations everyone realises that problems can occur. Offering customers a number to contact you on out of hours is always received well.
But… that kind of means you can’t go out drinking on a Saturday night in case you have to drive to one of your jobs.
My solution? Take it in turns with someone who works for you to give yourself a break. Rotating it between 2,3 or 4 of you makes life a lot easier and manageable.
I don’t want to overplay this, getting called out happens very very rarely. At our peak we were doing say 10 weddings per weekend, over the course of a year I’d guess we were called out around 6 times. 6 times a year really isn’t that many considering the scale of the operation.
From memory I’d guess these are the common reasons for getting a call out together with percentages for each:
- 80% Fault with the power. Generally someone else’s equipment, be it a faulty earth that keeps tripping your RCD or they’ve just overloaded your power leads so a fuse needs changing.
- 15% Heating. The most common reason is they’ve run out of fuel. Always make sure you leave plenty of gas/diesel and specify in your original quotation that any heater includes a minimum of 12 hours fuel (that way you’re covered if they use it for 3 evenings beforehand)
- 5% Leaking. As long as you use good quality marquees (like our DIY Marquees!!) then this will happen very very rarely. Very very few call outs were for genuine leaks, mainly it was just severe condensation from uncovered grass or plants incorporated inside the marquee.
Finally as anyone who’s tried to phone my mobile out of hours will have learnt we don’t offer any call out facility. If you need an answer urgently then email me as I try to check that regularly, otherwise weekends and evenings are for my daughters 🙂
Thanks for reading, I’m off on holiday next week so if you need anything speak to my Dad, Rich or Mary or whoever else fancies picking up the office phone..