Why Tradies Don’t Turn Up on Time

Why are tradies always late? They don’t turn up on time, they don’t call ahead, and they don’t confirm appointments. Learn how to spot the signs of an unreliable tradie, and how we do things differently at Starline Security.

(And Why Starline Security’s Qualified Tradesmen are Different)

One of the biggest complaints that consumers make about tradesmen is that they don’t turn up on time – “I made an appointment, and they didn’t show up”, or “they were late, and they didn’t call”. All of these types of issues seem to be particularly common in the trades and services industries. So why don’t tradies turn up on time?

In our latest article, we’re going to talk about some of the reasons that tradesmen might be running behind schedule or fail to communicate with their customers – and why the qualified tradesmen that we engage to be certified dealers at Starline Security are different.

Why Aren’t Tradies on Time?

The number one reason that a tradie is late is because they can’t be in two places at once.

This is a fairly common problem for tradesmen. It happens when they over-extend themselves, jobs take longer than anticipated and they aren’t great at prioritising their tasks or sticking to a schedule.

Often, they are prioritising based on short-term factors. For example, they might have a customer who has paid a deposit and another customer who has an appointment for a quote. In this scenario, many tradespeople will prioritise the customer who’s already paid some money over the one who has not.

And while this is a valid way to view things, it does beg the question – how are you going to get orders if you don’t prioritise everyone equally?

Let’s explore one day. Traffic extends their travel time and they fall behind schedule. They turn up late for their first “3hr” job which ends up taking 5.

What do they do? They had two quote appointments after this job that they now know they are going to be late for because they haven’t finished their first job. Do they finish the job and miss the quote appointments, or do they leave the job halfway through and not come back for the rest of the day?

Most tradesmen stay on their first job.

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What does Starline Security do differently?

At Starline Security, we tackle this issue in two ways.

1. We are very selective with the tradesmen that we accept to be licensed lead referral dealers. They must be able to prove that they have been operating in the industry successfully for several years and are fully licensed before we will consider passing leads onto them. Experience increases the likelihood they complete jobs in a predictable amount of time.

2. We encourage our licenced dealers to schedule their time sensitive appointments early in their day leaving the more time flexible jobs for the end of the day. This means they schedule jobs that can be very reliably completed in a known amount of time first, leaving those jobs that are more likely to blow out for the end of the day. If the last job for the day takes longer than expected no other clients are inconvenienced and the day’s schedule of work is far more easily kept.

We also provide our dealers with an extensive online learning portal that provides them with a lot of helpful resources including articles, videos and content to help them run a successful and efficient business.

What can consumers do to avoid tradesmen who don’t turn up on time?

The best way is to check their online reviews. Google, Facebook, or any other digital platform offering independent reviews is always going to be more reliable than a company website. Only contact businesses that have at least a dozen positive reviews. Specifically look for comments about good communication, being on time, being available etc.

Another option is to ask friends and family for recommendations and only use people who come highly recommended by someone you trust.

Why Don’t Tradies Communicate?

Another problem that consumers often have with tradies is a lack of communication. Not only do they not turn up on time, but they don’t call ahead to let the customer know, even when they are aware that they are running behind schedule. Calling a customer to let them know that they cannot keep an appointment is often too stressful for many tradespersons. So they don’t call. When the client calls them they often don’t answer or make up excuses. It’s a poor conflict avoidance method. Many of them don’t know better. They aren’t trained to handle difficult situations.

At Starline Security we offer our staff and dealers who desire it, training regarding the importance of communication and while teaching conflict resolution techniques that are empowering. It also results in them making those vital calls and being far less stressed.

Another bad habit is forgetting to confirm appointments with their customers. You made an appointment with a tradie a week or so ago but you didn’t receive an email appointment confirmation. ‘Are they going to turn up’ anxiety is real. We address it this way.

A business who is committed to their schedule and desires to turn up on time will also want you, as the customer, to turn up on time – so naturally you would expect them to send you the appointment details and ask you to confirm them in advance. As there’s nothing worse for an organised and efficient business to turn up to a customer’s house, and the customer is not there. Lost time found in this way is often extremely difficult to replace resulting in lost income.

Businesses that schedule and are committed to time management will always have some form of appointment schedule confirmation that they will send you.

What does Starline Security do differently?

Again, our online learning resources, like this article, provide our dealers with information, tips and ideas to help them run a more successful business – including processes. Our online ordering portal can also take care of some of the communication for them. For example, once they added a quote into the system for you, a lot of the follow-up emails and communication can be automated so that your order doesn’t get lost or is forgotten.

Also, if we do receive negative feedback from customers regarding a particular dealer, we are quick to deal with the issues. If the dealer is not open to improving their processes, communication and customer service skills, then we will remove them from the dealer portal lead referral system.

Our dealers represent our brand and our products, and we only work with tradesmen who meet or exceed our high standards of customer service and support.

What can consumers do to avoid tradesmen who don’t communicate?

Take your first interactions with a tradesman as a representation of how the whole process will go. If you call and book an appointment and they are quick to confirm that appointment via text or email, then that is a good sign. If, however, you don’t get a response from them – it takes them a few days to reply to your enquiry or give you a call back – take that as an indication of how the whole process will go.

Book a Quote with a Reliable Tradesman:

At Starline Security we only entrust lead referrals to our more experienced dealers and reliable tradesmen. We have high standards, and a dealer needs to be able to show evidence of their industry experience before their application to receive lead referrals is approved. For more information or to request a quote from a dealer near you, please get in touch.

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