Often times when I ask the question about a clear call board, people think I am trying to trick them somehow. They answer with a weak, drawn out “Yyyyeeeessss” that goes up in tone at the end as if to ask me if that was the correct answer. The idea behind that question is not meant to be a trick; it is simply attempting to find out if you are preparing to grow.

So maybe a clear board isn’t the right way to ask. A better question might be “How many calls do you reschedule every day?” Again, this is probably going to make you think that something is going wrong if the number is anything above zero, but that is not the case. For our companies to grow, we need to be rescheduling calls every day, and we need to track the number and the reasons so we can plan for the future. Let me give you a couple examples.

If you are consistently rescheduling an average of two calls per day, this should be a signal that you need to start the hiring process. Finding good, qualified people takes time. Hopefully, by the time that process is complete, you will be at a consistent three calls rescheduled per day which will support additional staff.

Another benefit you might gain from tracking the number and the reason could be the need to change something in your business. If you are losing a number of calls every afternoon because you don’t have staff to run into the early evening, you might want think about a second shift. Being able to meet a customer when it is most convenient for them is a key to success and more often early evenings are that time. So tracking might tell you would gain an advantage in your market by adding a technician who starts the day at noon and works until 9 p.m. as his or her normal day.

Finally, if you aren’t rescheduling calls every day, then you should be concerned. Either your call-taking team isn’t doing its job by overfilling your board or your dispatchers are keeping the number of calls down to make their lives easier. Having been a dispatcher myself, I rarely went out of my way to make the day harder and that included calling customers to reschedule. But a great day for me didn’t mean success for my company.

If you don’t already, start tracking your daily reschedules and the reasons they had to be moved. This simple metric can tell you a lot about your business.