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4th year apprentice
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For those of you who do side work, or even some small time, one man shops, how do you handle record keeping for your calls? Specifically notes for what you did on your jobs? I am not the type to just write "replaced toilet". I like to go into detail about anything unusual that may need attention later, any unsusual circumstances that I may have discussed with the customer, something about how I flushed multiple times to check for leaks, and other things. I feel this helps cover my a$$, but also for me to show the customer in the future if I did or did not do something or if I offered something that they declined, etc. I have a terrible memory and I always like to have something to refer back to if there is ever a question. I have no plans to go out on my own anytime soon, but still like to look professional. I'm not about to spend big bucks on a fancy software system either, at this point, when all I need are a few simple features.
 

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If I recommend a water filter I will write down in the corner of my carbon copy what kind of water line they have, such as 3/4" copper or 1" fosta pex. This way if they decide to get one a couple months later I know what to order.

When I clear a line and it took a while to find where to snake from I will write that location on my ticket and usually leave a note somewhere in the home I will find it next time. Sometimes I draw little maps of the location of the septic tank on the ticket too, in which case I will leave a copy by the main waste line tree/co.

We keep all of our service records well organized and the dispatcher keeps copies of important calls from the last 12 months within arm's reach. If that wasn't the case I would keep a log in a notebook by date in my van.

I have memory issues and I find the best method is to simply do everything in a very methodical way, usually the same way everytime. This way when someone asks me if I did X I can confidently say yes, not because I remember doing it, but because I know I would have. If I don't do something I normally would it's only when the reasoning is obvious.
 
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4th year apprentice
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608 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I like to have consistent protocols too, for the same reasons. Makes my write ups easier too, when I can use mostly the same wording every time. I need to look into getting my own carbon copy forms, but again, this is going to be for small time, side job situations, so am not going to be getting thousands, or spending a lot of money.
 

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Reverend, R.S.E., Master Plumber
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1,299 Posts
All Phone calls start with:
a small work order pad(I designed)
-date and time for job,
-clients info,
-scope of work
-estimate for work.
-etc/other

service calls end with;
An invoice(I designed)
-Time date, ref.
-clients/billing info,
-detailed description of the services rendered
-special info/instruction.
-payment info/ signature etc.
-job summary/total
-warrantee info/other.

PM if you want an example.
 

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I have a crazy memory when it comes to service calls. I remember everything big or small that happened while I was there. Customers will call me and trip out that I remember what I did, what I told them, where they live, what they need to do in future. I use the Joist app on the phone, it’s free for basic service but I pay for the yearly upgraded service. You can talk to text all your notes about each client and it will do your income tally’s for you.
 

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I have a crazy memory when it comes to service calls. I remember everything big or small that happened while I was there. ......
I barely remember most of the people. I usually remember the plumbing pretty well, especially the old stuff.
 

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I barely remember most of the people. I usually remember the plumbing pretty well, especially the old stuff.
I too don't remember anybody, especially names.

I hate it when somebody says you were for this and that, easy for them to remember they only see 1 plumber while I see hundreds of people! I remember if there was a special event at the place and only if they refresh my memory otherwise no.
 

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philosopher and statesmen
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I use Quickbooks Pro and I post every check at the end of the
week and take a deposit to the bank on Sat mornings.....
When I post the check with the customers name, address and telephone number
their is also a place to post any important information about what you actually did on the job....
Personally, I think its just a waste of time and dont fool with it...
I rarely had anyone ask me about something I did 7 years ago---but if I was anal and nit pickey it would not be hard to look up that info in
under 2 minutes on the computer.... On quickbooks, I can go back to 1998 if I so chose to at this point and tell you what you paid , the date and check
number...... that is enough

I dont care to go ape-shi/ nuts and put down how many wax rings I used or the serial number for every water heater....

I have had people ask me to look up how old their heater was before and its no problem to find their checks....
I have had people demanding this information asap and getting all snotty with me about the warranty
the one fellow with a flooding heater that thought I was gonna drop everything I was doing that day
slam on my brakes and find this for them immediately.

Then he gets all snotty with me when I asked him to simply go down in the basement and look at the heater and read me the serial number...
he was too lazy to do this and started demanding information ... I told him I could not pull this information out of my ass at that moment and he was
gonna have to wait until that evening ------or----- he could get up off his fat ass and get me the serial number.... :ROFLMAO: :ROFLMAO: :confused:


I keep is a customer list with names, addresses and telephone numbers because someone some day will probably want to buy this
list when I am ready to retire....
 

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We use a three part form, the office gets the first and third page and the customer gets the middle. Techs take notes for the customers eyes on the front side of the form that the customer gets a copy of. Any special notes for the office or work for future reference are on the back of the third page (which is heavier cardstock) so the customer doesn't see it but the office keeps a record.
 
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