Managing Call-Out / No-Show Fees for Failed Bookings
In the service industry, call-out fees can be a critical part of the pricing strategy. These fees, charged for attending a client’s location, are particularly applicable for bookings that fail due to issues on the client’s end. Using OctopusPro, you can manage these fees, enhancing your service provision and financial management process. This guide provides comprehensive, step-by-step instructions on setting up and managing call-out fees in OctopusPro.
What are Call-Out Fees and how to they differ from No-Show Fees?
Call-out fees are charges imposed by a business or a field worker for the service of visiting a customer’s location. These fees typically apply to bookings with a FAILED status – bookings that field workers have attended, but could not successfully complete due to a problem from the customer’s end or a change of mind by the customer after the field worker’s visit.
Call-out fees are applied by admin users or field workers, who can change the booking status to FAILED. When they change a booking’s status, they’re prompted with the question, ‘Do you want to apply the default call-out fee to this invoice?’ If they select ‘yes’, the default call-out fee is applied to the customer’s invoice. Admin users and field workers can also manually adjust the call-out fee value for any booking from the booking edit form if required.
OctopusPro’s versatility allows it to manage different types of bookings, from on-site services at a specific business location to mobile services delivered at the customer’s location and even virtual/online services. The application of call-out fees, however, typically depends on the nature of the service and the related operational costs.
Call-Out Fees for Mobile Services: These are the most straightforward. When a fieldworker needs to travel to a customer’s location, there are associated costs (fuel, vehicle maintenance, travel time, etc.) that justify the application of a call-out fee, especially in cases where the booking status ends up being “FAILED.”
Call-Out Fees for On-Site Services: For services delivered at a fixed site (like a car wash site or a beauty salon), the concept of a call-out fee doesn’t typically apply since there are no additional costs incurred for the business to deliver the service. The customer comes to the business’s location, and thus, there’s no need to charge a fee for a failed appointment beyond the potential application of a cancellation or no-show fee.
Call-Out Fees for Virtual/Online Services: Similarly, for online/virtual services, there are no travel costs involved, so a call-out fee would not usually apply. However, a business might consider a cancellation fee or a no-show fee for these types of appointments, considering the preparation time and potential opportunity cost of missed appointments.
That said, how and when to apply call-out fees or similar charges ultimately depends on your business model and policies. If your business decides to apply similar fees for on-site or online services, OctopusPro can accommodate this with some customization.
Setting Up a Service Call-Out Fee for Failed Bookings
Here’s a generalized guide for setting up different types of fees:
- Log in to your Octopus Pro account.
- In the left menu, navigate to ‘Settings’ -> ‘Financial Settings’ -> ‘Tax & Fees’.
- Here, you can set up various types of fees, such as ‘Call-Out Fee,’ ‘Cancellation Fee,’ or ‘No-Show Fee.’ Simply enter the desired amount in the corresponding input box.
- Click outside the input box. The fee value will save automatically, and a confirmation message will appear on the down left side of the page.
Keep in mind that communication is key. Always ensure that your customers are aware of any potential fees they might incur in case of failed, cancelled, or no-show appointments, no matter the service type. This transparency helps maintain a positive relationship with your clients and reduces the chance of disputes over unexpected charges.
Setting Up Call-Out Fees During Onboarding
When you first register for OctopusPro, you’ll need to complete a few steps before navigating the system. The third step, ‘Tax and Fees’, lets you set the call-out fee.
- Scroll down the page until you find ‘Call out fee’.
- Enter your desired call-out fee in the box.
- Click outside the input box. The call-out fee value will save automatically, and a confirmation message will appear on the down left side of the page.
Applying Call Out Fees to Bookings
The call out fee, once set up, becomes an integral part of the daily operations for admin, fieldworkers, and even customers using the OctopusPro system. Here is a detailed walkthrough of how the call-out fee applies in a day-to-day context:
For admin users, the call-out fee helps ensure that resources invested in servicing a booking aren’t wasted even if the booking fails. They have the capability to apply the call-out fee to any booking marked as “FAILED”.
- When an admin user is reviewing the booking list or individual booking details and decides to change the status of a booking to “FAILED”, they will be prompted with a question: ‘Do you want to apply the default call out fee to this invoice?’
- If they choose yes, the default call-out fee set in the system is automatically applied to the customer’s invoice. The admin user can also manually adjust the call-out fee amount for each individual booking, if necessary, from the booking edit form.
- The applied call-out fee will be visible in the invoice summary and detail for transparency and record-keeping. This ensures that the admin team can track and report on the revenues generated from call-out fees and evaluate if the fee is serving its intended purpose.
Fieldworkers play an active role in triggering the application of a call-out fee, as they are typically the ones who change the status of a booking to “FAILED” after attending the site.
- If a fieldworker is at a customer’s location and realizes the service cannot be completed due to reasons outside their control, they will change the booking status to “FAILED” using their OctopusPro mobile app.
- Just like for admin users, they will be prompted with a question asking if they want to apply the call-out fee to the invoice. They can choose to apply the default fee or adjust it according to the situation.
- Fieldworkers can review the applied call-out fee in their job summary to better understand their earnings and the cost breakdown for each job. It’s essential for them to know about this to answer any customer inquiries about the charges.
Customers are the end recipients of the call-out fee, and while they don’t actively use this feature, its implementation affects their interaction with your services and their understanding of your pricing.
- After the fieldworker or the admin user applies the call-out fee, it will be included in the final invoice sent to the customer. It’s essential for the fee to be clearly itemized on the invoice for transparency.
- OctopusPro’s client portal also allows customers to check their booking status and related invoices. If a booking is marked as “FAILED”, they can view the detailed invoice, including the applied call-out fee.
- In the event of any queries or disputes, customers can refer to the booking details and the clear breakdown of charges, fostering trust and transparency.
By facilitating this seamless application of the call-out fee, OctopusPro helps businesses protect their interests, ensure fair compensation for their fieldworkers, and maintain clear and transparent communication with their customers.
Benefits of Managing Call-Out Fees in OctopusPro
Managing call-out fees in OctopusPro provides several benefits:
Enhanced Financial Management: The ability to assign call-out fees to failed bookings ensures you’re adequately compensated for your time and effort, even when the booked service couldn’t be completed.
Flexibility: OctopusPro allows you to set a default call-out fee but also provides the flexibility to manually adjust the fee on a case-by-case basis.
Efficiency: The automatic application of the call-out fee when a booking’s status is changed to FAILED eliminates the need for manual calculations, saving time and reducing errors.
Transparency: By adding call-out fees to the customer’s invoice, you maintain transparency in your charges, which can enhance customer trust and satisfaction.
The ability to manage call-out fees effectively in OctopusPro is just one of the many features that make this platform an excellent choice for businesses in the service industry. Whether you’re a small business or a larger enterprise, OctopusPro’s comprehensive set of tools can streamline your operations, making service delivery and financial management more efficient.
OctopusPro offers a versatile solution for managing call-out fees in your field service business. By integrating call-out fee application and management into daily operations, OctopusPro ensures that your business safeguards its interests without compromising on customer transparency. Learn how to set up call-out fees, apply them to failed bookings, and review their implementation with OctopusPro. Whether you’re an admin user, a fieldworker, or a customer, our comprehensive guide will help you understand how call-out fees affect your interactions with the system and services. Maximize the benefits of your field service management software with OctopusPro and maintain a fair and efficient service cost pricing strategy.
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